It was an emotional six minutes as Jakob Dormaar wrestled a fantastic match for the gold medal at this weekend’s ASAA High School Provincial Championships in Sherwood Park.
In the past 20 years, Wetaskiwin Composite High School brought home the provincial team banner 10 times. This season the team championship was not in reach with only a two-man team. Unfortunately, small numbers this season were made worse by losing rookie Allen Paquette to illness and veteran Taylor Murray to injury.
The school pride was left to be shouldered by Sabres rookies Jakob Dormaar 65kg division and Kjel Gusdal 76kg division competing in their first high school provincial championships.
Dormaar battled his way through the preliminary matches but at one point was relegated to the B-side of the draw by a tough Calgary opponent who caught him a little off guard in the match with a tight leg lace. Dormaar was able to regroup and win the necessary remaining matches to get to the finals.
In the finals the rookie grade 10 Dormaar faced off against Grade 12 wrestler Homer Pineda of Crescent Heights High School (Calgary) for the gold medal. Jakob started the first round off a little slow trailing Pineda 3-0 at halftime but came out on a mission in the second round shutting down Pinedea’s offence and running up the score 11-3 for himself. Fast feet, defensive hands and continued attacks earned Dormaar his first provincial title.
“It’s a huge accomplishment to win provincials; but even more so being able to do it in grade 10. I would credit this to Jakob’s dedication and exceptional work ethic” said coach Shane Rybak.
For Gusdal, the competition ended without a placing after being eliminated in the preliminary rounds. Some personal satisfaction was garnered for Gusdal however who was seconds away from defeating the eventual gold medal winner in the preliminaries, just getting caught in a mistake in the match.
Coaches Rybak and Shamus McDonnell also coached Leduc wrestler Cashton Harvey, who was also eliminated in the preliminary rounds.
With only three Grade 10 wrestlers competing, coaches Rybak and McDonnell were ecstatic when their modest expectations were blown away by Dormaar’s gold. While Gusdal and Harvey did not place, they continue on a path to success as young wrestlers.
Dormaar’s next tournament will be the Alberta Opens April 2 to qualify him to compete as a first year cadet at wrestling nationals later that month.