author: nathan mccarville & john loeppky | sports writer and editor in chief
Cougars strong at nationals
The men’s wrestling team returned home from the USPORTS championship hosted by Algoma University of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. A two-day event, the championship started on February 23 ending on the 24th, and with a successful turnout for the Cougars wrestling team as they brought back two silver medals for the team.
The Cougars’ own Lucas Hoffert was one of the athletes able to win the silver medal for the Cougars 65-kilogram weight class. Winning each match on Friday, it seemed as though Hoffert was on a trajectory to take home the gold medal for his weight class. However, the run ended as he lost his last match to Vincent DeMarinis of the Concordia Stingers, winning silver for his previous matches, ending his part in the championship with a record of 2-1.
Waylon Decoteau, the next Cougar to have won silver at the championship, wrestled in the 100-kilogram weight class, winning three of the four matches that he competed in, only losing his final match against Jordie Steen of the Concordia Stingers.
Finally, Jordan Tholl was able to get 4th place in his 120-kilogram weight class, missing third place to yet another wrestler from the Concordia Stingers, Frederick Choquette. As for the remainder of the Cougars on the men’s side of the championship, wrestlers Joshua Zimroz who wrestled in the 61-kilogram weight class got 7th in the championship, Nathen Schmidt of the 68-kilogram weight class got 7th, and Adam Hendrickson of the 90-kilogram weight class got 8th place in the championship.
Lucas Hoffert, he was able to speak on his experience in his fifth and final year wrestling with the Cougars.
“I am incredibly happy with how my fifth year turned out. I ended up with a gold medal at CanWest and my first ever USPORTS medal. I was also really impressed by my team this year; we ended up second at CanWest, which is an incredible achievement for such a young team and an 8th-place finish at nationals is very impressive as well. It has been a goal of mine to be an athletic All-Canadian and I’m happy to be able to say I achieved that now that my cougar career is over.”
The Cougars came up against Concordia, a team that Hoffert said had previously been quite the challenge.
“Concordia has definitely been a strong school in recent years. I think the results this year definitely reflect that. Personally, I’ve struggled against Concordia wrestlers, but I know we have a few wrestlers on our team who have a lot of talent and are more than capable of beating Concordia wrestlers and winning national championships in the near future.”
“Overall, the Cougars have had an incredible season in wrestling and I believe that we will continue to impress”.