Skip to content

Local wrestlers to compete in OFSAA Championships

BY SCOTT HUNTER HADDOW [email protected] When it comes to wrestling, a big heart is the difference between winning and losing.

When it comes to wrestling, a big heart is the difference between winning and losing.

name="valign" top >
Jon Gregoris (front) practices his wrestling moves on Jason Cecchini, who is also going to the provincials.
Lockerby high school wrestler Jon Gregoris knows all about having heart. He used his to win a gold in the 77-kilogram class at the Northern Ontario Secondary School's Athletics (NOSSA) wrestling championships last week and punched his ticket to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic

Associations (OFSAA) Championships in Brampton from March 3-5.

Gregoris is just one of 26 local wrestlers looking to grab gold at the provincial event.

The grappler went to OFSAA last year and placed sixth in the 87-kg class, but now, in a lighter division, Gregoris is looking to dominate the mat.

"From last year, I learned I needed to have better cardio and technique," said Gregoris. "I was a bit sloppy last year. Winning NOSSA was just a step.

I want to be first at OFSAA this year. It's going to take a lot of heart to win. It's how bad you want it, and I really want to win."

Geoff Richer, head coach of the Lockerby team, sees a great deal of potential in his own wrestlers and the rest of the Sudbury field going to Brampton.

"The results of Lockerby wrestlers recently just blows me away," said Richer. "Everyone has been wrestling great. I have some veterans like Jason Cecchini and Gregoris who both have a shot at the top-six in their respective weight divisions. Gregoris has a good chance to medal. He will have to work hard. Sudbury wrestlers have a good chance at bringing home five or six OFSAA medals. There's Alyssa Unwin and Jenna Howard from Chelmsford; Marissa Brown from Sudbury Secondary; Gregoris from Lockerby; and Teena Lalonde from Macdonald-Cartier, who all have a good shot at medals. Cody Demeau from Chelmsford could also medal. I think Sudbury will have its best showing ever at an OFSAA wrestling

Without patting himself on the back, Richer believes coaching has become the deciding factor in why Sudbury wrestlers are some of the best in the province, perhaps the country.

"There's a new breed of coaches in schools now," said Richer. "They're younger and working with kids more. We also have low numbers this year, and that gives coaches more one-on-one training with their wrestlers."

Alisa Scagnetti, who earned a NOSSA gold in the 57.5 kg. class, is excited for her first-ever trip to OFSAA.

"I have never won gold, so it was a great accomplishment," said Scagnetti. "I surprised myself, but I did work hard for it. I will try my best at OFSAA and, hopefully, do well. I will learn as much as I can at OFSAA."

Derek Huffels shocked a few onlookers at NOSSA by winning gold in the 51-kg division, as it was his first year wrestling.

"I was glad because it showed that if you work hard all year, you can win," said Huffels. "It's awesome I can go to provincials in my first year. I didn't expect it at all."

Emily Alatalo won silver at NOSSA in the 54-kg category. All gold and silver-winning wrestlers get to go to provincials.

Alatalo can't wait to show the rest of the province her skill.

"This means a lot to me," said Alatalo. "It will be a really good experience for me. Being able to wrestle different style wrestlers can teach you a lot
by having them kick your (butt)."


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.