Isaac McDonald

Isaac McDonald

Alberni school wrestlers excel

Wrestlers from Alberni District Secondary School, EJ Dunn and Neill Middle School competed at the Island Novice Wrestling Championships

Wrestling teams from Alberni District Secondary School, EJ Dunn and Neill Middle School travelled to Victoria on Saturday to compete at the Island Novice Wrestling Championships. The tournament marks the official start of the school wrestling season.

The novice tournament is intended for athletes who are relatively new to the sport and there are restrictions as to who can compete.  As a result a number of the Alberni wrestlers either did not travel to Victoria or travelled down to referee rather than wrestle in the tournament.

Despite having only a portion of their wrestlers compete the local teams did very well, according to their coaches.

EJ Dunn Middle School won the Junior Girls Division.

EJ Dunn was led by the gold medal performances of Kalissa Montgomery (43 kg) and Morgan Dagenais (51 kg), while Mackenzie Boudreau (34 kg), Aleadra Flaro (43 kg), and Kylea Anderson (51 kg) finished second in their respective weight classes.

“Our girls did an awesome job today.  Morgan and Kalissa are two of the leaders on our team so I was not surprised to see them do well today,” coach Andrew Edgell said.

“Our new Grade 6 wrestlers surprised me though, competing in their first tournament. We have a great crew of kids coming out to practice at EJ Dunn. They all work hard, listen and are quite coachable,” he said.

AW Neill Middle School also had two athletes compete and place in the Junior Girls Division.  Teela Johnson finished with the bronze medal at 46 kilograms while Amina Mossa finished in fifth place at 51 kilograms.

In the Junior Boys Division, Neill Middle School finished in fifth place overall with 25 points while their cross-town rivals EJ Dunn finished sixth with 24 points. Neill was led by the bronze medal performances of Seth Price (35kg) and Daniel Spencer (51 kg).

Owen Spencer (4th at 35kg) and Isaac Johnson (6th at 35 kg) rounded out the placings for Neill.

Coach Russ Bodnar offered this assessment of his team’s performance: “We have a very young group at Neill this year. What they lack in experience they make up for with enthusiasm. We are still hoping to recruit a few more kids out to our practices Monday and Wednesday after school.

“With longtime teacher-coach Mrs. (Erin) Anker out of the school on maternity leave we have seen our numbers dip a little.  Hopefully the success and fun these guys are having will bring a few more out.”

EJ Dunn had 10 wrestlers place in the Junior Boys Division.  Dunn was led by Isaac McDonald (41kg) and Matthew Grimston (60kg), who both went undefeated to claim gold in their weight classes.

“Isaac and Matthew both looked strong. Both wrestlers have made it out to a lot of practices but have not been able to compete in a lot of tournaments,” coach James Messenger said.

“Isaac plays rep hockey so he has to balance his commitments. We are happy to see him compete when he can and it was certainly great to see him go undefeated today.”

Trevor Barker (2nd at 31kg), Jayce Clayton (2nd at 60kg), and Dean Fyfe (3rd at 31kg) also contributed to Dunn’s medal count. Yanick Contant (4th at 45 kg), Austin Patten (4th at 63kg), Kerrick Frey (5th at 45kg), Jarrod Gagnon (5th at 57kg) and Nathan Stellard (6th at 45kg) rounded out the top six placings for Dunn.

EJ Dunn had one wrestler who coaches felt needed to be moved to the Senior Division for competitive reasons.  Aaron Badovinac’s performance on the mat proved the coaches made the right decision.

Badovinac went undefeated in the 54 kilogram Senior Division despite only being in Grade 7.

ADSS had a small number of boys compete and place sixth overall in the Senior Boys Division. Chris Kurucz (2nd at HWT), Jared Beckett (3rd at 54kg), Julian Castro (3rd at ADSS), Kaden Tardif (4th at 73kg), and David Wilson (5th at 64kg) all did a great job of representing the ADSS boys wrestling team.

ADSS had just one female compete in the Senior Girls Division but Elise Huffman did not disappoint as she finished with the bronze medal in the 72 kilogram division.

Reflecting on the results from the day, ADSS coach John McDonald said “all our wrestlers should be proud of how they wrestled.  Many wrestled their first match ever.

“All of our wrestlers, including those that didn’t place, showed courage to come to this tournament and wrestle. You learn from every match and I know we will continue to get better.

“That’s why in Alberni wrestling the tradition continues.”

Wrestlers from all three teams will be right back on the mats training this week in preparation for upcoming tournaments. On Dec. 1 wrestlers from all three schools will travel to Duncan to compete in the Cougar Invitational.  Parents, wrestlers and program supporters interested in finding out more about upcoming wrestling events are encouraged to visit the club’s website at www.alberniwrestling.ca.

Just Posted

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read