OFSAA

Press Articles and Memories

OFSAA 2000 Reflections by Rory McDonell

PART 1

Head up! Keep your head up and drive off your toes!". It sounds simple enough, and there are other much more difficult feats in sports, but anyone who has tried will tell you that its tough enough; using your body as a weapon against someone else's. Testing the sum of your ability against another human being on an equal playing field. Tough enough that only a handful of people will even attempt it, and of those only a handful more who can actually do it.

Today Larry Jarowslawski is teaching a few young men (men who will be representing E.C. Drury at the OFSAA wrestling Championship in Woodstock) how to assault another person using only the tools of their bodies. Right now he is working on perfecting a double leg take down with Tom Gallinger, a tall evenly proportioned boy quick on his feet, who is currently attacking Chad Merritt; a well muscled natural wrestler. "Head up Tom!" Mooch (as Larry is affectionately known) shouts. He, Tom and Chad are working in the center of the famous Drury wrestling room. Sweaty wrestlers are struggling all around them, and Eye of the Tiger is blaring from the CD player in the comer. Mooch glances down at his stop watch "30 seconds" he yells "Go hard!" Tom manages to force his head out from under Chad's forearm, the veins on his arms and neck popping, and drives him hard down to the mat. "Times up!" The wrestlers go suddenly limp, untying from one another with an exhausted slowness. Tom rises carefully from the clash bleeding profusely from his nose. He gets a few curious glances but for the most part is ignored. On this team, this close to OFSAA there is little room for sympathy and even less for mercy. Tom jogs out to get some Kleenex to sop up the crimson mess. The fatigued crew of damp bleach blond (a symbol of their unity) grapplers minus Tom, make their way out of the wrestling room and down to the gym floor to run wind sprints, although a first time visitor might suppose they were on their way to bleed and vomit in peace.

There can be no peace for any of the seventeen athletes Drury is sending to Woodstock, only a frantic kind of energy which permeates the entire team. A non-stop intensity that stems from the knowledge of how good they can be. Their practices over the past weeks have been incredibly focused; hours long battle of mind over body. Everyone is there because they love it, and because they have no where in the world they would rather be. Their coach Mooch has been at Drury for ever. He has seen nearly everything in his career: the good, the bad, and more than his fair share of the ugly. He has created a team of unprecedented success, a perennial powerhouse which has won Haltons 9 times in the past decade, and which has won GHAC nearly as many times. An OFSAA Championship has always been a dream so sacred that it would be sacrilege to speak out loud... until this year that is. This is the year that Mooch's dynasty will reach its peak, with three of the seven graduating wrestlers favored to win OFSAA.

A few weeks ago Drury's full contingent of nearly 60 wrestlers once again absolutely destroyed the competition at both the Haltons, and GHAC; outscoring their opponents by more than 50 points. They won so convincingly in fact that a number of university wrestlers, and Drury alumni, had begun attending their practices; only adding to the intensity. As a result of the domination at GHAC, Drury is strong from top to bottom, and is even two men deep in some weight classes. On paper Drury looks unstoppable, they have the most talent, and the most depth, and by far the most desire of any team in Ontario. The actual physical representation of the teams desire has to be Graham Carroll. Standing 5'9 and weighing in at an off season 125 lbs., Graham has always been considered somewhat skinny. This season however he wanted to be part of the team he knew would win OFSAA so badly, he sacrificed, busted his ass, and did everything humanly possible to cut down to 104.5 lbs. where he stood the best chance of qualifying. It's funny because almost anyone on the team would have been willing to sacrifice like he did, but Carroll was the one who had to do it.

If Graham represents the teams desire, than big John McCart represents its intensity. The 209 lber is also the head captain, and every single person on the team measures there work ethic against his. He will grind himself and everyone on the team into nervous exhaustion every chance he gets. >Carroll is currently running his wind sprints in a rubber sweat suit, two laps behind McCart. Graham looks awful but no one is willing to make him stop, and he would never quit on his own. >At the end of practice Mooch calls the nearly catatonic squad to the pool for some quiet reflection and focus. This aspect of training is what makes Drury so mentally tough, and so able to overcome adversity. "I want you to sit back and relax..." begins Mooch's visualization tape. It uses a series of verbal cues to guide an individual through a mental workout. It has been accepted gratefully by the team.

Late at night after the lights are out a few people on the team are laying awake in their beds at home. Maybe they're on their backs looking at the ceiling, or sitting cross-legged with their chin on their hands. Or maybe they're fooling themselves pretending to be asleep, either way they're all alone with their thoughts for the first time that day. For some it is a time when unspoken fears, and deep doubts surface. When the negative thoughts they buried deep within themselves return whole to make them afraid. For others it is a time in which to dream of glory, of winning. To dream of being the champion. For others still it is a time to wonder at the brotherhood that exists between them. The unbreakable bond that some say is merely a clique like any other, but which those on the team believe is a devotion that develops through a shared suffering, or a shared triumph. With OFSAA only a few days away Drury is prepared for anything. Victory, or defeat will take care of it self, because despite everything they know that they did all things humanly possible to get ready.

PART 2

A week later Drury's seventeen warriors are sitting in a van, rumbling down a road in the middle of nowhere. The blinding early morning sunlight is streaming in through the windows, but despite the sun's brightness it offers no warmth, it is an indecently cold day. The two back seats of the van have been removed, so the wrestlers are seated in a rough circle. They are on their way to the Optimist Center for the first day of OFSAA 2000 wrestling. Graham Carroll is looking morosely out the window. He is in his dress clothes. He will not be competing because he was not able to hold his weight for the three weeks between Haltons and OFSAA. It wasn't his will power that gave up; it was his body. Everyone understands this, and are sympathetic, but he is still down on himself. Drury's entry has now been reduced to 16 competitors. The rookies, Devries, Wilson, and Baron, normally loud and annoying, are subdued, though an occasional giggle can still be heard. Rory , Drury's entrant at 134 lbs. is sitting quietly by the window, trying to untie the knot in his stomach. Chicklet who weighed in at 127 lbs. has his hands folded in his lap and is starring at them. He has been plagued by injuries in the past and in order to achieve his full potential he must overcome the pain. Homer had a big cut to make 112 lbs. and is leaning back looking at the ceiling, wincing occasionally when a particularly bad hunger pang strikes him. He looks upset because his face is sucked in, and his eyes are sunk back into his head. Burnham, the other 127 lbs. has been known to come up big in the past. He currently has his headphones in, and is frowning at the back of Mooch's head. Chad and Tom are speaking quietly. Everyone is deep down within themselves, using the ten minute drive to focus on the task at hand. This is the last time anyone will get a quiet chance to concentrate. Wrestling tournaments are madhouses. Constant noise, heat, sweating bodies giving off supernatural BO. It is all quite distracting. Nonetheless it is time to forget everything negative, to forget what is on the line, and especially forget the glory they've been dreaming of because nothing will make you fall faster than your own ego (it makes you top heavy). They must arrive at the point where it is possible to do what needs to get done, and nothing more.

The optimist center is a squat grey building situated on the crest of a hill. As the van draws closer, conversation peters out. The van speakers are all playing Bryan Adams "We're gonna win". The van pulls up in front of the entrance, and Mooch hops out, throwing an unceremonious "Let's go" back over his shoulder. Nervous as some of them may be, the entire contingent struts into the arena as though they own it. They commandeer a large area of the stands in the corner closest to the exit. The other competitors throw the squad nervous glances. It has been widely publicized that Drury is the favorite. It is clear to everybody that Drury is here to win.

The sixteen wrestlers make their way down to the mat, with the four captains, John, Chad, Heffron, and Tom, leading the way. They are all clad in identical deep green sweaters with Drury Wrestling emblazoned across the front in gold letters, this coupled with their blond hair makes a unified team. As they cross the threshold between the stands and the mats a few of the boys hesitate for a moment, as if acknowledging their destiny. It is no exaggeration to describe this moment as destiny. Everyone, not just Drury fans, behaved with an unspoken admission to the inevitability of the outcome of this tournament. As they weave in and out of the pairs of entangled wrestlers the looks of nervous apprehension from other schools become more blatant. They warm-up and stretch in unison. A call to clear the mats is sent out over the loud speakers. Drury returns to their seats and waits for the first match.

They go down to the coral as their numbers are called. The coral is a pen through which everyone must pass to reach the mat surface. The two wrestlers in a match together are called and led to the nearest vacant mat by a runner. The first batch of wrestlers is called down. Chad's name is called. Not even glancing at his opponent he follows the runner to the center mat. As soon as the previous match is finished he steps out on to the mat, shaking the tenseness out of his legs, and strips off his shirt reveling the golden singlet underneath. He rolls his neck first right, then left, while bouncing up and down to keep his blood flowing to his extremities. The ref. comes over and checks him for sweat, shakes his hand and wishes him good luck. He repeats the ritual for Chad's opponent. They are instructed to shake hands and they do, looking at each other for the first time. Chad sees everything with an unnatural clarity. He simultaneously observes a single bead of sweat rolling down the face of the boy opposite him, the white tape his rival has used on his laces, his red singlet, the glare of the overhead fluorescent lights causing his skin to gleam a sickly orange. Chad and all the Drury wrestler's have been trained as merciless savages, ready to tear their victims to shreds, convincing them through pain, that they don't really want it all that badly. Chad crouches into his stance waiting for the whistle that will begin the match. Time slows to a crawl. He is focused on the task with every part of his being. He has trained relentlessly for this moment, he has tortured his mind and body to the point of collapse, so he would be strong. He is eager to begin.

After an eternity the shrill blast of the whistle begins the match. They circle each other slowly, searching for a weakness, a hole in defense that will create an opportunity. Chad has very few, his competitor has many. As they circle the boy reaches for Chad with his arm. Chad rips it off his head and takes control of it, using it to manipulate him, turning him this way and that before flashing under him into a double leg. Chad lifts the wrestler on his shoulder then spins him around quickly and slams him hard into the mat. The unfortunate boy has very little control over his own body, and so lands awkwardly. He makes an instinctive effort to get to his stomach before he realizes he is really hurt and folds up. The ref. gives Chad three, and then an extra one, for holding his back exposed for five seconds. The boy is white-faced, clearly in pain. He is not able to struggle so Chad pins him easily. Chad leaves the boy writhing in agony on the mat, and returns to the center. The medics rush over with their first aid kits while Chad's arm is being raised. It is several minutes before the boy is able to rise, and limp off the mat with his arms around his coaches.

Chad's outstanding effort is a perfect illustration of his teams dominance. His victory is duplicated time, and time again. Everyone on the team experiences moments of personal glory. Not everyone can win though. Their are a few disappointments, some more keenly felt then others, and one by one Drury's sixteen is reduced to a select five that reach the finals. Chad and Mike are in for gold, John for bronze, and Burnham and Petherick are in for 5th. Five hard fought battles are fought. Drury ends up with two golds, a bronze, a fifth and a sixth. An incredible achievement considering Drury has only ever produced one OFSAA champ; Colin Widdis. Now the waiting game. The final points of every team must be tabulated, then a winner will be declared.

An hour later Drury's crew of seventeen is standing in the far corner of the auditorium. The announcer has just given the sixth , fifth, fourth, and third, place team standings. Everyone of the seventeen are silent. Homer is looking off into space. Rory appears to be praying. Little Robbie Petherick concentrates, head back and eyes closed; he looks like a baby bird waiting to be fed. The announcers voice comes over the loud speaker "In second place with 120 pt..." The pause seeming to last forever "Brampton Centennial".

The fans go into hysterics; everyone on the team goes into hysterics; even Mooch and Simon go into hysterics. The Drury boys surround Mooch, and Simon, and pummel them, and each other in joyful triumph. They have held on to win their tournament. At this moment they are cheering each other and everything else will just have to wait. Then they break for the podium to accept their reward, and the world begins to turn in its ordinary course once again. It is all over; E.C. Drury has won. They are the 2000 OFSAA Wrestling Champions.

Download the 2000 OFSAA Memories Part 1 and Part 2 (PDF)

OFSAA 2001 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): March 9, 2001

Spartan buck the odds to retain OFSAA title By Steve LeBlanc

Against all odds.

That's exactly how E.C. Drury High's perennial powerhouse wrestling team remained atop the provincial pecking order last weekend at Guelph Memorial Gardens.

The Spartans' 2001 OFSAA contingent was only half the size of last year and none of its members had ever medaled before - so it's not too surprising that their chances for a successful title defense were written off by many experts.

But Larry Jaroslawski's spirited squad refused to accept this anticipated fall and fashioned a championship sequel that was in fact more decisive than the original.

Top 12 finishers were delivered by all eight grapplers - who collectively out-gunned Hagersville 169-145. Taking third place was Port Credit.

"The first championship is always the most exciting, but this one is much more satisfying because we weren't expected to win," said Jaroslawski, whose team failed to take this year's Halton/GHAC crown but came away with the bigger prize instead. "We went in with half the numbers and not exactly a star-studded lineup. But we beat the odds because these guys really wanted it. There's no other reason."

Holmes grabs gold

Drury's OFSAA repeat was led by a gold medal performance from senior co-captain Chris Holmes. The 54-kilogram wrestler became just the fourth individual OFSAA champ in the school's history -joining Mike Devries, Chad Merritt and Colin Widdis - with a handful of victories.

