Algoma University wrestlers ranked among top 10 in Canada
Algoma University wrestling coach proud of his hardworking team
Algoma University wrestling coach Trevor Manchester says it's a big deal that his team is ranked among the top 10 in the country at the half-way mark of the competitive season.
The men's team from the Sault Ste. Marie university has just been ranked seventh in the country and five of the wrestlers have reached top 10 rankings.
"We have a very small student population," says Manchester. "So to have some success, especially on the national stage like this, it's a big deal for our wrestling program and, I think, for our athletics program in general," he added.
Manchester says the wrestling program is in its seventh year, fairly new, and still growing.
He attributes the success of the team to the hard work of the wrestlers.
"We might have a small team but they are definitely not lazy," he said.
"They're a hardworking team. Everything from morning workouts at 7 a.m. to finishing our evening practices sometimes at 9:30 or 10 at night," said Manchester.
"It's a busy life trying to balance, you know, their schoolwork, their physical activities, personal life, and work," he added.
Bryce Davis is number one nationally in the men's 72 kg category. The fourth year student at Algoma is from Fenton, Michigan.
"It makes you feel good that your hard work is paying off and it's a good place to be going into the mid-season break," he said.
Davis says he chose Algoma University for its hometown feel and the price of tuition compared to what he would pay in the United States.
"So I came up here, figured I'd give it a shot, and it's been going great ever since," he said.
On the women's side, wrestler Emily Duchesne ranks fourth in the country at 51 kg.
"I was actually really surprised," said Duchesne. "This is my first year of varsity wrestling so it felt really good to have a spot in the rankings, especially coming in just from out of high school," she added.
Duchesne is from Sault Ste. Marie and Manchester has been her coach since she was in Grade 9. He was one of the reasons she chose to go to Algoma for her post-secondary education.
"It was really just having a coach that I've been comfortable with and I'm staying at home and being able to have an affordable education," she explained.
Duchesne likens her fellow wrestlers to "having a bunch of older brothers."
As for future goals, she's aiming for a spot in the Nationals, finishing her university degree, and getting a job in the social work field.
With files from Waubgeshig Rice