TOMORROW, it will FINALLY be game day.
We will set it all up tonight on "Around the Pound" the Bulldog Hockey Show, presented by Alberni Echo Toyota from 6pm to 7pm on 93.3 The Peak, so be sure to tune in!
Email those questions in to me by clicking here
Don't forget that the Bulldogs 3rd Jersey Auction ends at 5:00pm TONIGHT
To make a bid, click THIS LINK
Also don't forget to WEAR RED and to get your T-Shirt/Rally Towel/Bumper Sticker package for just 10 bucks! More info on the Bulldogs website here
And last but not least, don't forget that 93.3 THE PEAK's Jolie McMullan will be live at the Multiplex starting at 4:30 with "Manther" performing live music, and a 3 on 3 Road Hockey Tourney in the parking lot with TICKETS TO THE GAME going to the winners!
It's a 3 on 3 all ages all sexes tournament with FUN IN MIND, so if you want to play, show up just before 4:30, the first 10 teams that show up are IN!
Men and Lady Armada Combine For BC Wrestling Title
The ADSS Armada wrestling program has a very rich and proud history and they added another accomplishment on the weekend at the BC Secondary Schools Wrestling Championships in Abbotsford. In one of the most difficult achievements in high school sports the Armada men and women wrestlers won the combined BC title for the second time in their storied history.
The Armada wrestlers have won five boy’s team BC High School titles and two girl’s team titles over the past thirty years and have more top five team placings than any other program in BC during that stretch. On Saturday in Abbotsford the local wrestlers placed fourth in both the boy’s and the girl’s divisions and then later claimed the prestigious combined trophy. Alberni District finished with 81 points to edge WJ Mouat of Abbotsford by three points for the combined title. The only other time ADSS accomplished this feat was in 1998. Over 100 schools were represented at this year’s BC High School Wrestling Championships.
The win by ADSS came as a result of the efforts local coaches have made to have the most gender balanced wrestling program in BC. The ADSS boy’s team placed fourth with 40 points in their division while the girl’s were fourth in their division with 41 pts. Burnaby Central took the boy’s title while Carson Graham and Mouat shared the girl’s championship. Smithers and Rick Hansen were third in the girls and boys divisions respectively.
“We pride ourselves in developing both our boys and our girls programs,” said ADSS head coach John McDonald, “ so for us the combined title is very important. We are very proud of how all of our wrestlers competed at the BC’s. We have a reputation for performing well at the BC’s. It is part of the strong tradition we foster with our athletes. They feel proud to come from a program with so much history and that is so well respected across BC and Canada.”
The girl’s team race was very tight and wasn’t decided until late in the tournament. ADSS had a shot at that title as well but lost a couple of preliminary matches that cost them valuable team points. It looked like a three team race with ADSS battling with Mouat and Carson. In the end Smithers came through in a bit of a surprise to nip ADSS for third by two points.
The ADSS girls were led by veteran grade 12 wrestler Savannah Toth. Toth captured her second BC title in winning the 69 kg weight class. After taking the gold in grade 10, Toth had a frustrating grade 11 year plaque by injuries and inconsistency. At the BC’s this year she was a woman possessed according to coach McDonald. “Savannah was very determined to come back strong this year and at the BC’s she dominated. Heading into the final we just knew she wouldn’t be denied.”
The ADSS girls team was bolstered this year with the addition of grade 9 dynamo Jordan Bodnar from Dunn Middle School. Bodnar won the 40 kg weight last year and repeated that feat at the 2010 BC’s. She was in tough against arch rival Justice Janveaux of Campbell River in the final. After a last second win in the first round Bodnar shut the door in the second to take her second consecutive BC title.
On the boy’s side, just as he has done all season, it was grade 12 wrestler Cody McEvay who led the way. McEvay was ranked number 1 at 66 kg going into the BC’s and he performed like a champion throughout. In his first match he had a slight hic up when he needed a late point to take the second round and win the match. From there on McEvay used his superior strategy to win four straight matches. In the final it was a close battle with a very tough Abduhl Mohammad of Sentinel with McEvay winning in two straight rounds 2-0 and 1-0.
“Cody is the master of the mat strategy,” stated McDonald, “he dictates the pace of almost all of his matches and forces his opponents to follow his game plan and then to make mistakes that he capitalizes on. His final was a textbook on how to win a close match. He just never gave Mohammad a chance to mount an attack or get any momentum. He is one of the best high school wrestlers I have ever seen at that. He is certainly deserving of the BC title.”
