Press Release - Cougar Invitational

Post date: Dec 8, 2015 12:15:30 AM

Armada Wrestling Teams Dominate Cougar Invitational

Alberni District Secondary School’s wrestling teams had a strong performance at the Cougar Invitational Tournament in Cowichan on Saturday. The Armada finished first in both the Senior and Junior Division. The Invitational Tournament combines team points in both male and female divisions to determine the team placings and featured Vancouver Island’s top wrestling programs.

The Armada Team coasted to the first place finish in the Junior (Grade 7 – 9) division finishing with 92 team points, ahead of second place Queen of Angels (70 points) and third place Phoenix (45 points). The success of the ADSS Juniors demonstrates both the bright future ahead and young age of the wrestling group overall.

“I was really impressed with how all our wrestlers competed this weekend,” commented Junior Coach Russ Bodnar. “Our coaching staff has made a conscious effort to welcome and recruit Grade 8 and 9s as well as some kids who are older but new to the sport. We want to make sure we are offering practices and competitions that fit with where they are at developmentally. It was great to see some of that focus and effort produce results today.”

In the Senior Division the team race was a little bit of a tighter affair. ADSS finished with 39 points just ahead of second place Ucluelet (35 points) and Dover Bay (27 points).

ADSS Head Coach John McDonald summarized the senior team’s performance, “obviously I am happy with how we did today. The bulk of our senior team graduated last year. We don’t have a single Grade 12 and we have only two or three Grade 11s after that everyone is Grade 10 and under. Despite this we saw some success. Our team is young but they are willing to work hard and I think they will rise to the challenge. I am not sure how we will stack up against some of the larger programs on the mainland but my goal is for our kids to continue to see improvement each tournament. I am not just looking at where we will finish at the BCs this year but where we hope to be in 2017 and 2018.”

Individually the Alberni Armada had nine wrestlers go undefeated to claim the gold medals in their respective weight classes. Seth Price (Jr. Men 42kg), Ethan Tramer (Jr. Men 58kg), Jayden Iversen (Jr. Men 67 kg), Jayce Clayton (Jr. Men 79kg), Jarod Gagnon (Jr. Men 93 kg), William Merry (Jr. Men 120 kg), Mackenzie Boudreau (Jr. Women 64 kg), Kyla McAuley (Jr. Women 105kg), and Isaac McDonald (Sr. Men 58kg) all claimed gold medals in their respective divisions.

Four ADSS wrestlers lost only one match to claim silver medals. Duncan McLeod (Jr. Men 35kg), Ravi Manhas (Jr. Men 45 kg), Aaron Badovinac (Sr. Men 74kg), and Trenton Vanderkooi (Sr. Men 120kg) all finished second in their respective divisions. Shane Leeper and Kiara Fong also added to the medal count finishing with bronze medals in the Senior Men’s 61 kilogram division and Senior Women’s 53 kilogram divisions respectively.

Rounding out the top six and contributing valuable team points for ADSS were four other wrestlers; Darien Van Ingen (4th Jr. Men 55kg), Prateesh Giri (4th Jr. Men 67 kg), Daniel Spencer (4th Sr. Men 74kg), and Scott Coulthart (5th Jr. Men 75kg).

“It is tough to single any one wrestler out for a great performance,” stated Coach John McDonald. “Obviously our nine gold medallists all went undefeated which was great to see early in the season. Our new Grade 8 & 9s look promising. Aaron Badovinac lost a very close match to a Grade 12 returning BC Champ. I think with some small adjustments he can come out on top next time. At heavyweight Trenton saw some success, which was nice to see and with a little more conditioning I think he can be an Island Champ. As a returning BC medallist Ravi Manhas is someone who we expect to see work hard and continue to finish on the podium. On the other hand it was great to see wrestlers like Duncan McLeod and Shane Leeper back on the mats.”

The Alberni Wrestling Club also had a number of Junior Club members participate in the Junior and Elementary Divisions. Paige Maher had a thrilling come from behind win to claim the gold medal in the Junior Women’s 72 kilogram division. Landyn Clayton finished second in the Junior Men’s 67 kilogram division. In the youngest division the club had Malika McDonald and Cooper Day go undefeated to claim gold medals while Ezra Frost and Cole Robinson finished with silver medals.

Wrestlers and coaches will be back training on Monday in preparation for the War On the Floor Tournament December 10 & 11 in Coquitlam.

For photos of the event visit: