Sports Wrestling

Past and present Stingers compete at the highest levels of wrestling

Concordia alumnus Alex Moore qualifies for the Paris Olympics, while two first-year Stingers pick up gold and silver medals at the U SPORTS Wrestling Championships.

Last week was an active one for Concordia Stingers and high performance wrestling. Concordia alumni Alexander Moore and Linda Morais competed in the Pan American Olympic Qualifiers held in Acapulco, Mexico between Feb 28 and March 1, while nine students competed in the U SPORTS Wrestling Championships at the University of Guelph on March 2. 

A total of 17 Canadians competed in the Pan American Qualifiers. As mentioned previously, three wrestlers competed out of the Montreal Wrestling Club, run by Victor and David Zilberman, the father-son tandem coaching the Concordia Stingers. 

Out of the three categories which included men’s Greco-Roman and men’s and women’s freestyle, five Canadians emerged victorious, the third-most behind the USA and Cuba who tied at six. They will be heading to Paris in July.

Linda Morais, who graduated from Concordia in 2016, competed at 62 kg in women’s freestyle and had a good run against Venezuelan competitor Soleymi Caraballo in her first matchup on Feb 29. Morais had scored nine points against Caraballo when she was pinned for a fall (VFA). Caraballo went on to beat Chilean Virginia Jiménez to secure a qualification spot alongside American Amit Elor. 

Unfortunately, the young Stone Lewis from Vanier College and the third Pan American participant from the Montreal Wrestling Club was defeated by Puerto Rico wrestler and University of North Carolina Tar Heel Sonny Santiago in the round of 16. 

Both Morais and Lewis have another chance to qualify for the Olympic Games at the World Olympic Games Qualifiers in Istanbul, Turkey, held May 9-12. 

Alex Moore, U SPORTS 2023 outstanding male competitor, gave it his all on March 1 and will be heading to the Olympics at 86 kg. He was happily surprised at his fortune of not needing to face Cuban Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta, who had been pinned by Anthony Valencia Gomez of Mexico. The Cuban and Montreal natives previously faced off in Argentina in 2023 for the Pan American Championship finals, and the former had won by superiority (VSU1).

On Friday, Moore was able to dominate against Argentinian Jorge Llano in his quarterfinals matchup, winning by superiority, 11-0. He faced Venezuelan Pedro Ceballos in the semifinals matchup, where he turned a takedown into a pin for the win.  

Moore had sustained various injuries in his recent career, including a torn ACL four years ago, a shoulder surgery, and a broken hand only seven weeks ago. “I always thought that I would make the Olympics, but to face all the adversity I have, to stick with it and now I’m going to the Olympics, I’m an Olympian! It is the greatest feeling in the world.” said Moore to Wrestling Canada. “

Coach David Zilberman accompanied Moore to Mexico, and is proud of the work he put in leading up to the tournament. “[Moore] worked extremely hard on his conditioning and really pushed the cardiovascular portion of it, which ultimately helped him win that match,” says the trainer. “He was in better shape than his opponents by far. He was proactive in finding solutions, so we were able to find different workouts for him to do.”

On Saturday, March 2, Concordia participated in the U SPORTS Wrestling Championships in Guelph, Ontario. Seventeen schools across Canada participated for the men’s and women’s freestyle categories. Concordia, showing its well-roundedness, placed 8th for both. Stingers men amassed a total of 20 points, while the women accumulated 25. Brock University, which placed first in both the men’s and women’s categories, collected 83 and 75 total points, respectively. 

Two Concordia competitors finished bearing hardware. In men’s, rookie Yann Heymug won the silver medal at 72 kg, while Jolie Brisco won gold at 62 kg in women’s. 

Heymug, a Saint-Césaire native, was able to defeat University of Calgary’s Shane Richards to move on to the final, conceding to Brock University’s Bobby Narwal. Impressive for his first semester with the Stingers. Jolie Brisco, also in her first semester, faced Olivia Lichti from McMaster University and prevailed. 

“Well, you know, [Brisco] is a talented athlete for sure, and she works really hard. She has a lot of experience, so that helps quite a bit,” says David Zilberman.  “And she’s just a fighter.” The coach commended her for winning the tournament so recently after recovering from shoulder surgery just a year ago.

 “With [Heymug]… he has the ability to win,” adds Ziberman. In my opinion, I think he could have won that tournament. They’re solid athletes, so it’s nice to see them do well.”

While the week in Acapulco proves that Concordia has a tremendous past, the Stingers’ performance in Guelph is a demonstration of a bright and dangerous future.


Three Concordia-affiliated wrestlers move a step closer to the 2024 Summer Olympics

Wrestlers from the Montreal Wrestling Club will be competing at the Pan-American games on the last weekend of February.

The team Canada wrestling trials leading to the 2024 Olympic games were held in Edmonton on the weekend of Dec. 15–17. The winners will compete at the Pan-American qualifiers on Feb. 29–March 2 in Acapulco, Mexico. The performances will determine who gets to go to Paris to compete in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Five members of the Montreal Wrestling Club (MWC) of the National Training Centre, managed by Concordia Stingers wrestling coaches— father-son duo, David Zilberman and Victor Zilberman—had very successful performances. Three wrestlers earned tickets to Mexico, including Linda Morais (68 kg) in women’s freestyle, Alex Moore (86 kg), and Stone Lewis (74 kg) in men’s freestyle.

On Dec. 15, the first day of the competition, matches were held for the pool component, to determine winners who would face other competitors on the ladder. Montreal’s Fred Choquette won the pool decisively at 97 kg by defeating Brampton, Ontario’s Sarabnoor Lally 10-0. He was beaten by his MWC colleague, Riley Otto, in the ladder portion. Otto lost to Abbotsford, B.C.’s Nishan Randhawa in the final ladder matchup. Randhawa will be heading to Mexico, representing Canada in the 97 kg division.

Stingers prodigy and alumnus Alex Moore, the two-time Pan-American junior gold medalist who was elected as the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament in the USports National Championships last February, was able to qualify for Mexico by beating the Saskatoon Wrestling Club member and Flin Flon, Manitoba native, Hunter Lee

Moore is more focused on himself and improving bit by bit every day, consistently evolving his game. Rather than worrying about Lee and wrestlers within the country, the young athlete’s sights are set on potential Pan-American opponents. “I’m not preparing for the Canadian guys. I’m preparing for the international guys,” said Moore.

For now, Moore’s main concerns are directed towards preparing to face Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta, Cuba’s 86 kg Pan-American repeat champion as of last November in Santiago, Chile. Moore lost to the Cuban veteran in the Pan-American championship finals last year in Bueno Aires, Argentina. “The big challenge is definitely [Torreblanca]. He’s pretty jacked. You never know with the draw… but I don’t want to leave with the chance that I qualify or not. I want to prepare in a way that I’m able to beat everyone in the [division],” Moore said.

After Edmonton, Moore was able to take a break for about a week when he returned home, a rarity for wrestlers, who usually train for about six hours a day, six days a week. “Getting back into the groove of things is so hard, because you have such a strict schedule and you’re pushing really hard and it’s almost easier to just keep going and then to stop,” he said. “But I think it’s necessary to get a mental break from it. I got to see some friends and stuff, so it was nice.” 

Moore will be participating in the Brock Open, Guelph Open, and Western Open to stay in shape for Acapulco. The events take place on Jan. 14, 21, and 28, respectively.

The three qualified athletes are back in training, and are devising new plans with coach Zilberman to win at the highest level on this side of the Atlantic.

Sports Wrestling

The state of wrestling at Concordia

The wrestling program has always consistently been one of Concordia’s best sports programs. It’s still good, thanks to a family who found a system.

Concordia University is home to one of Canada’s top wrestling programs, thanks to elite athlete and Stingers head coach Victor Zilberman. In 1985, Zilberman obtained a Concordia sports administration diploma, and from then, he eventually earned multiple National Championship trophies while coaching the team. In addition, he’s coached the Canadian Olympic team many times over.

It was in 1977 that Zilberman founded the Montreal Wrestling Club (MWC), which has occupied the Reinitz Wrestling Centre at the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA since 2001. There, some of the finest wrestlers show up, for three days every week, including Olympic and Commonwealth games gold medalist Guivi Sissaouri, and visitors from the likes of MMA legend Georges St-Pierre. 

David Zilberman, Victor’s son, takes after his father and is currently the head coach of the Stingers team, a teacher at Vanier College, and is in charge of the MWC. 

David Zilberman coaching during a tournament.
Credit: Concordia Athletics

The duo keep their eyes peeled for high-school talent across Canada to recruit to the club. If deemed fit, they will eventually end up wearing the Stingers’ maroon and gold. 

From October to February, the Stingers compete at national wrestling tournaments at least twice a month. So far this season, the team has participated in the following events; McMaster Invitational on Oct. 29, the Concordia Invitational Wrestling Tournament on Nov. 5, and the York Open on Nov 19. 

Coming up next is the University of Toronto Open on Dec 2. The weekend of Dec. 15, a few Stingers alumni will travel to Edmonton for the 2024 Olympic Canadian Team Trials. 

Everyone on the team practices for two and a half to four hours in the morning, and the same in the evening, six days a week. They all work at least one job, all while taking classes at Concordia. “Everyone’s a psycho,” said two-time Pan-American junior gold medalist Alex Moore. The star who is also on the Stingers team was elected as the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament for the latest National Championships in February. Moore is currently training to qualify at the upcoming Canadian Team Trials in the 86 kg weight class. 

For MWC member Yann Heymeg, who originally played quarterback for his middle school in Saint-Césaire, which is located just west of Granby. When he suffered an injury to his throwing hand, his gym teacher who was also a wrestling coach, encouraged him to take up the sport. Heymeg would go to the MWC on Thursday evenings and by the ninth grade, he’d dropped football to pursue wrestling. 

Today, at 20 years old, Heymeg has received a scholarship to study recreation and leisure studies at Concordia after graduating from Vanier this fall semester. 

“It’s more gratifying to have an education for free when I’m working hard doing what I want,” says Heymeg, classed at 72 kg. “I give my 100 per cent when training, and I think the coach sees it.” Just this past year, he finished second in the U23 National Championships, and second in the Canada Games.

This year, the Stingers team is missing certain players in different weight classes. Only about half of both the men’s and women’s teams are filled out, so it seems that the team’s ranking has dropped over this past year. The women’s team dropped from sixth to seventh overall, and the men’s from seventh to ninth. The team, however, has hopes in first years making their debut.

Maddie Charlton is a first-year standout wrestler from Halifax, Nova Scotia who moved to Montreal a little over a year ago to train at the MWC. In the 50 kg weight class, Charlton was placed third in her first tournament with the Stingers at the Concordia Invitational, and first at the York Open. “I’m still producing results, but there’s tons of athletes here that are very, very experienced and it’s a good place for me because I’m always being challenged,” she said, impressed by the club’s talent.

Stingers player Jeremy Poirier, classed at 100 kg, is on the other end of his academic career. Onto his fifth year at Concordia, he’ll be graduating at the end of this winter semester. He won the USports National Championships this past February.

The New Brunswick native joined the MWC in 2016, after David Zilberman spotted his older brother, Geno Poirier, excelling with the University of Regina Cougars. Poirier eventually placed sixth at the National Championships. “[David] is tough, he pushes us hard, but it’s great. He shows us all the technical aspects, but he talks a lot about the mental part of the sport.”   

Poirier has ranked in the top two at the Senior Pan-American Championships for the past three years: he was placed second in 2023 in Argentina and in Mexico in 2022,  and first in 2021 in Guatemala. He and Moore won gold medals at the USports National Championships earlier this year at the University of Alberta, now having won multiple times. Poirier is aiming to fly to Edmonton for the Canadian Team Trials if his hamstring heals properly. 

Although the team isn’t in its greatest shape for now, the Zilbermans are regarded as two of the best in Canada, so the Stingers’ fate rests assured in good hands. If you wrestle in Canada, you know the Zilbermans.

Wrestlers to watch:


Maddie Charlton (50 kg)

Virginie Gascon (56 kg)

Sophia Bechard (59kg)

Alexia Sherland (83 kg)


Ryder Church (65 kg) 

Liam Menard (68 kg)

Zaur Arsagov (82 kg)

Angus Scott (90 kg)


Jade Dufour

Linda Morais

Laurence Beauregard

Amanda Savard 

Alex Moore

Frédérick Choquette

Riley Otto


Connor Church shines at the 2023 Canadian Wrestling Championships

The Concordia wrestler and marketing student talks about his recent success at the university and national levels

Concordia student and wrestler Connor Church dominated at the 2023 Canadian Wrestling Championships, and his performance was telling of the wrestler he is.

The nineteen-year-old participated with his club, the Montreal National Training Centre (NTC), and began the championships wrestling in the junior division, which encompasses ages 18 to 20. The entirety of the championships was held from March 9-12.

Church had four matches in the men’s 79 kg junior division that all ended in technical falls, which automatically ends a match once a 10-point difference occurs.

Not wanting to leave any chances for his opponents, he won all his matches within the first round.

Church also wrestled in the senior division to see how he would measure next year and to gain experience.

“I wanted to see what I would need to work on, but it ended up going really well,” he said.

Indeed, the senior competition went no different than the junior. He once again ended all his matches in a single round due to technical falls. However, he still noticed a “huge difference” in the level of competition between both divisions.

“The senior guys are a lot stronger, a lot more experienced,” he said. “There are a lot of smarter wrestlers, they were tougher matches, but I was still able to get the job done.”

His coach at both Concordia and the Montreal NTC, David Zilberman, was very glad with Church’s performance.

“I thought he dominated everybody,” Zilberman said. “He wrestled really well. There’s still a lot to work on, but in the long term he shows a lot of promise to be an elite competitor on the international scene.”

His junior division win was his second in a row. In both years, it earned him a spot on Team Canada for the U20 Pan-American Championships.

He won bronze at the Pan-American Championships last year, but his eyes are set on gold this year for when they will be held in Chile.

Church attributes a lot of his success at the Canadian championships to his club. Because he practiced with older and more experienced teammates, he was prepared for the age difference in the senior competition.

“I wrestle against some of the best wrestlers in Canada every day at our club,” he said. “It gives me confidence going into every match.”

Church started wrestling six years ago in Winnipeg, his hometown. Then, in August 2021, he reached out to the coaches at Concordia.

“I knew that, if I wanted to excel at wrestling, this is the place where I wanted to be in Canada,” he said.

He was invited by Zilberman to try out and shortly thereafter, he moved to Montreal and started training with Concordia, as well as competing with the Montreal NTC. Zilberman remembers him displaying a lot of physical talent.

“He was strong and explosive, but a little raw,” Zilberman said. “He’s definitely evolved into a more technical wrestler, but he’s still very strong and gifted and that helps him a lot.”

“He puts in a lot of hours of training and he’s learning the game really quickly,” Zilberman added. “He has a strong character and will to win and it’s really important.”

This year was Church’s first time competing with the Concordia team and, in his first U Sports Championships, Church won the gold medal in the men’s 76 kg.

“That win, going into nationals, really boosted my confidence,” Church said. “It helped my success in the national championships and built my momentum.”

Church has indeed been on a roll ever since his move to Montreal. His innate motivation has undeniably been central in his achievements.

“I’m always willing to wake up and go to practice,” he said, adding that he trains two to three times a day, six days a week. “It’s a pursuit of excellence [for me].”

Church’s love for wrestling is palpable and a big part of his success.

“Nothing is more important to me,” he said. “It’s all I think about all day. It’s an obsession, really.”

Church’s next big tournament will be the 2023 Canadian U23 Wrestling Championships held in Laval on May 27-28. On top of the U20 Pan-American Championships in July, he will also be headed to Poland in August for the U20 World Championships.

“I’ve been eyeing that down for a full year now and that’s been my goal to get that win,” he said.


Grading IWS: Praise the Violence

On a snowy, freezing Saturday night, wrestling fans came out of the woodwork to enjoy a night full of violence, swearing and trash-talking.

International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS) put on an incredible show last Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd at Club Unity.

This was my first time attending one of their events and hot damn was it worth it. It was an action-packed night filled with broken doors, chair shots, broken glass, ladders and a lot more gyrating than I would’ve thought to see at a wrestling promotion known for their hardcore matches.

Here’s a full rundown of the card:


Max Lemire def. Kevin Beru: World’s Largest Cruiserweight Challenge

Wrestlers with the build of Max Lemire’s body type are usually roped into the same category as beef heads that can’t do much. In addition, he was joined by his ring manager Professor H, and this is the typical heel (bad guy, for you non-wrestling fans) prototype.

Boy, did Lemire crush that theory.

The crowd was on Kevin Beru’s side and wouldn’t budge from that position. It’s hard to hate a guy who comes down to the ring by himself, trying to put a bully like Lemire in his place. This was a good back and forth match with both wrestlers taking some good bumps.

The sound of vicious chops was echoing through the room and I couldn’t help but feel for both guys.

While the referee was distracted by Lemire, Professor H gave Beru a shot to the throat with his cane which would lead to Beru’s demise.

Match rating: 6.5/10


Veda Scott def. Meave O’Farrell

Veda Scott holds Meave O’Farrell against the ropes

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from this match. But that’s the thing about expectations and IWS—they are often defied.

One thing was very clear from the time the bell rang; these women kick ass. Last night was the first time these two had ever wrestled together so naturally, you would expect some rust and a little bit of sloppiness.

If you saw this match, you’d think these two had been wrestling together for years.

The match had very few, if any, lulls. This was the type of match that if you blinked, you’d miss something. Both wrestlers showed off their arsenal of moves and it made for a highly entertaining match.

Match Rating: 7.8/10


SeXXXy Eddy def. Puf

This was… something.

Again, I didn’t know what to expect from this entire show. I was certainly not expecting what ensued in this… “match.”

I really just don’t know what to say. This segment had a lot of gyrating, spanking and references to SeXXXy Eddy’s semi erect penis. I’ve heard tales of SeXXXy Eddy’s naked moonsaults, but unfortunately (fortunately? I don’t know anymore) this match only featured him spanking Puf with his rainbow-coloured Croc.

PCP Crazy F’N Manny will take on Hardcore Channing Decker at Unfnsanctioned on March 21st in what is expected to be his final match

Somewhere in all this madness, there was an actual wrestling match. Regardless of all the add-ons and gimmicks mentioned, it was actually a very technical match. Puf even showed off some flexibility by pulling the “Matrix” move a couple of times after absorbing some left-hand punches.

SeXXXy Eddy ultimately put the match to bed with his signature (clothed) moonsault.

Match Rating: 6.9/10


Hardcore Channing Decker def. The Green Phantom

Before we get into it—there was a really cool moment before the match.

PCP Crazy F’N Manny, the founder of IWS, came out to talk to the crowd, full of longtime IWS fans. At 43 years old, the years are catching up to him and he felt like it was time to hang up his wrestling boots for good.

Hardcore Channing Decker, who considers Crazy FN Manny a mentor, came out and offered him one more match before retiring. Not just any match, a “Death Match” at IWS’s flagship event, “Unfnsanctioned,” on Mar. 21. And of course, staying true to the name Crazy F’N Manny, he accepted the challenge.

Alright, back to the action.

The Green Phantom was one of two performers that I was really excited to see. I had heard a lot about him, how crazy he is, and it was finally time to see if he lived up to the hype.

Spoiler alert: He did.

Decker fed him chop after chop across the chest to start the match and Phantom returned the favour.

Then things got wild. A famous saying in wrestling is “you never know what you’ll find under a wrestling ring.”

Well, in this case, it was a bunch of wooden doors, chairs and a skateboard with light tubes attached to it. Chaos quickly ensued.

Phantom and Decker went blow for blow in this one. Decker threw a chair at Phantom’s face. Phantom responded by power-slamming Decker through a door. Decker ultimately got the last laugh when he hit Phantom across the chest with the makeshift light-tube-skateboard weapon, shattering the glass all over the place. I even got a couple of glass shards to the face.

This was reminiscent of Mick Foley’s match with Edge in WWE’s (World Wrestling Entertainment) Wrestlemania 22.

Match Rating: 8.2/10


No contest between Kevin Blanchard (champion) and Benjamin Tuli for the IWS Canadian Championship

This was the first match back from the show’s intermission so they had to come back with a bang.

This one had the potential for being the match of the night. Top rope moves, power-slams, suplexes—it was as good as it gets.

But unfortunately, it’s not how you start, it’s how you end.

Due to interference by Matt Angel by way of a chair shot to the face of Tuli, the match ended without a winner.

Hats off to Blanchard and Tuli — this could’ve been one for the ages had it ended with a winner. Nonetheless, the crowd was on the edge of their seats from the match’s entirety.

Match Rating: 8.7/10


Tabarnak de Team (TDT) def. Kevin Blackwood and Daniel Garcia

Tag team matches usually aren’t my thing but how could I not get behind two good Quebecois boys in the team of

Daniel Garcia screams in pain as Mathieu St-Jacques of TDT delivers a shot to his arm

Mathieu St-Jacques and Thomas Dubois.

TDT did most of the beating up with Blackwood and Garcia refusing to go down easily.  But ultimately when you get body-slammed through a door, your odds of winning a match go significantly down. Both Blackwood and Garcia suffered that fate.

Match Rating: 7.3/10


Matt Angel def. “Speedball” Mike Bailey in a ladder match for the IWS World Championship

What. The. F***.

If I only had three words to describe this match, those would be them.

This match was easily the best one of the night, and that’s saying a lot considering the quality of matches that were performed throughout. Technically, both wrestlers were very sound. The crowd was on their feet the entire time chanting “holy sh*t” at what they were seeing.

There were a ton of death-defying spots in this match, mostly off the top of a ladder. Regardless of most of the fans being behind Speedball, Angel took the match in dramatic fashion, making for an excellent finale.

This entire show was a true reminder that there is hidden talents all over the place and that the best wrestlers aren’t only in the WWE or AEW (All Elite Wrestling). The independent wrestling circuit has an enormous amount of talent and it was capped off by Bailey and Angel’s match.

Match Grade: 11/10


Overall Show Grade: A-

IWS’s next live event is Unfnsanctioned on Mar. 21 at Club Soda.


Photos by Laurence Brisson Dubreuil


Mid-year Stingers grades

It’s report card time for the 11 Stingers teams


Football: C+

A lot of the positives from this season came from the individual performances of key players.  Adam Vance threw for over 2,000 yards and was a Hec Crighton finalist. James Tyrrell emerged as one of the top receivers in U Sports, and has now signed a deal with the CFL’s Ottawa RedBlacks. Jeremy Murphy was named the U Sports rookie of the year. Besides that, not too much worked for the Stingers on the field. The team’s defense struggled immensely, the offense faced consistency issues, and the team dropped winnable games against McGill, and ultimately posted the same record as last season. With many of his key players graduating this year, head coach Brad Collinson will have to push for another strong recruiting class.

-Matthew Coyte


Men’s Hockey: C-

Where to begin with this team? The season looked really promising after the first two weeks of the season. Then everything went south at the end of the fifth game (in which they actually won 6-5 in OT over Wilfrid Laurier). In the final moments of that game, Philippe Sanche, Alexander Katerinakis and Anthony Dumont-Bouchard all went down with injuries that have kept them out of the lineup ever since. Hockey is an unforgiving game and the Stingers’ 6-7-3 record is a reflection of that. Other teams don’t care about your injuries and you just have to deal with it. One of the bright spots however is rookie forward Tyler Hylland. Hylland has had a seamless transition from junior hockey to U-Sports, putting up 18 points in 16 games. The second half will be a better one for the team as they will be much healthier after the break but they’ll certainly have their work cut out for them if they want to have home-ice advantage in the playoffs – should they qualify.

-Matthew Ohayon


Women’s Hockey: A

I’m not sure what more you could ask for from this team. After 10 games, the team is 9-0-1 and has been the top ranked-team in U Sports for seven straight weeks. Head coach Julie Chu continues to elevate her veterans like Audrey Belzile and Claudia Dubois while recruiting rookies who have had an immediate impact like Emmy Fecteau and Léonie Philbert. This team generates an incredible amount of chances, and have managed to shut down the best teams in the RSEQ. Even their one loss was in a shootout in a game where they managed nearly 50 shots on net. Mix in superb goaltending from Alice Philbert and division-leading scorer Rosalie Bégin-Cyr and you have a team that just overwhelms opponents. The only reason I’m not giving them an A+ is because we’re only halfway through the season. The true test for this team begins in January.

-Matthew Coyte


Men’s Basketball: A-

There were some question marks around the Stingers after last season’s RSEQ Championship-winning season with Ricardo Monge and Garry Merrisier both leaving the team after graduating. Well, if the first six games of the season were any indication of how the Stingers are as a team, I’d say they are doing just fine with a 5-1 record. It is impossible to pinpoint one game breaker on the team but that is certainly no knock on them. In every one of their wins, it’s been a complete team win. Rookie Ali White and second year players Nathaniel Boisvert, Aleks Simeunovich and Tariq Barki Hamad have been pitching in off the bench as well. This is an incredibly deep and talented team that looks poised to repeat as RSEQ champions. It also helps when you have a very strong coaching staff that has their players buying into the team culture. U Sports needs to start giving this team, and conference, some more respect.

-Matthew Ohayon


Women’s Basketball: C+

The case of the women’s team is an interesting one. They are coming off a very strong season that saw them make an appearance in the nationals off the backs of their big three of Coralie Dumont, Caroline Task and U Sports rookie of the year, Myriam Leclerc. This year we’re seeing just how important Dumont was for this team as they hold a 2-3 record. Perhaps the most interesting of all their games was their 70-65 loss at Laval. The Stingers held the Rouge et Or to only five points in the opening quarter and got 20 points out of Sabrina Lineus who only totalled 24 minutes of playing time. The Stingers seem to be a little bit out of sync at the moment but they are a well coached squad who will certainly put it all together for the second half of the season.

Matthew Ohayon


Men’s Rugby: A+

It’s pretty hard to find negatives in the season that team just offered. The Stingers successfully defended their RSEQ title, winning the championship a third straight year. They played solid rugby all season, and everyone contributed to the team’s success. The Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship (CUMRC) was played at Concordia this year, ensuring the team’s participation in the tournament regardless of their results in the RSEQ season. Yet, they proved they deserved their spot among the best of the country. They also played well at the CUMRC, winning their first game, and offering probably their best game of 2019 against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, despite the loss. The semi-final loss was a hard one to swallow, but I think the team can still be proud of their accomplishments this season.

-Alec Brideau


Women’s Rugby: A

It’s always great to see both men and women perform at such a high level at the same sport. After only two wins in seven games in 2018-19, as well as not making the RSEQ playoffs, the team bounced back with a perfect 6-0 season this year. The Stingers finished first in Section B and played through the RSEQ semi-final, where they lost 50-5 against the Université Laval Rouge et Or. It’s hard to give less than an A after that season.

-Alec Brideau


Men’s Wrestling: B

The men’s wrestling team has started their season well, clocking in at number 10 on the U Sports rankings three weeks running. While they’ve managed to stick around the national rankings, this is largely due to the team’s ability to grab points and not relying on individuals to carry the team. Only Aly Barghout (120 kg) and Julien Choquette (90 kg) are ranked members of the men’s wrestling team. Despite being slightly lower on the rankings than we’ve come to expect from this squad, don’t count them out yet. Wrestlers like fourth-year Francis Carter and Jordan Steen are a constant threat and are more than capable of lifting this team up the rankings.

-Matthew Coyte


Women’s Wrestling: B+

The woman’s wrestling team’s early success has come from its ability to get results from a number of different contributors. The team is led by fourth-year —and last year’s Stingers Female Athlete of the Year, Jade Dufour, but she’s not the only one winning matches. Kaleigh Prieur is fourth in the 48kg division, Laurence Beauregard is second in the 59kg division, plus Kaya Dube-Snow (55kg) and Amanda Savard (63kg) are first in their respective divisions. They’ve moved their way into the top three teams in U Sports, and their consistency will be key for success going forward.

-Matthew Coyte


Men’s Soccer: B

It was great to see the team participate in the RSEQ playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season. The Stingers faced adversity all season, and had trouble winning consecutive games. However, they still finished the season in fourth place with a 3-4-5 record, and played in the semi-final of the playoffs. I give the team a B because of their respectable season. Also, I think their playoff participation was quite huge for the men’s soccer team. The team knew it was the first time in a while, which represented a step in the right direction for the program.

-Alec Brideau


Women’s Soccer: B-

It’s been a bit harder for the women’s team in soccer. Finishing the season 2-7-5, the Stingers only won against the Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or this year. They managed to get an impressive 1-1 tie against the first-ranked UQAM Carabins, but such results weren’t enough to make the RSEQ playoffs. The team has talented players and great potential. Sometimes, it’s just about luck or little details. At some point, it should click for that team.

-Alec Brideau



Laurence Beauregard is chasing her dream

Laurence Beauregard has won for Concordia, but wants to compete at the Olympics

Laurence Beauregard, a wrestler for the Concordia Stingers, had a successful 2018.

In February, she won bronze at the U Sports nationals in Sault Ste-Marie, Ont. She travelled to Lima, Peru in May for the Pan-American Championships and won silver while representing her country. Most recently, Beauregard was one of three Stingers to medal at the 2018 World University Wrestling Championship in Brazil, winning gold in the 59-kilogram category.

The wrestler from Ville-Émard said she’s happy winning a tournament, and knows there’s room for improvement when she doesn’t. “I was happy [winning bronze at nationals] but I was also disappointed because obviously you lose a match when you win that,” Beauregard said. “But I was happy overall with the rest of my tournament; it was a whole learning experience.”

Beauregard joined the Stingers last season after starting wrestling six years ago at Beurling Academy in Verdun. Her sister was the only girl on the school’s wrestling team, and when Beauregard got to high school, the coach asked her to join the team. At the time, she was a synchronized swimmer and refused, but she eventually decided to quit swimming.

“When I decided to stop swimming, I gave most sports at school a try, and so I joined the wrestling team,” Beauregard said. She also tried rugby, football and basketball, and was already playing competitive soccer. At a certain point, she had to choose her favourite sport, which was wrestling.

Even though Beauregard won bronze at nationals last year, the Stingers finished fourth overall. Photo by Cody Spahr/U Sports.

Being physically fit from swimming benefited Beauregard when she transitioned into wrestling. The wrestler also developed good time management skills because of her training with synchro, so she already knew how to balance school and playing a sport.

Now, Beauregard trains twice a day, six times a week, adding up to nearly 30 hours of practice every week. She’s taking three classes this semester, and has to balance her schedule well.

“I try to do my best in school and in my sport,” Beauregard said. “But I would have to say right now wrestling is more my priority because I have a window of opportunities.”

For the past six years, Beauregard has been training with the Montreal Wrestling Club at the George & Eleanor Reinitz Wrestling Centre in Côtes-des-Neiges. Stingers wrestling head coach Victor Zilberman trains wrestlers from the high school level to the university level there, so Beauregard has known him as long as she’s been involved in wrestling.

“It was never really a question of what university I was going to; I knew I was going to Concordia,” Beauregard said. She studied sciences at Vanier, where she was also part of the wrestling team. Originally, Beauregard enrolled in exercise science at Concordia, but a year later, she wants to switch to marketing.

“I love sports so I thought exercise science would be the way to go,” she said. “But doing it hands-on, I didn’t see myself doing it later in life.”

With a potential marketing degree, Beauregard would like to work for organizations that have helped throughout her career as a student-athlete, like Alliance Sport-Études. It’s an organization that helps student-athletes in post-secondary institutions, and Beauregard said she received two bursaries from them.

“I would like to stay with people in sports, but help in a different way than just rehabilitation and exercise science, so maybe do it more from a marketing standpoint,” Beauregard said.

Beauregard’s biggest mentor in her wrestling career has been Martine Dugrenier. She is a physical education teacher at Vanier and an assistant coach with the Stingers, so she’s helped Beauregard a lot through the years. Dugrenier finished fifth at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, and won three gold World Championship medals from 2008 to 2010 in the 63-kilogram weight class.

“I’m lucky that she coaches me sometimes. If she’s at practice, I will go ask her a lot of questions,” Beauregard said. “She’s the one that really got me into wrestling.”

Beauregard said Dugrenier has really helped her develop her strongest tactic, which is leg attacks. Leg attacks, as the name suggests, are when the wrestler takes down their opponent by going after their legs from a standing position. “She was very big on leg attacks,” Beauregard said with a laugh. “Hopefully I’ll have the same wrestling style as she did.”

Like Dugrenier, Beauregard’s dream is to compete in the Olympics. She currently competes in the 59-kilogram weight class, which isn’t an Olympic weight class, so she would need to drop down to the 57-kilogram class.

Beauregard has wrestled for Canada in the past, like at the Pan-American Games and the U-23 Senior World Championships in Bucharest, Romania. Tournaments like these have allowed Beauregard to travel on her own. “Every time it’s a new experience, but you get more used to it, and you learn to deal with your stress better,” she said. “But you still enjoy the magnitude of what it is. I’m just grateful I get these experiences.”

If Beauregard achieves her dream of competing in the Olympics, she might just get to travel to the world.

Main photo by Gabe Chevalier.


Looking ahead at the Stingers’s 2018-19 season

After two championships last year, sports teams aim to continue winning

It’s back-to-school season, but for sports fans, this also means the Concordia Stingers teams are back in action. The Concordian previews the 2018-19 season.


Head coach: Brad Collinson

The Stingers had a 3-4 record last season and lost in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) semi-final to the Université de Montréal Carabins. A lot has changed for this team since they last played in early November. Rookie head coach Brad Collinson leads the charge for the football program, and he’s already facing some challenges with veterans leaving.

Quarterback Trenton Miller graduated from Concordia and is currently playing in Germany. Linebacker Mickael Côté and fullback Tanner Green were both drafted in the Canadian Football League (CFL), while running back Jean-Guy Rimpel left the team.

Adam Vance will have to take over as quarterback, but luckily for him, he will have Vince Alessandrini, Jarryd Taylor and James Tyrrell back as the top receivers.

It will be a learning year for Collinson and his team.

The men’s rugby team is keeping most of their players after winning the title. Archive photo by Alex Hutchins.

Men’s Rugby

Head coach: Craig Beemer

The men’s rugby team will look to repeat their RSEQ championship from last season. Craig Beemer should have most of his players returning, as Andreas Krawczyk was the only fifth-year player on the team last season.

This is Beemer’s third season as head coach and he’s brought in a lot of recruits since he took over. The team’s leaders, such as Charles Debove, Moritz Wittmann and Lucas Hotton all have at least two seasons left to play.