McEvay’s teammate and training partner Cullen Hines also had an outstanding tournament. Wrestling at 70 kg Hines steamrolled through the competition in the preliminary rounds winning most matches by pins. In the final he met a very talented Roy Millar of Penticton. The first round ended amid some controversy as Hines appeared to have scored either a 2 or 3 point throw on MIllar only to be denied points by the mat chairman. When approached by coach McDonald the chair also refused to review the mat side video. Millar went on to record a close win over Hines.
The other local wrestler to capture a silver medal was young Jesse Wagner of Neill Middle School. Wagner. Wagner looked outstanding at his first BC’s winning 3 matches at 41 kg on route to the final. In the final he met a more experienced wrestler from Tupper of Vancouver and settled for second. Jesse and his twin brother Jordan will be huge additions to the ADSS line up next year as Jordan also had a great first BC’s narrowly missing the medal rounds at 45 kg.
Not to be out done by the boys grade 8 Neill wrestler Rhea Wing took a bronze medal at 43 kg. Wing will be another welcome addition at ADSS next year. In her first BC’s she upset last year’s champion to take third. That same wrestler beat her earlier in the tournament but Wing watched carefully and when that wrestler got knocked back to the consolation side she was ready for some new strategy and the win.
In another bronze win grade 12 newcomer Karlie MacFarlane showed why she is a nationally rated athlete. MacFarlane decided to try two sports this year after dominating on the rugby pitch. It didn’t take her long to pick up enough basics to add to her natural athleticism and this combination took her to a bronze medal in the 90 kg girl’s weight.
Another rookie who had a tremendous BC’s was grade 9 tiger Bailey Durning. Durning was not expected to place by anyone, although the local coaches knew that she will be a real force in the next few years. At the BC’s Durning found her form and her confidence and upset some top wrestlers on her way to a fourth place finish at 54 kg.
For the ADSS boys it was Kraig Doskotch (51 kg) and Austin Evans (57 kg) who came away with fourth place finishes. Grade 12 Doskotch wrestled well and defeated the number 1 seed in the quarter final. Unfortunately, Doskotch lost a close match in the semis and didn’t advance to the final and later took fourth. Grade 11 Evans also looked poised for a medal this year but suffered a couple of close loses and repeated his fourth place from last year. Evans will be gunning for gold in 2011.
In the girls 64 kg weight, Brianne Charles of ADSS turned a disappointing loss in her first match into some determination. Fighting her was back on the consolation side Charles won 4 matches in a row before getting knocked out of the chance at the bronze. She then won her last match for 5th place. Teammate Brittany Henderson wrestled well in a tough 51 kg weight class to take 6th place. Henderson and Charles will help anchor a strong ADSS girls team next year.
“We had a excellent BC’s,” observed wrestling director Tom McEvay, “ our athletes were outstanding on and off the mats. They were a real credit to their schools and the community. It is also important to comment on the dedicated efforts of our coaches. These people put in hundreds of volunteer hours and they do a phenomenal job of mentoring these young boys and girls and helping them develop into confident and proud individuals. Wrestling is a great vehicle in this process.”
For most of the Alberni wrestlers the season is now over. For some the next month will bring another intense period of training as they prepare for the National Cadet/ Juvenile Championships. Fortunately, the local program is not faced with the massive fundraising needed to travel to distant parts of the country for the Nationals. The Nationals this year are at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby April 8-11. Funds are needed to help get a large group to the lower mainland so if anyone wishes to help please contact McEvay at 250-724-0577.
Please contact me for more information on the following wrestling news …….
· Alberni Wrestling alumni Michael Cappus crowned his amazing rookie season at Simon Fraser University by winning gold in the 66 kg weight class and claiming his first all Canadian status at the CIS Championships in Calgary on the weekend. Cappus helped SFU win the Men’s CIS team title. The SFU Women also won.
· Alberni Wrestling alumni Ashlea McManus was on hand at the BC’s to cheer on her former ADSS team. McManus is very happy with her current training and preparations. She will be representing Scotland at the World Championships in Moscow next fall and has set her sights on qualifying for the Olympic Games in London in 2012.
· North island College wrestler Travis carey will be competing at the National Junior Wrestling Championships in Fredericton New Brunswick March 26-28.
· Local teacher and wrestling coach James Messenger has been selected to coach at both the National Junior and the National Cadet/Juvenile Championships in the next two months.
· The Annual Alberni Wrestling Awards Night is scheduled for April 29th at Echo Centre at 7 pm.