(streetscapes) Members of city council have been canvassing the business community regarding things they want from their commercial taxes. Councillor Jack McLeman said streetscape improvements topped the list, putting in trees, benches, planters and other features that will beautify the areas. McLeman said the city will formulate a system and a budget while the business groups discuss themes for streetscapes in north, south and the mid-Port business areas.
(arrests) A police dragnet resulted in 55 people being arrested last month on outstanding warrants.The arrests were part of a Warrant Roundup Campaign in Port Alberni, tracking down people who are wanted by the criminal justice system for outstanding matters. Corporal Jen Allen said local officers were trying to nab 78 different people, and officers combed their files and city streets, tracking down the fugitives. The roundup is expected to jump-start several stalled investigations, and the Port Alberni RCMP are continuing the initiative.
The Bulldogs evened their Best-of-Seven Island Semi Finals series at 1-1 with a 6-3 win in Victoria on Wednesday night. Games 3 and 4 go at the Dog Pound Friday and Saturday. Game 5 is in Victoria Monday night.
The AAAA Boys Basketball Island Championships concluded Saturday night at ADSS with Claremont beating Cowichan in the Championship game 66-57. ADSS lost to the evental champs Claremont 64-46 before beating Vanier 61-51 and then losing a heartbreaker to Mt. Douglas 68-66. Luke Bradley was named to the second tournament All-Star team.
The Bantam Bulldogs are Island Champs after a 10-2 win over the Icehawks in Victoria on Saturday, sweeping the Best-of-Three while outscoring Victoria 23-5.
Men's Non-Contact Hockey League scores:
Feb 21- Kamma and Blake 4 vs Canadian Tire/Jal Design 0
McDermott 0 vs Hetherington 3
Jrobbins 1 vs Cariboo On Site Caps 6
Feb 23- McDermott 0 vs Magic Moments 5
Jesse Wagner Three Time BC Wrestling Champion
The ADSS Armada Boys and Girls wrestling teams returned home Sunday with lots of hardware and accolades from the BC Secondary Schools Wrestling Championships in Prince George. Senior Jesse Wagner won his fifth BC medal and became only one of a handful of high school wrestlers in BC to ever win 3 BC titles as he took his 54 kg weight class. The Armada placed third this year in the Aggregate race while the Boys were also third overall.
Wagner was unstoppable in Prince George and was an honourable mention for the Most Outstanding Male wrestler at the 2014 BC’s. He rolled over his opposition in every match on rout to the final where he met a very tough Torrey Toribio of John Oliver Secondary. Toribio had beaten Wagner at an event several weeks ago but he was no match for him at the BC’s. Wagner completely dominated the match and won with a grand superior 12-2 decision early in the match.
“Jesse was very determined to win the BC’s and avenge his loss to Toribio in Campbell River in January,” said head ADSS coach John McDonald, “he was nursing an injury back then and we knew this time would be different. It is an amazing accomplishment to win three BC’s in your career and Jesse also has two silver medals. That means he has made the finals in each of the 5 years he has wrestled at the BC’s. There might 8-10 others who have ever done that in the past 50 years of high school wrestling.”
Jesse’s twin brother Jordan also had an outstanding BC’s taking a silver in the 57 kg weight class. He too dispatched his opponents quickly throughout the preliminary rounds. In the final he met national champion Darthe Cappelan of St Thomas Moore. Cappelan was ready and jumped out fast. Wagner fought back and looked to be gaining momentum after a throw he attempted on his opponent.
Unfortunately, Wagner also appeared to hit his head on the mat and Cappelan took advantage of Wagner’s momentary disorientation to take the win.
“Jordan had a great tournament,” said McDonald, “he knew Cappelan would be hard to beat but gave it his all. It looked like he was starting to dictate the match until he tried that throw and may have hit is head. Things happened so fast that it was hard for us to know what happened but we could tell later that Jordan wasn’t 100% after that. It would have been nice for him to finish his high school career with a gold but wasn’t to be. He, like Jesse, has had an amazing 5 years of high school wrestling.”
On the girls side it was grade 11 Remi Wells who made the final after an excellent tournament. Wells took the silver at 57 kg when she came up against Nicole Depa of St Thomas Moore. Depas was a returning BC medalist who had missed most of the season due to injury but was ready for the BC’s. Wells herself missed the past 3 weeks of training due to a shoulder problem that kept her off the mats. “Remi had an awesome season and will be a favourite to take a BC title next year,” said coach James Messenger, “we could not be more proud of how she battled back from her injury and wrestled at the BC’s all the way to the final.”