The Stingers went undefeated in RSEQ play a year ago, and it won’t be a surprise if they repeat it.

Women’s Rugby

Head coach: Jocelyn Barrieau

The women’s team didn’t share the same success as the men’s team, finishing the season with a 4-3 record and losing in the semi-final. But that wasn’t the biggest loss they took heading into this season, as veterans Alex Tessier and Frédérique Rajotte both graduated from the team.

Rajotte won the Stingers female athlete of the year award in April, and was named the U Sports top women’s rugby player last season. Both Tessier and Rajotte played a big part in bringing the Stingers to four straight RSEQ finals from 2013 to 2016.

It’s going to be a big hole to fill to replace them, but expect last season’s rookie of the year, Shawna Brayton, to step up.


Head coach: Greg Sutton

This year both the men and women’s soccer teams will see a big change, as Greg Sutton will coach both programs. Sutton has been the head coach of the men’s team since 2013.

The men’s team had a 3-8-1 record last season and failed to make the playoffs. Rookie forward Simon Malaborsa was a bright spot, scoring six goals. Besides captain Olivier Georges having graduated, most of the team should stay on.

On the women’s side, they had a 3-7-4 record last year and also missed the playoffs. Captain Laura Lamontagne is leaving, but the team recruited Kathleen Hilaro, who is the captain of semi-pro AS Blainville to potentially replace her in the midfield.

Defender Imane Chebel could be a player to watch this season. She had a strong first season with the Stingers and played with the Algerian national team last spring.

Women’s hockey

Head coach: Julie Chu

The women’s hockey team also won a RSEQ championship last season, and much like the men’s rugby team, their core stars are staying this year. Defenceman and captain Marie-Joëlle Allard graduated but leading scorers Claudia Dubois, Audrey Belzile, Lidia Fillion and Sophie Gagnon are all still with the Stingers.

Third-years Stéphanie Lalancette and Brigitte Laganière both had break-out seasons last year and will look to continue their strong play. No recruits have been announced, but the Stingers said Lauriane Rougeau will return as an assistant coach after taking a year off to play in the Olympics.

Men’s hockey

Head coach: Marc-André Élement

Even though they finished third in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) last year, the Stingers will have a new-look men’s hockey team.

U Sports MVP Anthony Beauregard played professionally with the Laval Rocket at the end of last season. His linemate, and second-highest scorer on the team, Massimo Carozza, signed to play in Italy.

Without their stars, Élement recruited 12 new players, including forward Colin Grannary from the NCAA. Élement will need second-year defenceman Carl Neill to really lead the charge, and he has to hope some of the recruits can replace Carozza and Beauregard’s goal-scoring.

Women’s basketball

Head coach: Tenicha Gittens

It wasn’t a season to remember for the women’s basketball team as they finished last in the RSEQ with a 4-12 record. Guard Jazlin Barker graduated and the Stingers should benefit from three fifth-year players this year with Aurélie d’Anjou Drouin, Marvia Dean and Ashley Moss.

One bright spot last season was forward Coralie Dumont, who was named RSEQ rookie of the year and made the U Sports all-rookie team. She finished the season averaging 11.1 points/game, 6.9 rebounds/game, and had a team-high 39.8 field-goal percentage.

Men’s basketball

Head coach: Rastko Popovic

After losing in the RSEQ final against the McGill Redmen, the Stingers also lost graduating star forward Ken Beaulieu. Beaulieu was a dunking machine and will be hard to replace.

They still have point guard Ricardo Monge, guard Adrian Armstrong and forward Olivier Simon. Simon should see more playing time with Beaulieu gone. The Stingers played three preseason games and had eight new recruits on the roster, so expect to see a young team.


Head coach: Victor Zilberman

Long-time head coach Victor Zilberman led the Stingers to a team silver at U Sports nationals in 2018. Francis Carter won gold and was named as the U Sports MVP, as well as the Stingers male athlete of the year. Fifth-year Vincent De Marinis has left the Stingers to pursue an Olympic dream.

The women’s team should have a strong year with nationals bronze-medalists Jade Dufour, Laurence Beauregard and Amanda Savard all set to return.

Main photo by Mackenzie Lad. 


Silver for Stingers at nationals

Francis Carter named U Sports’s Most Outstanding Wrestler

The Concordia Stingers brought home nine medals from the U Sports national wrestling championship in Sault Ste-Marie, Ont., during the two-day tournament on Feb. 23 and 24.

The Stingers finished second in the team results, scoring 91 points. This was a significant improvement for the squad, which finished in fifth at last year’s nationals. The tournament was marked by gritty performances, but perhaps none as exciting as Francis Carter, who took home a gold medal in the 68-kilogram division.

Prior to his gold medal match, Carter only gave up two points in three matches. This was his third trip to the U Sports national wrestling championship. In 2016, Carter finished in fifth place. In 2017, he finished in fourth.

“I personally wanted to focus on relaxing mentally so that I could develop my tactical thinking during my matches,” Carter said about his preparation for this year’s nationals. “After [the past] results, there were no stressful expectations on me, which let me focus better on how I wanted to wrestle.”

The Concordia Stingers 2017-18 wrestling team. Photo by Liam Mahoney.

In the round robin, Carter defeated Bryce Davis from the Algoma Thunderbirds 10-0, Nathen Schmidt of the Regina Cougars 10-0, and Miles Kent from the University of Alberta Golden Bears 13-2. In the gold medal match, Carter wrestled against the Brock Badgers’s Matt Jagas, the defending title holder. The result was a 3-2 nail-biter in favour of Carter.

“I walked in knowing that my opponent had the pressure since he was wrestling to keep the title that he won last year. That gave me confidence because I had no expectations, and was instead concentrating on how I could wrestle,” Carter said. “I think that the way expectations affected the results of this tournament is something very useful to learn from.”

Carter went up 3-0 in the match, but Jagas managed to come back to bring it within one. With Jagas coming on strong, Carter grabbed Jagas’s leg to run out the clock. The leg attack allowed Carter to hold on for the first gold medal of his U Sports career.

This win drew praise from Stingers wrestling head coach Victor Zilberman.

“It was unexpected,” Zilberman said. “He’s a tough academic athlete in a very difficult program [psychology]. He set his goals and was mentally ready. He came out to every match and had some incredible performances.” Zilberman added that the gold medal match was “the toughest match of the tournament.”

Carter was named the U Sports’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.

On the women’s side, Jade Dufour, Laurence Beauregard and Amanda Savard all took home bronze medals.

Beauregard didn’t come to her first U Sports nationals with any expectations.

“This year, for me, was more about learning,” Beauregard said. “I wanted to go out there and fight hard and smart. [During the bronze medal match], I was losing at a certain point. I decided to take a couple of deep breaths and re-centre my focus on having quality attacks. This worked for me.”

Dufour knew the bronze medal match was do or die. “I was either going to be on the podium or in the stands. I did not want to be in the stands,” she said.

Vincent De Marinis and Jordan Steen also won gold medals. Samuel Barmish, Alex Moore, Frédérick Choquette and rookie Guseyn Ruslanzada all added bronze medals to the Stingers’s tally. This was the third gold medal in both De Marinis and Steen’s careers, with Steen winning in 2013 and 2016, and De Marinis winning in 2016 and 2017.

Even after three-straight title wins at the national championship, De Marinis said he doesn’t change his preparation His routine stays the same for every fight, no matter the opponent.

Fifth-year Stinger Vincent De Marinis won his third-straight gold medal. Photo courtesy of U Sports.

“I was proud of my individual performance. It’s my last year as a Stinger, so it meant a lot to me to finish my university career strong and get that last gold,” De Marinis said. “Overall, it was a great experience. I really enjoyed travelling with the team. This was the Stingers’s best team performance in my five years competing for the university.”

Zilberman was happy with the team’s performance, but disappointed that they fell short of the team title. The Brock Badgers won the national championship for the fifth year in a row, scoring 162 points, compared to the Stingers’s 91. The Stingers sent 15 wrestlers to compete in the tournament—its biggest-ever national championship squad. The Badgers sent 19 wrestlers.

“We had a great team. On a different day, in a different year, we would have won, but because we’re competing against schools like Brock who send so many athletes, that made the difference,” Zilberman said.

He added that, over the years, he has been trying to extend his recruiting. Many of Concordia’s wrestlers were groomed at the Montreal Wrestling Club, which is also run by Zilberman.

The Stingers wrestling team is already training for the Canadian Championship in Montreal from March 16 to 18. Zilberman is excited for his core group of wrestlers to compete, as well as showcase new recruits who will be making their Stingers debut, including Aly Barghout, a product of Zilberman’s Montreal Wrestling Club and former junior national champion.

De Marinis, Steen, Moore and assistant coach Rob Moore will all be representing Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Australia from April 4 to 15.

Main photo courtesy of U Sports.



Pinning down a winning formula for 40 years

Victor Zilberman has coached the Concordia Stingers wrestling team to six national championships

When Victor Zilberman was 13 years old, he “just wanted to wrestle.” He joined a wrestling club in Moldova, then part of the former Soviet Union. Since then, his wrestling career has taken him across the world. He has also been the head coach of the Concordia Stingers wrestling team for the past 40 years.

In 1972, Zilberman moved from the Soviet Union to Canada to become a wrestling coach at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont. At the time, he was still competing professionally. Four years later, Zilberman moved to Quebec to help coach the provincial wrestling program. From there, he volunteered as a coach for Concordia and McGill before deciding to focus on the Stingers program in 1977. He is now one of the premier wrestling coaches in the country.

“I chose Concordia because it was a friendlier staff, more welcoming,” Zilberman said. “I had friends who were working in the athletic department. It was very encouraging.” He has now been a coach at Concordia for four decades, and he takes pride in having been around for so long.

Zilberman boasts a unique resume filled with championships. He won a bronze medal at the 1974 World Championships for Israel, and a silver medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games for Canada.

As a coach, he has led the Concordia Stingers wrestling team to six national championships as well as 65 individual national championship gold medals. Zilberman helped develop five world championship medalists, and he has coached the Canadian national team in four Olympic Games. It seems you can’t look at the wrestling community in Montreal, or in Canada, without finding Zilberman’s name somewhere in the mix.

Dmytriy Gershanov wrestles with Abbas Mohammadian at Victor Zilberman’s wrestling club. Photo by Kirubel Mehari.

As we spoke, Zilberman never took his eyes off the wrestlers training at the Montreal Wrestling Club at the Reinitz Wrestling Centre. He pointed to the pictures that line the walls—all national champions, world champions and Olympians he has trained. His knowledge and education is what differentiates him from other coaches across the country, he said. Zilberman has a degree in physical education from Lakehead University, a master’s in comparative education from McGill, a graduate diploma in sports administration from Concordia and a PhD in education from the Université de Montréal.

“I think that there are not enough coaches who have the qualifications of physical education and sports,” he said. “You learn about physiology, psychology, all those things that contribute to that knowledge.”

Zilberman was in the spotlight recently. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Georges St-Pierre, who trained at Zilberman’s club, gave the coach his championship belt after defeating Michael Bisping in UFC 217. Despite the gift, Zilberman refuses to take responsibility for St-Pierre’s success.

“I had nothing to do with it,” Zilberman said. “It was a huge coincidence. Someone who managed to get as far as he did happened to be in our club with me. I didn’t know [the belt] was that big of a thing. It’s a big honour though, to have someone like that appreciate what you did. He was a perfect gentleman.”

This season, Zilberman has high hopes for the Concordia Stingers wrestling team. He’s expecting the Stingers to compete for a national championship, and to remain one of the top squads in U Sports.

Main photo by Kirubel Mehari.


Stingers preview, from soccer to rugby

A look at what Concordia has in store for the upcoming sports season

Another school year is upon us which means another season of varsity sports is about to begin at Concordia. From football to soccer, all of the school’s varsity teams will be starting their seasons within the next few days, weeks or months. Curious about what our teams have in store this year? Well we’ve got you covered with this season preview.


The Concordia Stingers played their first game of the season against the Université de Montréal Carabins on Aug. 25, losing 37-19. Last season, the Stingers squeaked into the playoffs with a record of 4-4, but were bounced from the postseason in their conference semi-final against the Laval Rouge et Or. This year will prove to be a challenge for the Stingers as the Bishop’s Gaiters — whom they beat twice last year — are no longer in the division. This season, the Stingers will have to face the Carabins and the Rouge et Or twice — two teams Concordia hasn’t picked up a win against since 2010. Look out for key players such as quarterback Trenton Miller and wide receiver Vince Alessandrini to be this year’s difference makers.

Men’s Soccer

The Concordia Stingers men’s soccer team finished last season with a record of 4-6-2 which put them in sixth place out of seven teams in their division. The team was led by goalkeeper Karl Gouabé and leading point scorer Sébastien Boucley. The Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) division is led by powerhouses like Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, making this upcoming season a tough test for the Stingers. Their first game of the season is on Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at home against UQAM.

Women’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team struggled last season, finishing the year with a 2-10-2 record that put them in sixth out of eight teams in the RSEQ division. Midfielder Laura Lamontagne led the team with five goals and three assists and will surely be a player to watch out for this season. Laval and the Université de Montréal will be the Stingers’ biggest challenges this season, as those teams took the top two spots in the division last year. Concordia starts their season at home on Aug. 31 against UQAM at 8:45 p.m.

Men’s Basketball

The Stingers men’s basketball team will look to build on last year’s success after finishing the season with a record of 10-6 — good enough for second place in the RSEQ division. The team was led by a fresh crop of rookies, as well as veteran guard Ken Beaulieu and fifth-year forward Michael Fosu. The Stingers will be without Fosu this year as last season was his graduating year. Look for Beaulieu as well as second-year forward Olivier Simon to take the reins this season. Their first game is on Nov. 9 against Bishop’s.

Women’s Basketball

Latifah Roach looks for an open teammate against the McGill Martlets. Archive photo by Ana Hernandez.

The women’s basketball team is fresh off a season where they upset the Laval Rouge et Or in the RSEQ semi-final and made it to the provincial final. While the Stingers eventually lost to the McGill Martlets, the team’s ability to persevere and chip away at their opponents will surely carry into this season. However, veterans such as Marilyse Roy-Viau, Tamara Pinard-Devos and Richelle Grégoire are no longer with the team, having graduated last year. While the team is without their veterans, the Stingers are still ripe with talent and poised for a good season. Their first game will be against Bishop’s on Nov. 9.

Men’s Rugby

The Stingers men’s rugby team is fresh off a transition year that saw the team drop to a 1-6 record, putting them in last place in the RSEQ division. Head coach Craig Beemer had his work cut out for him in his first year as the team’s bench boss. With a team heavily composed of rookies, last season was a learning curve for the Stingers. However, with last season’s rookies earning a year’s worth of experience, the team is sure to be on the upswing this season. The team’s first shot at redemption will be during the season opener on Sept. 10 against their biggest rival, the McGill Redmen.

Women’s Rugby

The women’s rugby team is poised for another dominating season in the RSEQ with the return of veteran players Frédérique Rajotte and Alex Tessier who are fresh off a stint with the Canadian national team. Concordia went 5-2 last season which was good enough for third place in the division. The Stingers made it to the RSEQ final, but lost to their biggest rival, the Ottawa Gee-Gees. This year, the team’s biggest competition will be the pesky Gee-Gees and the Laval Rouge et Or. The team starts the season on Sept. 4 away against McGill.

Men’s Hockey

The Concordia Stingers are coming off one of their best seasons in team history after acquiring top rookies like Anthony De Luca and Philippe Sanche. However, the team will face a new challenge this year as long-time captain Olivier Hinse has graduated and is now playing in Denmark. The team will, nonetheless, be in good hands as veteran forward Philippe Hudon will be taking over the captaincy. Look for goaltender Philippe Cadorette as well as forwards De Luca, Sanche and Anthony Beauregard to make a big impact on offence. The team plays their first game on Oct. 13 on the road against the McGill Redmen.

Women’s Hockey

The Stingers women’s hockey teams celebrates a semi-final playoff series win last season against the UQAM Carabins. Archive photo by Alex Hutchins.

Much like the men’s hockey team, the women just had a successful season, with the team making it to the bronze-medal game of the National championships. The team eventually lost in that game and took home fourth place. They also finished second in the RSEQ playoffs. Forward Audrey Belzile led the team with 18 points last season, and is sure to be a star goal-scorer alongside forward Claudia Dubois this year. With Katherine Purchase coming back as the starting goalie, the Stingers have the potential to build on last season’s impressive finish. They will play their first game of the season on Oct. 15 against the Ottawa Gee-Gees.


With a strong crop of wrestlers, the Stingers are a force to be reckoned with this season. At Nationals last year, Vincent De Marinis took home a gold medal in the 65 kg weight class. De Marinis is going into his graduation year at Concordia and, in an interview with The Concordian last semester, said he is always striving to improve and win more tournaments. Last year, rookie Fred Choquette took home bronze at Nationals and, going into his second year, has the potential to climb the ranks of the heavyweight division. Going into the season, expect third-year wrestler Jade Dufour to make a big impact as well. She finished second at Nationals last season.


Concordia wrestler grapples to the top

Vincent De Marinis is making a name for himself with two national titles

Concordia is home to one of the best young wrestlers in the country, and you probably didn’t even realize it.

Vincent De Marinis is a two-time national champion in the 65-kilogram weight class in wrestling. He recently defended his national title in Edmonton at the University of Alberta. He went 3-0 in the group stage, without being pinned down once, before beating Brock University’s Mizam Tamaradze in the final.

De Marinis said even though he won the national title last year, he did not slack off heading into this season. He trained hard, and did not get over-confident before heading into the 2017 National Championships.

“Coming into this competition, I really felt ready, and I was excited to get that second gold medal,” De Marinis said. “I was really proud of myself.”

The fourth-year finance student hopes to continue making a mark in Canadian wrestling after he leaves Concordia. He said his ultimate goals are to make the Olympics for Team Canada and win a medal at the World Championships.

He already has a foot in the door on an international stage, as he has represented Canada on two occasions. His first time wearing the red-and-white instead of Concordia’s maroon-and-gold was at the 2013 World Junior Championships in Bulgaria. He said his first experience representing his country was a learning one.

“When I was a junior, I got blown away,” he said. “That was, more than anything, a wake-up call. That was an indicator to what level it takes to compete internationally.” Two years later, at the Pan-Am Championships in Chile, he won a bronze medal.

His road to representing Canada at an international level would not have been possible without the help of his coaches at his various schools, including the Concordia Stingers. He started wrestling at John Rennie High School, when his friend suggested he join the wrestling team, which was coached by the late Don Kinsella. He said he was unsure about joining the team, but his friend reassured him.

“I was pretty nervous, because I was small, but he told me I would be against people my size,” De Marinis said.

So he joined the team, which was not an official school team, but rather, an after-school activity. Coincidentally enough, his first wrestling match was at Loyola High School. De Marinis started his wrestling career just steps away from where he now practices it.

Vincent De Marinis is in his fourth year with the wrestling team at Concordia. Photo by Brianna Thicke.

After graduating from high school, he attended Vanier College, which did not have a wrestling team. However, he continued training at the Montreal Wrestling Club, where he met Victor Zilberman, the head coach of the Concordia Stingers wrestling team. De Marinis said he knew right away that he would be going to Concordia to compete for the Stingers, and he’s grateful for the opportunity Zilberman gave him.

“Coming out of high school, I was a kid with no head on his shoulders, then I met Victor and started training seriously,” he said.

Since then, De Marinis has trained to become one of the most dominant wrestlers in the country. He has won most of the tournaments he’s competed in, and now sits at the top of his weight class for the second year in a row.

He said his bread-and-butter move is the fireman throw. Like the name suggests, it looks like when a fireman is rescuing someone, carrying them away over his shoulder. Except in wrestling, De Marinis is not attempting to save anybody’s life, but rather, trying to pin his opponent down.

“It’s probably something most wrestlers look out for when they face me,” De Marinis said.

A great athlete does not come without weaknesses. He added that, while his key move is a relatively safe one, when he attempts to do more aggressive moves, he gets beat by his opponent’s counter-attack.

“When I do leg attacks, something that leaves me more vulnerable, and I tend to get countered,” he said.

Like any student-athlete, De Marinis also has to grapple between school work, 30 hours of training a week and a social life. For him, the key to his success is pinning down one task at a time. A bit like what he does on the wrestling mat on his way to national titles.

“I try to take it one day at a time,” he said. “You can’t look at what needs to be done in the future, you need to look at what needs to be done now.”

He said wrestling has taught him many valuable lessons that he applies to other areas in his life. He said he has learned work ethic, how to deal with tough situations, time management, discipline and how to make sacrifices.

“If you’re not going to take anything out of wrestling itself, you’re going to take life lessons,” he said.

De Marinis will be back with the wrestling team next year for his fifth and final season, where he said he is looking towards winning a third-straight national title.

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