Wrestlers off to Nationals in Fredericton this Week

Post date: Apr 10, 2012 12:17:20 AM

Wrestlers off to Nationals This Week

A strong contingent of local wrestlers and coaches leave for a long journey to the eastern seaboard on Wednesday for the National Cadet and Juvenile Wrestling Championships. The 2012 Nationals are in Fredericton New Brunswick and the locals are flying a day early just to make it in time.

Five Port Alberni wrestlers are making the trip this year after strong high school seasons. In the Juvenile age group for 17 and 18 year athletes provincial and reigning National Champion Daley Forbes will be competing in the 75 kg women’s weight class while Connor McDonald will be doing battle in the 85 kg men’s weight class. In the Cadet age group for wrestlers 15 and 16 yrs of age the Wagner twins Jesse and Jordan will be entered at 50 kg and 54 kg respectively. The youngest member of the local group will be grade 9 wrestler Nolan Badovinac at 69 kg.

Coaching the Alberni wrestlers, as well as the entire Island contingent, will be Alberni Valley’s well respected head club coach James Messenger. Messenger will be joined by Alberni alumni Chris Bodnar who is also coaching in the strong valley program. Long-time wrestling volunteer Richelle McKenzie has been selected as one of the draw masters for this event and will travel with the local group.

Messenger commented on the young athletes he is taking to Fredericton. “This is a strong group who will definitely compete for medals this year. They have worked hard and are well prepared but this is a National Championship so everyone will be tough. We are extremely proud to have athletes every year who can compete at this level. We would have taken more but the expense of the tournament being in the Maritimes means not everyone can go.”

Local Club President Tom McEvay said that their busy schedule has prevented him from getting out funding requests early this year but they are coming. “Each wrestler and their families pay the majority of the expense for National Championships and some have fundraising credits from the fundraising we do all year long. Our Club does canvass several service clubs and organizations to help us each year but these letters are late coming out. We hope we can again count on this support or we have to use other funds earmarked for other critical expenses. It is a blessing to have such a successful program but the costs are considerable and we work very hard to earn our way.”

The team arrives in Fredericton late Wednesday and will get one last practise Thursday morning before medicals and weigh-ins that evening. Competition runs Friday and Saturday with National team trials for Cadets on Sunday. The Alberni group lands back in Nanaimo mid-day on Monday. One thing for sure is that the Alberni Valley will once again we well represented on the national stage with this group of hard working and dedicated young athletes.

For more information or to make a donation contact Tom McEvay, Alberni Wrestling at 250-724-0577 or

email tmcevay@sd70.bc.ca .