Two wrestlers took different paths to arrive at same destination

Hussein Dasilva of Cathedral and Brad MaGarrey of Bishop Ryan are making names for themselves in Hamilton high school wrestling.

Dasilva, who recently emigrated with his mother from Uganda, has been adapting to Canada through his school’s English as a Second Language program. And, despite never having wrestled before this season, he threw aside more experienced challengers en route to winning a gold medal in the 41-kilogram division at the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board’s wrestling championships Friday at Bishop Ryan.

Cathedral’s Hussein Dasilva’s arm is raised in victory. (Photo: Gerry Graham)

As for MaGarrey, his father, Tim, is provincial director of the Ontario Amateur Wrestling Association. MaGarrey captured his gold in the 77 kg weight class. He’ll join the other regional qualifiers for Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference championships Friday, Feb. 22 at King’s Christian College in Oakville.

About 90 wrestlers from four Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic schools took park in this year’s city finals at Bishop Ryan.

Cathedral Gaels coach, Stefanie Howorun, continues to be impressed with the mat performances of Dasilva. She saw him in the halls of Cathedral last year and talked him into coming out for practices about four months ago. On Friday (Feb. 15), at BR, he won all three of his matches, including pinning his last opponent in only 40 seconds.

“Hussein has a natural talent,” Howorun said. “I think wrestling is a really big focus for him. It makes him feel Canadian and part of Cathedral. Before, he was on the outskirts of the community. Now, he’s completely integrated.

“People recognize him. His nickname is ‘Killer’. He’s our golden boy. He has so much potential. He dominates out there.”

According to Howorun (a former star wrestler for McMaster University), Dasilva is strong, athletic and never misses a practice. “We’re confident he’ll keep progressing,” she said.

The decision to give wrestling a whirl pleases Dasilva.

“Practising with my friends is the best part,” Dasilva said. “It’s a fun sport. Thanks to my coaches (Howorun and Roger Ruiu) for coaching me. It feels great to win.”

MaGarrey grew up around the sport of wrestling. His dad – a driving force with wrestling’s provincial governing body — previously wrestled for and helped coach the Bishop Ryan Celtics.

Brad MaGarrey
Brad MaGarrey (right) of Bishop Ryan is poised to gain the advantage. (Photo: John Di Benedetto)

“Brad has done pretty well dealing with that kind of pressure,” current Celtics’ coach Sheldon Francis said. “He’s making a name for himself, in competition, not just by being Tim’s son.”

A Grade 11 student, MaGarrey says his father didn’t force him into wrestling.

“It’s been my choice,” MaGarrey said. “I got the love of the sport when I was young. I would always help out at tournaments. Going to watch wrestling with him, we would bond.”

MaGarrey says his goal is to advance to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations tournament and place in the top six.

Overall, the host Bishop Ryan Celtics earned the most points to win the boys’ team title. Cathedral Gaels finished on top in the girls’ category. Placing second in both, were the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves.

This year’s OFSAA meet is scheduled for March 5-7 in Guelph.

The divisional female winners were: 41 kg — Marissa Welsh, Cathedral; 44 kg – Victoria Doan, Brebeuf; 47.5 kg – Humna Wassim, Brebeuf; 51 kg – Joana Nunes, Bishop Ryan; 54 kg –Laura Chechalk, Brebeuf; 57 kg – Natalie Cranston, Bishop Tonnos; 61 kg – Alize Spalding Lawrence, Brebeuf; 64 kg – Jessica Kersley, Cathedral; 67.5 kg – Ryleigh Hagan, Cathedral; 72 kg – Heather Coughlan, Cathedral; 83 kg – Cassidy Noonan, Brebeuf; Unlimited – Tiana Ewan, Cathedral.

The male first-place finishers were: 38 kg — Mark Mayer, Brebeuf; 41 kg – Hussein Dasilva, Cathedral; 44 kg – Chance Wise, Bishop Ryan; 47.5 kg – William D’Alessandro, Bishop Ryan; 51 kg – Nathan Peddle, Bishop Ryan; 54 kg – Bineabi Oturo, Brebeuf; 57 kg – Joe Martin, Brebeuf; 61 kg – Marcus Macaluso, Brebeuf; 64 kg – Christian Hererra Parks, Brebeuf; 67.5 kg – Anthony Italiano, Bishop Ryan; 72 kg – Wyatt Dorion, Bishop Ryan; 77 kg – Brad MaGarrey, Bishop Ryan; 83 kg – Scott MacLellan, Bishop Ryan; 89 kg – Steven Collura, Bishop Ryan; 95 kg – Aaron Vieira, Bishop Ryan; Unlimited, Garrison Nichols, Bishop Ryan.