Following a slim semifinal decision over Korah's Tim Day, Holmes put the finishing touches on his title run by shading St. Pats' Greg Blois 4-2.

"I threw him early in the match and just held on (for the win)," he said. "I was more focused this year. I medaled at the nationals last spring and that boosted my confidence and took me to the next level. I'm very happy with this, it's always been my dream to win OFSAA."

Co-captain Sean Burnham also wrapped up his high school career in medal-winning fashion - securing silver in the 57.5 kg. division.

Becoming just the eighth Spartan to ever reach the finals - after an 11-7 win over former champion Rob Stone that was unsuccessfully protested - he was defeated 7-3 by Resurrection's Mitch Sanche.

Before that, the graduating wrestler collected three straight close-fought victories.

Said Burnham, "I think it was just the motivation of this being my last year that really pushed me. I wanted to place as high as possible."

Weight class teammate Andy Wadeson - who according to Jaroslawski symbolized Drury's determination last weekend - finished fourth with a gutsy uphill climb after dropping a close second-round match.

The OFSAA veteran rallied with five straight wins including a thrilling overtime decision against Stone. While his bid for bronze fell one point short against Parkside's Scott Dionne, Wadeson earned the distinction of being the only Spartan to record three topsix finishes at OFSAA.

Also finishing fourth was Rory McDonell. The 64 kg. wrestler reached the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Sean Roulston of Brennan.

He rebounded by soundly defeating GHAC rival Tosh Jeffrey of Bishop Ryan 10-0.

In the bronze medal final, McDonell led through the early going but slipped while attempting to pad his lead and got caught in an unfortunate pin.

Drury's Baxter brothers - Matt and Adam, both first time OFSAA qualifiers delivered dynamite debuts with fourth and fifth-place efforts respectively.

Matt highlighted his weekend with an overtime win against Hagersville's Ryan Dutcher in the semifinals before losing a threepoint decision to Nick Tritton of Perth in the bronze medal match.

Adam came agonizingly close to earning a trip to the gold medal round, surrendering a lead with just one second remaining to Amherst's Pat Ferrar. He recovered in fine form to blank Ancaster's Jimmy Feng 10-0 in the fifth-place match.

Rounding out the championship squad with top- 12 finishes were Rob Petherick and Matt Knock - a sophomore grappler who'll no doubt be a future building block for Drury.

E.C. Drury's consecutive championships follow back-to-back silver medal performances in 1998 and 1999.

OFSAA 2002 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): March 8th 2002

Spartan wrestlers three-peat at OFSAA By Steve LeBlanc

Drury becomes only the second school to win three straight years

Just call them the team for the new millennium.

In 2000, E.C. Drury reached the top of the high school wrestling mountain by finally winning OFSAA.

Since then, Larry Jaroslawski's Spartans have simply refused to relinquish their championship -- engineering back-toback title defenses to become only the second school in the 42-year history of OFSAA to pull off the coveted three-peat.

Drury joined founding member Chinguacousy in that illustrious group last weekend in Thunder Bay.

With at least half-a-dozen opposing teams threatening to end their dynasty, the local grapplers delivered a flawless 10-0 opening-round performance and went on to outdistance Port Credit 146-14 1.

"We were outstanding early in the tournament, far above any other school," recalled Jaroslawski, whose combatants' northern excursion was made possible by a huge financial boost from the school community. "Overall, our guys achieved as high as could be expected. We didn't lose a match that we should have won."

Drury had more depth

While Port Credit secured the two gold medals they were favoured to win - in the lightest weight divisions - the defending champs led in the overall medal count and placed seven of their 10 wrestlers in the top eight.

This allowed the Spartans to squeak by in a final round that saw the lead change hands several times before it was all over.

Drury's OFSAA triumph was led by 57.5-kilogram silver-medalist Matt Knock. The provincial returnee ran roughshod over his pre-finals competition - who were collectively whitewashed in four straight matches - but had little left at the end and lost by decision to pre-tournament

favourite Adam Harada of Sarnia.

Rounding out the school's individual medal haul were Baxter brothers Adam and Matt, who were within striking distance last year with fourth and fifth-place showings.

This time around, Matt went 6-1 with a pin - losing only to the gold-medal favourite in the quarterfinals - while the only blemish to Adam's 5-I performance came in the semifinals versus former provincial winner Chris Prickett.

Exciting finishes

Each sibling secured narrow wins in their bronze-medal matches - Matt's a 50 shutout over Thunder Bay's Steve Flank and Adam's a 11-8 barn burner over last year's bronze medalist Scott Dione of St. Thomas Parkside.

These back-to-back wins - in the 64 and 61 kg. divisions respectively - helped set the stage for the team victory. Port Credit then lost its final match moments later and the title was E.C.'s.

Said Jaroslawski, "It's gotten to the point that we expect to win. It's been an evolution that way (in team confidence)."

Taking top-six finishes in their first trip to OFSAA were Jesse Ronan and Tyler Saliba - who took fifth and sixth in the 54 and 77 kg. classes respectively.

Graduate Chris Guard (72 kg.) and rookie Gary Ferrier (57.5 kg.) both cracked the top eight.

Ferrier was denied a berth to the finals by former Drury OFSAA champ Mike Devries, who moved to Stouffville two years ago.

Rounding out the team and winning key matches early on that contributed to overall success were Jason Landry, Rob Petherick and Adam Smith. Assisting Jaroslawski once again was coach Simon Vanellis.

Drury's three straight championships follow back-to-back silver-medal performances in 1998 and 1999.

OFSAA 2003 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): March 14th 2003

Spartan wrestlers deliver coveted OFSAA four-peat By Steve LeBlanc


E.C. Drury's provincial wrestling dynasty continues - and at this point will likely never be matched.

Heading into last week's OFSAA championships in Sarnia, Larry Jaroslawski's Spartans were looking to make high school history as the first school to ever win four team titles in a row.

That bid was threatened through the early going, but the defending champs rallied from their sub-par start to pull off the until now elusive four-peat.

Drury grapplers won 10 of I I second-round matches and used that as a springboard to another title repeat - winning by five points for a second straight year, this time edging Hamilton's Bishop Ryan 120-115.

"The record-setting win was the most draining yet rewarding title since the first one in 2000," said an emotionally-drained Jaroslawski Wednesday night, shortly after his Spartans clinched top honours. "None of the other teams had to endure as many close defeats, bad draws and protested matches - as well as a costly seeding error. But the team just kept bouncing back, refusing to throw in the towel.

"Setting the four-peat record is not only a thrilling accomplishment, but a very rewarding one as it can be shared by several generations of Drury wrestlers."

