Saturday December 30th 2017

What a year!  2017 was a memorable one for wrestling in the province of Quebec.  So many results from so many tournaments, athletes qualifying for major tournaments and a historical finish at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.

The month of January started off with the beginning of the university season with the Brock University Invitational and three other highshool level tournaments in Thorold, K-Bay and National Capitol.  Quebec clubs and high schools sent athletes to all four tournaments with some solid results.  Coming back from holidays is always hard and the hard work put in over the break was evident.  January continued on with the Guelph Invitational, the only Carding Tournament on this side of the country which featured high level athletes from across the country.  Though the attendance Quebec’s was much lower, the results were once again quite good.

Quebec athletes at the Thorold Tournament

Moving on to February, the amount of competitions picked up as the GMAA high school league held their championship finals, the Quebec Provincial Championships were held in St-Cesaire, two other tournaments on the univeristy schedule held at the Univeristy of Western Ontario and the University of New Brunswick and finally the CIS University Nationals all took place to name a few.  There were also other tournaments held in Nova Scotia, BramptonRenfrew and Guelph.  Julien Choquette of Vanier College also received the George St-Pierre Bursary, awarded to athletes in Quebec in Combat Sports.  This would be just the beginning in what would prove to be banner year for him.

Vincent De Marinnis: CIS National Champion!

March was also another good month for Quebec.  At this time the Mohawk Valley International took place in Canastota New York as well as the return of the Montreal Open, hosted by CLIC.  March is also a highlight month for Canadian Wrestling as the Junior-Senior Canadian National Championships were held at Brock University in St-Catherines Ontario.  Quebec had some strong results at the tournament, with many medalists from the various Quebec clubs.  In addition to this, the Montreal YMHA repeated as the Best Junior Mens team in the country, with their strong performances that saw four Quebec athletes qualify for the World Junior Team.

The Montreal YMHA wins Best Junior Mens Team in the country!

As April came along, the amount of tournaments would decrease slightly.  This did not mean that Quebec clubs were idle as the month saw the Montreal Games, the Canada Games Trialsthe Canada East Championships, and the Cadet-Juvenile Championships in Windsor Ontario.  Though Quebec only came back with one medal from the Cadet-Juvenile National Championships, no one could predict that the athletes that qualified for the Canada Games would go on to make history.  The lack of production at the Nationals would be somewhat tempered by two Bronze Medals from our Senior athletes at the Pan-American Championships.

St-Cesaire takes second place in Bantams at the Canada East Championships!

Moving on to May, Quebec would send athletes to the annual tournament in Sassari City on the island of Sardenia.  The results would be quite good at this international event.  Next up was the Junior Pan-American Championships held in Lima, Peru.  Quebec athletes would dominate at this event as the three Quebec athletes returned with two Gold Medals and a Silver Medal!

Team Eastern Door and the North

The months of June and July was quite busy as several tournaments both National and International were held at this time. The Francophone Games, the North American Indigenous Games, the Ontario Cup, the World Team Trials, the Canada Cup and the Maccabiah Games were all held in these two months.  Once again, Quebec athletes rose to the challenge, taking home many medals from these two very buys months.

Team Quebec at the Francophone Games

August would prove to be a month to remember as the 50th Canada Games took place in Winnipeg Manitoba as well as the World Junior Championships in Tampere, Finland.  At the World Junior Championships, four Quebec athletes would compete and through some tough competition, Aly Barghout (9th) and Alex Moore (7th) managed to finish in the Top 10 as the only wrestlers in the Freestyle competition to win matches for Canada.  The Canada Games would begin at the end of the month of August.  Though this boys team had less National Medalists and the girls team didn’t fill all the weight classes, it was nevertheless a competition to remember.  Through three gruelling days, the Quebec Boys managed to pull off a Team Bronze Medal, the first in the history of the Canada Games and the girls, with no national medalists or Top 6 finishers were able to maintain their 8th place from the last Canada Games.  In addition to this, both teams managed a respectable medal haul with 3 Bronze Medals, 1 Silver Medal and a Gold Medal.  The end of the month would feature the Senior World Championships held in Paris France.  Three Quebec athletes would represent Canada with Linda Morais finishing a respectable 7th place overall.

Team Quebec at the Canada Games

The last couple of months would see the beginnings of the high school and university seasons with many Quebec athletes competing in a variety of tournaments as well as the a historic participation for a Canadian team at the prestigious Club World Cup in Iran.  Truth be told, 2017 was a very busy year for our Quebec athletes.  There were many highs and many lows and though we must always strive to better our results as a province, it cannot be argued that 2017 was a banner year for Quebec athletes and clubs.  I would also like to take time to thank the many people who have read the articles and my blog as the feedback that I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive.  Truth be told, it’s many more readers than I expected!  Best of luck to our Quebec athletes and clubs in the new year and here’s hoping that 2018 will be even better.