The Alberni District Secondary School wrestling teams had a dream season, winning the 2018 BC Secondary School championships for both the boys and girls teams, as well as the aggregate trophies and banners.
On April 26 Alberni Wrestling celebrated their accomplishments with the program’s year-end awards.
“We’ve had quite a year,” Alberni Wrestling president Tom McEvay said. “We knew it was a group of kids who could do something special. I think everybody stepped up.”
Numerous wrestlers were honoured for both academic as well as athletic achievements. There were also some fun awards based on events that happened throughout the season.
Rookie wrestler of the year was Wyatt Young, while Mason Bodnar was honoured with the Junior Leadership award. Paige Maher won the Dominator Award, named for 1998 wrestler Tyler Donovan who went through his season without getting scored on. The Roumanis Perpetual Placer award, named for alumni brothers Yorgo and Alexis Roumanis and handed out by their mother, Victoria Roscoe-Roumanis, went to Isaac McDonald, who won a provincial medal in each of the five years he competed in high school wrestling.
McDonald, Daniel Spencer, Aaron Badovinac and Mackenzie Boudreau all shared the Aaron Keitlah Award for Attendance—making all 50 team practices.
William Merry earned the Comeback Award, Seth Price the Dark Horse Award, Ryann Tramer the Unsung Dedication Award, and Prateesh Giri the Character Award.
One of the honours handed out is the gold pin award; coach John McDonald had seen wrestlers in an American tournament with gold pins on their equipment bags, and brought the tradition north. Anytime a wrestler wins a match with a pin, they receive a large gold safety pin. This year’s team pinned their opponents a total of 151 times. Owen Spencer had 20 pins, while Anna Frost had 11.
(A pin happens when a wrestler holds their opponent’s shoulders to the mat for a prescribed period of time. In amateur wrestling, a pin ends the match with a victory for the wrestler who successfully pins their opponent.)
For graduating athletes Isaac McDonald, Aaron Badovinac, Ravi Manhas and Daniel Spencer, the night was an emotional one: their final event as high school wrestlers. Once the awards were all handed out, the four graduating students were given the podium to share their final thoughts. Some of them struggled with tears, while others used humour in relating their best memories and thanking their coaches.
“This program is unlike any other program out there,” Badovinac said in his closing speech. “It’s like a family.
“Once you’re in this program you never leave; it’s a program that always supports you no matter how far you go.”
Badovinac was recognized several times as he was named Most Outstanding Senior Male wrestler. Mackenzie Boudreau earned Most Outstanding Senior Female accolades.
Bobby McKenzie and Paige Maher were recognized as Most Outstanding Juniors. Numerous other wrestlers who will return next year also received year-end honours. They are providing the club with good prospects despite the wrestlers who are graduating, says McEvay.
“With the group of athletes we have, we could be in the running next year as well,” he said.
For a complete list of 2020 winners, see our website at www.albernivalleynews.com in the local sports link.