Two other grade 11 ADSS wrestlers placed fourth at their respective weights. Dean Leyland had a strong BC’s at 74 kg in the boys draw as did teammate Michel Kurucz at 60 kg girls. Leyland had to fight some extra time to make it to the bronze match. In his semi-final on the consolation side Leyland met Mitchell Keeping of Esquimalt who he beat for the Island title two weeks ago. In a close and controversial match Leyland initially lost to Keeping but the Alberni coaches filed an official protest based on what they saw as a clear mistake by an official. The protest committee reviewed the video of the match and agreed that a mistake had been made. This decision then sent the match to a 2 minute overtime period which Leyland won. Even the overtime was somewhat contentious but Leyland prevailed and later went on to take 4th in the weight.
For Kurucz the BC’s were a roller coaster of emotions. In several matches she had to come from behind to take the victory. “Michel was not on top of her game in every match and consequently made a few mistakes,” said Messenger, “she put herself in danger a few times but was able to pull out wins since she is so tough and determined. In the end it was later mistakes that cost her taking a medal which was her goal. She will be a leader for us next year in grade 12 and certainly a BC gold will be the goal.”
One of the pleasant surprizes for the locals was the performance of grade 8 wrestler Isaac McDonald of Dunn Middle School. McDonald is the son of ADSS coach John McDonald and had a great tournament at 41 kg to take 5th place. “Isaac has been balancing rep hockey and wrestling for several years,” said program director Tom McEvay, “this year he got in more mat time and it showed. He will be a huge part of the building blocks for the continued tradition of wrestling at ADSS in the years ahead. His Dunn teammate Aaron Badovinac is another big part of that future. Aaron narrowly missed a top 6 finish and possibly even a spot in the finals despite only being in grade 8 at 63 kg.”
Grade 12 wrestler Christian Anderson was not happy to finish 6th at 90kg. Anderson was a clear medal contender but could not get on track in a couple of matches. “Christian has come so far the past few years it is truly amazing,” said McDonald, “he went from a young middle school boy who struggled to a confident, super fit and strong grade 12 athlete. He wanted a medal this year but a couple of matches cost him that result. He can be very proud of what he has accomplished the past few years. He has been a great role model for others.”
Other wrestlers who stood out for mention by the local coaches were grade 12 Russell David and grade 11’s Johannes Kulich and Emma McGowan. All three had good BC’s and missed top six results by a match or two. McGowan and Kulich will help add strength as grade 12 seniors next year on another strong ADSS team.
In then team competition ADSS was hurt by the loss of grade 11 Nolan Badovinac who had knee surgery 4 weeks ago. “Nolan would have walked through the BC’s at 78 kg this year,” said McDonald, “it was hard for him to watch but he is a terrific teammate and supported everyone. All indications are that his rehab is going well and he should be able to compete at the Nationals April 3-5 in Guelph.” Badovinac is a two time Cadet National Champion who will wrestle at Juvenile this year.
Despite missing Badovinac the ADSS boys placed third this year with 35 points. WJ Mouat of Abbotsford were second at 53 points with St Thomas Moore winning the Boys division with 69 points. The top 10 were rounded out by John Oliver, Sir Charles Tupper, Abby Traditional, Rick Hansen, St Thomas Aquinas, Timberline, Guildford Park and Queen Elizabeth. Cappelan was named the Most Outstanding Male wrestler while the final at 63 kg was honoured as the top match.
In the girls competition St Thomas Moore continued their dominance taking first with 73 points. Port Moody were second at 44 points followed by Smithers 32, Maple Ridge 25 and Dover Bay 21. ADSS tied for seventh with 18 points. Alex Schell of Smithers was the Most Oustanding Female wrestler and her final with Penticton’s Alyssa Kroeker was selected as the top female match.
There was no doubt in the Aggregate competition that St Thomas Moore were the class of the field. They finished with 142 points to dethrone 4 time champions ADSS who finished third at 53 points. Mouat were second at 71 points. Maple Ridge and Dover Bay rounded out the top 5 Aggregate teams.
McEvay concluded their BC’s report by proudly stating “We received compliments from the organizers, other coaches, hotel clerks, airline people, bus drivers and others about our athletes. They represented their school and our community with great pride and dignity on and off of the mats. We know they will do that again on the national stage in a few weeks in Ontario.” None of us should be surprized as the tradition of excellence continues for wrestling in the Alberni valley.