Jesse Ronan led this year's charge with a silvermedal effort in the 54-kilogram division - with his bid for gold finally quelled by defending OFSAA champ Frank Mensah of Bramalea. Before that, the provincial veteran coasted to two preliminary round victories, scored a close quarterfinal decision and then upstaged one of the medal favourites 14-13 in a heartstopping semifinal showdown.

Equally impressive was 61-kg. grappler Matt Knock - who secured his second OFSAA medal in as many appearances by capturing bronze. In what was widely regarded as the most inspiring performance of the tournament, he rebounded from a quarterfinal loss with three consecutive victories - capping the run with a pay-back win over the opponent who knocked him out of the gold-medal picture in the battle for bronze. Remarked Jaroslawski, "Knock's gutsy victory epitomized the character of the entire team."

These medal-winning efforts highlighted a rollercoaster day in which Drury dropped to as low as fourth in the team standings before finally returning themselves to the top of the provincial pecking order.

Helping fuel the championship drive with fifth-place performances were a trio of Spartans.

Tenth grader Gary Ferrier (57.5 kg.) avenged last year's loss to former Spartan Mike Devries in the fifthplace clash after coming with a heartbeat of upsetting the number one seed in quarterfinal competition.

First-time OFSAA participant Kevin Tyrer collected five wins in the 72-kg. class to finish fifth and start his team on its championship march, while Rob Petherick (64 kg.) ended his high school career with an identical placing - cracking the top six for the second time.

A five-time OFSAA qualifier, Petherick also has the distinction of being the only member of all four goldmedal teams.

Aiding the title win with unexpectedly-strong efforts were rookie lightweights Blake Hillier and Alan Moffat, who placed seventh and appeared to have the eventual bronze medalist in sure pin that was never counted by the official. He went on to lose that match, thus being denied a trip to the medal round.

Ben Beech, Jordan Lumb and Chris Flannigan all scored wins and had a hand in the team victory, while rounding out the squad were Eric Freeze and Greg Foster. Assisting Jaroslawski was Simon Vanellis.

OFSAA 2004 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Drury pulls off its drive for five By: Steve LeBlanc

Ronan's golden win prolongs OFSAA dynasty

The championship beat goes on -- and on, and on...

Refusing to be unseated atop Ontario's high school pecking order, E.C. Drury's perennial powerhouse wrestlers captured an unprecedented fifth straight OFSAA title last week at the University of Windsor.

Although leading the three-day showcase from start to finish, the Spartans' drive for five wasn't solidified until their very last match late Wednesday afternoon -- when fifth-year veteran Jesse Ronan blanked Brantford's Andrew Townsend 10-0 for 57.5-kilogram gold.

This cemented a 166-157 victory over chief rival Hagersville.

"I turned him twice in the first 30 seconds and was pretty much in control the whole way," recalled Ronan, who had a stiff second-round challenge from a Sudbury grappler but was otherwise dominant the entire trip to justify his top individual ranking. "It felt awesome (to strike gold). It's what I'd been aiming for for five years."

While Ronan's gold-medal win offered drama from an overall standings perspective, it was teammate Gary Ferrier who delivered arguably the most exciting championship match of the day.

The 61 kg. 11th grader overcame three separate deficits against number one seed Chris Webb of Essex and executed a double-leg takedown with just six seconds left to prevail 12-9.

The comeback victory kept him unbeaten this season.

"It was definitely nerve-wracking, up and down the whole way," said Ferrier, who up until the finals had a measly two points scored against him. "I'd beaten him (Webb) at home earlier this year, so I was pretty confident I could do so again. Winning OFSAA gold felt great."

While Ferrier and Ronan led the championship drive -- tying a record for most individual gold medals in a single season -- Drury needed a total team effort to prolong its dynasty.

The Spartans set a new school standard for most top-six finishes in a year with seven. Among those doing so was graduating senior Matt Knock, who after a heart-breaking first round loss rebounded with eight consecutive wins to secure bronze in the 64 kg. division.

This marked his third straight OFSAA medal -- also a Drury record.

"I've never seen anyone rally like that," said head coach Larry Jaroslawski. "Usually it (a first-round loss) takes the wind right out of you. It's a long road back to bronze, but Matt did it."

Kevin Tyrer had to do some battling back of his own after dropping a semifinal match that took him out of gold-medal contention. Ending his career in gutsy fashion, the Spartan captain delivered a commanding victory for his second fifth-place finish.

Explained Jaroslawski, "Kevin's semifinal loss really let the air out of the tire for the team, but he and some other guys really scrapped their way into the top six. It was probably the best team effort we've ever had at OFSAA."

Mac Fillman, Blake Hillier and Kevin Iwasa-Madge each placed sixth, while cracking the top-eight were Carl Chan, Allan Moffat and freshman Nick Ronan -- who's laid the groundwork for what should be a championship-rich high school career.

Colin Burnham reached the top-12, while also part of Drury's latest OFSAA conquest were Joey Arsenault and Peter Leaman.

Nine Spartans will now turn their attention to next week's Ontario Winter Games in London, while about a half-a-dozen local wrestlers will compete at next month's nationals in Windsor.

OFSAA 2005 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Rejuvenated Ferrier golden once again By: Steve LeBlanc

Wins second straight OFSAA title to lead EC wrestlers to team silver

The Spartans' championship dynasty may be over, but their record-breaking ways live on.

Finally de-throned by fellow powerhouse Hagersville after an unprecedented five straight OFSAA team titles, E.C. Drury's wrestlers had to settle for silver this time around at the Brampton Centre for Sports and Entertainment.

But second-place honours weren't exactly tough to take.

For one, the Spartans headed into OFSAA with a smaller contingent and were never really favoured to win again. And two, their collective silver set a new record for consecutive team medals -- eclipsing the old mark of seven they'd shared with Hamilton's Bishop Ryan.

"No gold this year, but I can't be any more satisfied with the end results," said head coach Larry Jaroslawski after an adversity-rich tournament that included him being presented a leadership in sports award from OFSAA.

Drury capped the roller-coaster ride by taking four of five matches in the finals Friday to edge Monsignor Doyle of Kitchener by three points.

The biggest of those victories belonged to Gary Ferrier, who upstaged a previously unbeaten Kyle Bershantsky of Sarnia with a 12-2 superiority decision to punctuate a 5-0 run and become the Spartans' first two-time OFSAA champ.

The win was all the more sweet given that the 64-kg. grappler had been struggling this year and last month failed to medal at provincials for the first time in his career.

"It feels great. This was my best tournament of the season and fortunately it happened to come at the perfect time," remarked a jubilant and physically-drained Ferrier, just moments after his golden triumph.

Jaroslawski said a return to his bread-and-butter leg attacks and move up to the 64-kg. ranks combined to bring Ferrier back to top form.

"Gary's back to using his speed, and when he just keeps shooting nobody can stop him."

