Mac pins down quartet of wrestlers

McMaster sees a continuation of its strong wrestling tradition with the announcement of four new recruits who should keep the Marauders near the top ranks of Ontario University Athletics and Canadian Interuniversity Sports.

Wrestling coach Nick Cipriano believes the latest grappling Marauders could rival the 2011 class that included Jason Buckle, the rookie of the year in CIS and OUA competition.

“The common quality that this recruiting class brings to McMaster is that they are very hard workers and very coachable,” said Cipriano. “As coach, it will be great working with such a group of young wrestlers, who are highly motivated and will feed off each other’s pursuit for excellence.”

Joining the women’s team are two outstanding prospects who finished in the top-four at the 2012 Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association championships.

Nicole Roach, Orillia District High School, will compete in the 63 kg division and is considered by Cipriano “definitely one of the top female wrestlers of the 2012 graduating class.”“Nicole is a highly accomplished athlete, having been an OFSAA finalist and a national level junior age finalist, as well as playing tennis and running long distance,” noted the Mac mentor.

Roach was coached in high school by her father, Bernard Roach, who wrestled at McMaster and was a member of our 1985 CIS championship team.

A graduate of Hamilton’s Bishop Ryan, Monica Wood, becomes the first female wrestler out of the high school to compete beyond that level. She wrestles in the 51kg class.

“She is an absolutely phenomenal athlete, blessed with tremendous strength, endurance and balance. In addition to being an OFSAA wrestling finalist, Monica is also an accomplished member of the BR Cheerleading team, and I expect her to be a great asset and core member of the women’s team,” said Cipriano.

Also donning Maroon this year are two young men expected to strengthen the overall depth of the Marauder team.

Ahmed Shamiya, coming from Robert Bateman High School in Burlington, is a national level age group finalist and was a member of Canada’s Cadet Team that competed at last year’s world championship. He was coached by former Marauder wrestling great Sheldon Francis.

Cipriano sees Shamiya, who wrestles in the 58kg division, strengthening the Mac team in the lower weight class.

Andrew Sinclair from Hagersville High School, has been a member of the Hamilton Wrestling Club for several years.

“Andrew will prove a great asset to the men’s team, competing in the 54 kg class, a division that we have not been able to fill for several seasons,” said Cipriano.