The Dinos wrestling team is like nudity. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s ugly, (sometimes it’s Damon Booth), but it’s always interesting.
On that note, the men’s wrestling team gets an A and the women’s team gets a strong B+. They both finished second in the nation, but much like nudity, second isn’t always second.
The men had an outstanding season, won the Canada West Conference and lost the national title by one point. The women came in second as well, but it was not nearly as glorious.
Where the men had two national champs, the women had none. Where the men were part of the most exciting national title finish ever, the women got blown out by Simon Fraser University just like everyone else. In short, the men were afloat in an Olympic-size swimming pool. The women were afloat too, but it was in a bathtub (though we can’t forget there was only one “floater” who was better).
It is important to note that Head Coach Mitch Ostberg was named Canadian Interuniversity Sport Men’s Coach of the Year. His work with the younger wrestlers is evident from the outstanding results from guys like Damon Booth and Beamer Comfort. Also, the women did very well for a young team. While not close to SFU, they were better than all the rest.
Finally, the male Dinos get an A on the strength of fifth-year David Kooperberg and fourth-year Mike Stitt. Both were unstoppable, both won national titles, and Kooperberg was named Most Outstanding Wrestler at Nationals. That’s the highest honour a CIS wrestler can hope for in his sport and Kooperberg’s last hurrah capped off one of the greatest Dinos careers ever, in any sport. In all his days in red and gold, he lost once. That’s an A.