Employing his trademark all-out approach to the mat, Ferrier grabbed an early lead in the finals and put things away near the end of the first round -- scoring about a handful of takedowns along the way.

Drury may well have made it a clean sweep in the finals had it not been for a scoring miscue that inadvertantly gave Kevin Iwasa-Madge's early points to competitor Derek Anderson of Central Elgin in one of two battles for bronze.

The Spartans' 51-kg. OFSAA returnee wound up getting pinned with just 11 seconds remaining, but as Jaroslawski points out, the early error "completely changed the way he wrestled the rest of the way."

Moments later, Alan Moffat would give Drury its first of two individual medals of the day, finishing an impressive 7-1 campaign by blanking Ajax's Trent Boughner 2-0 for 57.5 kg. bronze.

"This is great, it was definitely my toughest match all year," he said afterwards.

When asked if Moffat had been expected to medal in what's considered a particularly tough decision, assistant coach Simon Vanellis explained, "We knew he could, but he's definitely turned it up in the past month, put it that way."

Peter Leaman (72 kg.) and Kyle Shermet (77 kg.) would cement the Spartans' silver-medal finish with wins in fifth-place competition in the early evening Friday, with OFSAA rookie Shermet's 6-2 decision over Scott Moore of St. Matthews locking up second place.

Leaman looked poised to reach the gold-medal round until a controversial match against eventual champ Ryan McCracken of Kenner ended in an overtime loss in the semifinals.

Also placing in the top 12 with 3-2 records were Nick Ronan and Carl Chan, whose title hopes were dashed with the buzzer sounding just as he was about to tie the score in a 2-1 heartbreaker.

Chris Flanigan, Ranbir Hans and Steven Adams rounded out the record-setting squad.

The Spartans now head overseas, first for a meet in Germany later this week and then for two tournaments in Namibia, Africa over the March break.

Leaman, Shermet, Ronan and Iwasa-Madge will then represent Milton at the nationals in St. John's, Newfoundland next month.

OFSAA 2006 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Spartans reclaim OFSAA championship By: Steve LeBlanc

Moffat, Shermet golden as Drury wrestles team title back from Hagersville

Back on top. Re-establishing themselves as the premier wrestling contingent in the province, the E.C. Drury Spartans took back the OFSAA team title in Sarnia Thursday afternoon -- securing it for a sixth time in seven years with an overall 131-119 decision over defending champion Hagersville.

While that point differential was wider than Drury's previous three victories, head coach Larry Jaroslawski -- Ontario's most accomplished high school wrestling instructor -- said this year's win was arguably the most hard-fought since the dynasty began in 2000.

"We won it with our depth and by everyone looking after their own business and not worrying about things out of their control," remarked Jaroslawski, whose Spartans have now captured nine consecutive team medals -- two more than any other school in OFSAA history.

With two-time champion Gary Ferrier losing in the semifinals and fellow medal hopeful Kevin Iwasa-Madge missing a trip to the top six, it looked as though Jaroslawski's troops would have to once again play second fiddle to Hagersville.

But Drury eventually outdistanced its chief rivals with three out of four wins in the finals -- including gold-medal triumphs by Alan Moffat and Kyle Shermet. The OFSAA veterans each went 5-0 over the three-day provincial meet and reached the top of the podium with tough title wins.

Upgrading last year's bronze, 17-year-old Moffat scored two pins and a couple of superiority victories to make it to the 57.5-kilogram finals -- then upstaged Thorold's Adam Bartlett with one of his trademark clutch performances.

"I got behind him with about 20 seconds left and forced him out of bounds for the last point," recalled the 12th grader, who'd only surrendered two points en route to the gold-medal showdown and battled hard to avoid a seemingly-certain pin to Bartlett in round one. "It was a back-and-forth match and it was pretty amazing to win and secure the gold. That's been my goal for four years and to finally achieve it feels great. I was really focused this year and that was the big difference."

Having a more difficult time on the way to gold, 18-year-old Shermet had to rally from first-round losses in his first two matches. He'd then employ some superb defence to blank both his quarterfinal and semifinal opponents before edging Jamie Buck of Ottawa 1-0, 3-2 for top spot among the 83-kg. combatants.

"I shot in to grab the first point and basically just wrestled smart the rest of the way," said the fifth-year Spartan.

Shermet's gold-medal win represented the biggest improvement for any of Drury's OFSAA returnees -- since he'd finished fifth last year in Brampton.

But his championship victory was hardly a shocker, not after some sensational efforts leading up to OFSAA.

"The expectations were kind of high since I'd been wrestling well lately. I'm pretty euphoric about this (OFSAA win), but at the same time I'm not sure it's completely sunk in yet."

Rounding out the Spartans' individual medal haul was rookie Bobby Fillman, who with poise and technical proficiency beyond his years took bronze in the 41-kg. division.

Rebounding from a narrow defeat in the quarterfinals, the Spartan youngster reeled off four straight wins -- including a pin-fall over Port Credit's Kevin Gibson in the battle for bronze. That gave him his 11th medal of the season and made him only the second Drury freshman to ever reach the OFSAA podium.

While Ferrier's fourth-place showing was no doubt disappointing for the two-time gold medalist, the fifth-year wrestler holds the distinction of being the only Spartan to finish top-six at OFSAA four years in a row.

Iwasa-Madge and sophomore Blake Elliot cracked the top eight. Iwasa-Madge lost a close three-round decision to eventual champion Tommy Carroll of Heart Lake after two early wins, while Elliot's 4-2 showing was a pleasant surprise for Drury and bodes well for his future.

Placing top-12 were Mac Fillman and Chris Flannigan. Drury's OFSAA squad also included J.D. Davies, Matt Ganpat, Ranbir Hans, Matt Mantin and Jared Robb.

OFSAA 2007 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Drury denied OFSAA title repeat by one point By: Steve LeBlanc

Moffat, Iwasa-Madge fuel E.C. with gold-medal efforts

The provincial high school wrestling championships turned into a waiting game for the E.C. Drury Spartans.

It proved to be worth the wait for Alan Moffat and Kevin Iwasa-Madge, who briefly had the announcement of gold-medal victories held up by protests. For the team, some confusion in team scoring results delayed the results and when all was said and done, the Spartans were narrowly denied a second straight Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) boys championship -- and their seventh in eight years -- by a single point at the Brampton Powerade Centre Friday. Still, Drury earned a 10th consecutive team medal by taking the silver.

Moffat won his second straight OFSAA gold despite moving up a weight class into the highly competitive 61 kg division. He defeated the class' reigning champ, Guelph Centennial's Cody Airdrie, in a close match.

Airdrie and Moffat, both members of the Ontario Under-18 team that competed at the Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships in Scotland last July, had squared off three times this season with Airdrie holding a 2-1 edge. Airdrie had lost just once all season -- to Moffat in the final of the Ontario junior championship -- and many considered him the best wrestler in any class.

