Monday February 27th 2017

With the GMAA and CIS seasons coming to an end and the Canadian Junior-Senior Nationals just around the corner, I felt myself contemplating a few things.  First, wrestling is a tough sport that much is obvious.  Second, more and more it seems that it’s becoming increasingly harder to recruit athletes to compete and stay in our sport.  Last but not least, the concept of process over results is a hard sell as more of our young athletes want to win sooner and at all costs.  With that being said, I found myself thinking back to my highschool team’s season.   Looking back at my team’s performance, I was very satisfied with their progression throughout the season.  Many of them achieved personal goals and learned a lot from their losses.  It became a constant challenge to be able to keep them motivated, particularily the athletes who had a steeper learning curve.  It will be interesting to see how all the schools do next year.

Erin Rainville of Heritage Regional High School

This year the GMAA was in a state of flux as teams that had been absent last year returned.  The league is always at its weakest after a public school strike which sees nearly all the teams affected rebuliding from scratch.  While the GMAA did offer up some good matches thoughout the season and at the finals, some of the more dominant athletes from the league did not do all that well at the Provincial Championships held this past weekend.  In years past, athletes from the GMAA would be pretty competitive at the Provincials.  This year it was clearly evident that the league has some rebuilding to do if it’s to field stronger athletes for the Provincials.

The Provincial Medal Winners at 63 kgs

Amine Bellal: Montreal YMHA/VMC Bronze, David Collins: Riverdale Wrestling Club Silver, Cesar Toma: CLIC Gold

Last but not least, some thoughts on how this relates to the CIS Championships.  The CIS for those who don’t know, is Canada’s premier University athletic competition and our version of the NCAA (though on a much smaller scale).  While the quality was still pretty good, it was becoming increasingly clear that some of the things that I observed at the GMAA were also present.  Some of the conversations I’ve had with coaches from other provinces show that some of the things that I’ve alluded to at the beginning of this blog are present in their younger athletes as well.  Could this be a generational thing or is it just something that is a phase and we’re currently in the lower part of this cycle?  While Quebec tries to build from solid performances at the various national championships last year, it is clear that while our results were good, we need to start buildiing from the ground up in order to keep our sport going strong in this province.

Vincent De Marinis captures Gold at the 2017 CIS Championships