Wrestling reaches varsity status

York Lions wrestling team fights to stay on top in the 2012-2013 season.

New sport model adds wrestling to competitive varsity program

Aileen Ormoc
Sports Editor

After placing ninth in the Ontario Athletics Association men’s championships, the York Lions wrestling team will compete at the varsity level in the 2012-2013 season. Varsity status is given to teams that directly represent York University in the OUA or Canadian International Championships. Last June, it was announced that wrestling would be part of the Sport & Recreation Department’s new sport model. The new sport model organizes varsity teams into three separate categories: elite, high performance, and competitive. Varsity teams are placed into categories based on their accomplishments in the last five years, the presence of highly-skilled athletes, and the team’s positive influence on York’s reputation. The wrestling team has delivered some stellar performances in the last five years. For the first time last year, the team competed at the OUA championship with Mehrdad Pourkamali and Paul Henein on the men’s team placing in the top-10 spot. At the 2010 Junior Pan American Junior Championship in Nicaragua, former athlete Anton

York Lions wrestling team fights to stay on top in the 2012-2013 season.

Shchipillo placed third in the freestyle competition. Shchipillo also placed second in the Greco Roman Provincial Championships. Head coach Bahman Sarbazi and assistant coach Eamonn Dorgan will lead the team into the next season starting this fall. Sarbazi and Dorgan have been with York’s wrestling club for the last three seasons. “It has been a lot of work to get to this point,” says Dorgan. “But we feel we have put together the groundwork necessary to become a contender at the OUA and CIS levels in a short time.” Sarbazi brings a wealth of knowledge and years of coaching experience. From 1991 to 2001, he coached athletes in the Iranian national program at the junior, juvenile, and adult levels. Sarbazi has won 11 club championships in his native country, Iran. Dorgan has coached a slew of Canadian athletes who have gone on to compete in provincial and national championships. Competitive wrestler himself, he won Canadian senior championships in 2006 and 2007. He won gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2007. Dorgan represented Ireland in international competitions from 2005 to 2007 and appeared at the 2007 European championships and the 2008 Olympic qualifiers. “We have already sparked the interest of some of the top wrestling talent across Ontario, says Dorgan. “We look forward to drawing on the expertise of York’s high-quality coaches that have previously produced numerous championship teams.” Near the end of October, the OUA wrestling season will begin, with the wrestling team competing in a championship by mid-February. With files from York Lions

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