"Moffat (winning) didn't surprise me, but it did most people in the building," said Drury coach Larry Jaroslawski. "A lot of people said (Moffat's win) was a fluke at junior, especially after Cody beat him in the Lourdes tournament a couple of weeks ago."

Moffat didn't wrestle Airdrie the way he intended to at OFSAA in their most recent match, not wanting to tip his hand. It worked, as he continued to deliver in the big matches.

Moffat said patience is the key when wrestling Airdrie.

"All you can do is try to shut him out until the end and then score at the right moment," he said.

That's exactly what he did. When round one ended without a point, Airdrie won the coin toss, giving him the advantage for overtime, but Moffat held him off to take the opener. (Airdrie's corner contended their wrestler scored a point but later withdrew the protest after a clarification).

In the second round, Airdrie struck first, forcing Moffat out of bounds. But with time winding down, the grade 12 Drury student forced Airdrie out to tie the match and took the round for having scored the last point. It clinched his third straight OFSAA medal -- having claimed bronze in 2005 before his back-to-back golds.

It was the fifth straight victory of the tournament for Moffat, although it was far from easy. In the second round, he needed a last-second point to win the opening round against Riverside's Justin Kinisch before taking the second round 3-0. In the semifinals he defeated another Commonwealth teammate, Ryan Lue of Central Elgin, 1-0 in overtime and then 1-0 on another last-second point.

Iwasa-Madge took a different route to OFSAA gold than Moffat. While Moffat faced his biggest challenges this year, Iwasa-Madge's obstacles were in the past. At last year's OFSAA tournament, he was a medal contender but lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion in a match Jaroslawski described as a war.

"Mentally, he didn't recover from that," Jaroslawski said. "He knew he was so close (to the gold medalist) but having to go around the long way, he got eliminated and didn't make finals."

This time around, Iwasa-Madge left no doubt. He had only lost once this year heading into OFSAA and continued to dominate in his first three matches to reach the semis, where he defeated Newtonbrook's Cruiz Manning 8-1, 4-1.

The finals against St. Catharines' Nathan Lunn would prove to be his first real test. After a scoreless first round, they went to overtime. Although Lunn got the advantage on the coin toss it was Iwasa-Madge who scored first on a reversal, though a quick scoring counter by Lunn left some doubt as to who scored first. "I was probably a little too cautious in the first round," Iwasa-Madge said. "I knew he was a counter wrestler and he'd try to shut me down."

He wouldn't make that mistake in the second round, winning 4-0 to capture his long-awaited medal.

"I've been waiting two years," he said. "This time I knew I could do it."

Still, there would be some tense moments for Iwasa- Madge, as a video review by officials was needed to confirm the first-round victory. When he finally got word that the gold was his, it took some time to sink in.

"When they told me I had won, I was kind of shocked. I didn't know whether to believe it or not."

Perhaps hard to believe was the margin by which Drury missed another OFSAA team title. Smiths Falls edged Drury 129-128. "We can't be too disappointed because we wrestled beyond our expectations," Jaroslawski said.

Drury's performance was bolstered by six finalists. Duncan Moffat (54 kg), Bobby Fillman (47.5 kg) and Nick Ronan (64 kg) finished fifth, while Mac Fillman (61 kg) was sixth.

A bronze-medalist last year, Bobby Fillman was seeded second, but was hurt by a first-round bye. That gave him a tough opponent in North Park's Shane Mudford, who would finish fourth, for his first match. The Grade 10 student lost a three-round match in overtime and battled his way back into medal contention with four straight victories. But he again met Mudford, who won to advance to the bronze medal match.

Jaroslawski said Mac Fillman, wrestling up one division, and Nick Ronan both came through with some late come-from-behind victories and both turned in their best tournaments of the year. Duncan Moffat, a grade 10 student, reached the final in a class that was dominated by senior wrestlers.

Jared Robb went 3-2 in the 77 kg division while Chris Flanigan was 2-2 in the 64 kg. Michael McLelland (47.5 kg) won one match before being eliminated by teammate Bobby Fillman.

OFSAA 2008 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Another silver lining for EC wrestlers By: Steve LeBlanc

It was a record-setting performance for E.C. Drury's wrestling team in Caledonia Friday.

While being edged out of the OFSAA team title for a second straight year, the Spartans captured four individual medals and had three representatives in the gold medal round -- the most in their illustrious history.

And if not for an injury to provincial juvenile champ Jared Robb, who battled through an ill-timed shoulder separation to take fifth, Drury may well have claimed the overall title.

Instead, they finished a heartbreaking four points back of Thunder Bay's St. Ignatius, who out-numbered the perennial contenders 14-8.

Leading EC to an unprecedented 11th straight OFSAA team medal with golden performances were graduating co-captain Kevin Iwasa-Madge and 11th grader Bobby Fillman.

PERFECT SEASON FOR IWASA-MADGE

Setting the bar awfully high for himself with just one loss last year on the way to his first OFSAA triumph, 18-year-old Iwasa-Madge punctuated a perfect high school season with five straight wins in the 61-kilogram division.

The University of Guelph-bound grappler's only legitimate challenge of the tournament came in the semifinals, where he had to fight out of a near fall to dispose of Ottawa's Ilya Ablev in two rounds.

From there he became just the third back-to-back OFSAA champion in Drury history with a 6-0, 6-0 whitewash of Justin Kinish of Sarnia's Riverside -- his fourth technical superiority win of the meet.

"He (Kinish) was a surprise finalist and the clear underdog, so my coach said if I came out fast and scored early he'd probably break, and that's pretty much what happened," said the division's number one seed and eventual champ, who moved into top spot on the school's all-time career win list with 262.

While 2006/07 served as his breakout season, the highly-decorated wrestler seemed every bit as pleased -- if not more so -- with this year's efforts.

"I think I've improved in just about everything. I was more confident this year and definitely had more fun. Last year I was really tense."

One of few Spartans to every claim gold before his senior year, 16-year-old Fillman provided the team's biggest individual upgrade from 2007 -- when he placed fifth after taking a bronze as a rookie. Seeded fourth, the 51kg. competitor also went 5-0 in Caledonia -- although his title run wasn't quite so dominating.

He needed three rounds to win his final two matches, the latter against defending champ Kyle Smith of Smith Falls, who'd beaten him earlier this season.

After dropping the opening round 7-4, Fillman managed to force a tiebreaker, where with 20 seconds remaining -- and down 3-1 -- he scored a pair of two-point moves to deliver one of Drury's most exciting title victories ever.

"It felt great," said Fillman, whose championship drive included two superiority wins. "I think being the underdog in the finals actually worked in my favour. I really didn't feel much pressure."

Losing both flips for overtime, Duncan Moffat fell heartbreakingly short of giving the Spartans a third individual gold -- losing to Newtonbrook's Cruiz Manning in the 57.5kg. final after battling to a couple of scoreless stalemates.

His silver-medal showing was also a significant improvement after taking fifth last year.

Matching the third-place effort he turned in recently at the Ontario juvenile championships, Ranhir Hans rounded out Drury's medal haul with 47.5kg. bronze. Playing giant killer en route to medaling, he knocked off the top two seeds -- including last-year's silver medalist in the battle for third.

Finishing off a gritty tournament with a 3-0, 4-0 decision to claim fifth, Robb gave Drury its fourth win in five finals matches.

Graduating co-captain Mac Fillman went 2-2 to join an elite group of Spartans who finished top-12 four years in a row, while completing the local contingent were Blair Norland and rookie Jeff Sinclair.

This marked championship architect Larry Jaroslawski's final year as head coach of the team, although he'll still be around to help out successors Simon Vanellis and James Crowe.

OFSAA 2009 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): Tuesday, March 9, 2009

Spartans shine again

On the strength of three individual medal-winning performances, E.C. Drury's perennial powerhouse wrestling team claimed overall bronze at OFSAA Friday evening.

Graduating seniors Ranbir Hans (47.5 kg) and Jared Robb (83 kg) ended their high school careers with gold, while Duncan Moffat (57.5 kg) pulled off a dramatic victory in the battle for bronze — delivering a three-point reverse flip in the tiebreaking round.

James Ponton gave the Spartans a 4-for-4 showing in the finals, winning his fifth-place match, while all nine OFSAA competitors won at least two matches to aid in an overall 122-point performance.

This gave Drury an unprecedented 12th straight OFSAA team medal — a fitting way to send team founder and cornerstone Larry Jaroslawski into retirement.

OFSAA 2010 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Moffat wins OFSAA gold By: Steve LeBlanc

The heavy gasp that escaped Duncan Moffat Friday afternoon wasn't one of exhaustion, but rather relief.

Both determined and favoured to win OFSAA, E.C. Drury's 18-year-old wrestling standout admitted he'd been feeling the pressure of his lofty pursuit in recent weeks — especially when many around him implied it was a foregone conclusion.

"People kept saying, ‘Oh there's no worries, you've got it this year,'" recalled the 61-kilogram graduating grappler, who'd claimed bronze and silver during his previous two trips to the high school provincial championships. "At times I needed to push that talk aside, talk to my coaches and just refocus. There was a lot of expectation there."

So when Moffat brought his golden goal to fruition — with a low-scoring triumph over Ottawa's Steven Delayne, who'd beaten him in last year's semifinals — it was as much a sense of a burden being lifted as anything else.

"I'd told myself I wasn't going to let it (gold) slip away again, so when I finally won it there was definitely a huge sigh of relief," said the newly-crowned OFSAA champion, whose victory in Tillsonburg clinched an overall third-place finish for the Spartans, giving them an unprecedented 13th straight boys team medal at the provincials. "It feels amazing."

Although the past 12 months had been met with a national juvenile title and double dose of gold at the Canada Summer Games, Moffat would not have been content to end his high school career without reaching the top of the OFSAA podium — especially since big brother Alan had done so twice.

"In a way this is more special to me than winning nationals. Even before I got to high school I'd heard about OFSAA and what it means to win there. If you're a high school wrestler, this is what you work for."

Eager to win the rubber match with Delayne — having beaten him earlier this season — Moffat controlled the lion's share of the nail-biting clash.

He won the first round 2-1 and then sealed the deal with a 2-0 victory, after executing his trademark fireman's leg shot.

"I didn't give him any openings and when he got frustrated I was able to shoot in," said Drury's newest champ, who along with his brother are the school's only two wrestlers to capture three medals at OFSAA.

Moffat won five straight matches in Tillsonburg, including a decisive victory over familiar foe Richard Balfour of London, whom he beat twice at last spring's Canada Summer Games qualifier.

Where the 61-kg. golden boy was making his fourth straight trip to the provincials, OFSAA was a brand new experience for Drury's other medalist.

Setting the bar awfully high for the years to come, Zack Brady became just the third Spartan to ever medal — securing silver in the 38-kg. ranks.

Without any elementary-level experience from the feeder Dynamo program, the 14-year-old has quickly developed plenty of aggressiveness and technical proficiency on the mat.

That was certainly evident late last week, as he won three straight matches by pin-fall or superiority — thanks largely to his well-executed double-leg takedown — before being toppled by 11th grader Josh Mehta of Mississauga in the finals.

"It feels really good to place in my first year," said Brady, whose gold-medal defeat was just his fourth all season.

With gifted veteran Bobby Fillman suffering a season-ending injury, the Spartans' bid to extend their team medal streak looked to be in jeopardy, despite having the biggest OFSAA qualifying groups in recent years.

But Drury's veterans and youngsters both stepped up to fill the gap.

Graduates Jeff Sinclair (67.5 kg.) and Blair Norland (89) each came within a victory of reaching the top six — with four and three wins respectively — while Grade 10 wrestlers Arie Moldvan (47.5) and Reed Nicholson (44) offered a glimpse of their bright futures with three wins apiece.

Chris Varas-Hedman (95) delivered arguably the best tournament of his career, while rounding out this year's OFSAA contingent were graduate Nigel Whitman (64), 10th graders Dan Stomphorst (57.5) and Aman Devgun (47.5) and freshman Buddy DeWilde (77).

OFSAA 2011 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another OFSAA silver for young Drury wrestler

For a second straight year, Zack Brady reached the innermost sanctum of Ontario high school wrestling competition.

But when it came time to battle for OFSAA gold, the young E.C. Drury grappler just couldn't measure up — literally — to his opposition.

Facing a much taller Colin Rodgers of Bethune in the 41-kilogram finals in Sudbury Friday afternoon, 15-year-old Brady was simply unable to execute his bread-and-butter double-leg takedown. As a result, hopes of upgrading last year's silver were squashed with a decisive two-round loss.

"He was so tall and lanky that I just couldn't get inside on him," said the two-time OFSAA silver medalist. "Every time I shot in he just turned out of the way."

The only Drury wrestler to medal in his first two OFSAA appearances, Brady guaranteed himself a second provincial medal in fairly dramatic fashion, delivering a late go-around point on Bishop Tonnos' Hamden Mirza in the semifinals to tie the third round 4-4. The final point decides who wins a round, and in this case the match.

"It feels pretty cool to get silver again, but I'd still like gold," said Brady, who went 3-1 in Sudbury.

With just one senior representative and half of its OFSAA contingent in either Grade 9 or 10, Drury missed out on a team medal for the first time in 14 years. But with three returning wrestlers going 3-2 for top-12 finishes, the Spartans' future looks awfully bright.

Coming away with winning records were Kierran Smillie (38-kg.), Reed Nicholson (47.5-kg.) and Max Michaelis (64-kg.), as well as graduating senior James Ponton (54-kg.), who lost two matches that were protested. He won the first and lost the second in the dying moments of the round.

Tenth grader Zach Vandervelde (44-kg.) went 1-2 at OFSAA, while rookie Jarrett Steptoe rounded out the Drury team and gained valuable experience in his debut.

OFSAA 2012 Article

The Canadian Champion (Milton): Sunday, February 26, 2012

Drury qualifies 11 for OFSAA By: Steve LeBlanc

Reed Nicholson is no stranger to OFSAA, with three previous appearances under his belt.

But at each of those provincial championships he closed things out as a spectator watching fellow E.C. Drury Spartans battle for a medal or spot on the podium.

As much as the 54-kilogram wrestler is known as encouraging teammate, Nicholson wants to be one of those getting cheered on in the finals for his OFSAA swan song.

"It'd be nice to finish up with a spot on the podium (top-six finish)," said the graduating senior, following his Golden Horseshow Athletic Conference (GHAC) title victory at Hamilton's Bishop Ryan Secondary School Thursday. The top two finishers at GHAC advance to OFSAA. "The best I've done before is seventh (at OFSAA), so I'd like to take that next step up."

Recent results suggest that's quite possible.

One of 11 Drury wrestlers qualifying for OFSAA and leading the school to a decisive team title win at GHAC Nicholson is undefeated in his last two tournaments.

He put the finishing touches on his GHAC run with a 6-0, 6-0 victory, his fourth of the day.

The OFSAA veteran feels he's delivered some of his best wrestling in recent weeks, with much cleaner technique.

"I'm getting better with my shooting. They're deeper and stronger now," noted Nicholson, who started in the Dynamo youth feeder program in Grade 5, following in the footsteps of brother Cole. "The last two tournaments have been probably my best ever, so I think I'm ready to finish (high school career) strongly."

Fellow 12th grader Anthony Zammit won't have any OFSAA experience to draw on when he heads to Peterborough next week.

But to say the 61-kilogram wrestler has momentum on his side is certainly a fair assessment.

Set to make his OFSAA debut having come close to qualifying in previous years Zammit has pulled off clean sweeps at his last three tournaments. He clinched GHAC gold with a come-from-behind three-round decision, driving his opponent out of bounds to win the tiebreaker 5-4.

He too is continuing a family tradition, having first taken to the mat in Grade 2 after being inspired by father John's stories of wrestling at Drury in the '80s.

And also like Nicholson, Zammit has made noticeable improvement in recent months.

"I think I'm a smarter wrestler now. I'm more mentally prepared and am doing a better job picking my spots."

Despite a tough fourth-place finish for two-time OFSAA silver medalist Zack Brady, the Spartans will be taking six wrestlers with OFSAA experience to Peterborough.

They include GHAC champions, Kierran Smillie (41-kg), Chris Varas-Hedman (95) and Max Michaelis (77), who'll be joined by kid brother Jake.

The younger Michaelis who began wrestling with twin brother Cole two years ago qualified in his first year at Drury with a second-place finish at GHAC. He went 5-1 with three pins in the 47.5-kg ranks, losing the gold-medal match in a competitive three-round clash.

The Spartans missed advancing a few more to OFSAA on narrow semifinal decisions, but still managed to put together one of its best provincial qualifying contingents in recent memory and handily beat Bishop Ryan for the GHAC team title.

Suneel Rambharose claimed gold in the 44-kilogram division, while advancing with second-place finishes were Luke Campbell (57.5), Dan Stomphorst (61), Cody Franke (95) and Jarrett Stepto (89).

OFSAA runs March 5 and 7.


Team Photos


Individual Placers

Year Wrestler Placing
1987 Thomas Jensen 5th
1988 Thomas Jensen 4th
1989 Thomas Jensen 3rd
Tom Woodward 4th
1991 Anthony Douglas 4th
1992 Chris Spence 3rd
Chris Price 5th
1993 Chris Spence 2nd
1994 Colin Widdis 1st
Jason Near 5th
1995 Jason Near 3rd
Chris Denich 4th
Clayton Cowton 4th
Victor Sprenger 5th
1996 Victor Sprenger 2nd
Chris Denich 3rd
Chris Price 6th
1997 Grant Heffron 3rd
Frank Cavallo 4th
Andy Wadeson 5th
Chris Denich 5th
1998

Team Silver

Kevin Heffron 2nd
Blair Beaulieu 2nd
Andy Wadeson 4th
John McCart 5th
1999

Team Silver

Kevin Heffron 2nd
Chad Merritt 2nd
Justin Billingham 3rd
John McCart 4th
Blair Beaulieu 4th
2000

Team Gold

Chad Merritt 1st
Mike DeVries 1st
John McCart 3rd
Rob Petherick 5th
Sean Burnham 6th
2001

Team Gold

Chris Holmes 1st
Sean Burnham 2nd
Rory McDonell 4th
Andy Wadeson 4th
Matt Baxter 4th
Adam Baxter 5th
2002

Team Gold

Matt Knock 2nd
Adam Baxter 3rd
Matt Baxter 3rd
Jesse Ronan 5th
Tyler Saliba 6th
2003

Team Gold

Jesse Ronan 2nd
Matt Knock 5th
Rob Petherick 5th
Kevin Tyrer 5th
Gary Ferrier 5th
Alan Moffat 6th
2004

Team Gold

Jesse Ronan 1st
Gary Ferrier 1st
Matt Knock 3rd
Kevin Tyrer 5th
Blake Hillier 6th
Kevin Iwasa-Madge 6th
Mac Fillman 6th
2005

Team Silver

Gary Ferrier 1st
Alan Moffat 3rd
Kevin Iwasa-Madge 4th
Peter Leaman 5th
Kyle Shermet 5th
2006

Team Gold

Alan Moffat 1st
Kyle Shermet 1st
Bobby Fillman 3rd
Gary Ferrier 4th
2007

Team Silver

Kevin Iwasa-Madge 1st
Alan Moffat 1st
Bobby Fillman 5th
Duncan Moffat 5th
Nick Ronan 5th
Mac Fillman 6th
2008

Team Silver

Bobby Fillman 1st
Kevin Iwasa-Madge 1st
Duncan Moffat 2nd
Ranbir Hans 3rd
Jared Robb 5th
2009

Team Bronze

Ranbir Hans 1st
Jared Robb 1st
Duncan Moffat 3rd
James Ponton 5th
2010

Team Bronze

Duncan Moffat 1st
Zack Brady 2nd
2011 Zack Brady 2nd