Mother Teresa student who trains with St. Joe's won the 77-kilogram weight class
Wednesday, March 15, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
Standing atop the podium holding a gold medal will be a moment Patrick Salvador won't soon forget.
The Grade 12 student at Mother Teresa secondary school won the 77-kilogram weight class, defeating Sukhman Gosel, of Brampton Turner Fenton, in the gold medal match, at the OFSAA wrestling championships, March 5-6, in Ottawa.
"It's absolutely wonderful. An absolute accomplishment for me. I'm on cloud nine," said Salvador. "We were tied at one point and I just picked it up a bit. When I beat him with a pin, I didn't know how to react. I was speechless."
Salvador ended the gold match with about 30 seconds remaining in the second of two rounds, completing a 5-0 run at the high school provincial tournament.
"I couldn't believe it. I had the title OFSAA champ."
Salvador trained this past season with the St. Joseph's Rams under coach Wolff Schweitzer, because MTS does not have a wrestling program. Thomas Fortier, also from Mother Teresa and Kendall Dettloff, of London CCH, practiced at St. Joe's for the same reason.
"Patrick really controlled his tie-ups well, which is something he has worked on a lot this year," Schweitzer said. "This let him dictate the pace and the situations in his matches, which may have been something he did not do last year. He also made good decisions to get himself out of tough situations a few times, rather than trying to pull off risky moves to score points."
On his way the gold medal, in a division featuring 31 wrestlers, Salvador never gave up a point until the final , winning by mercy (a win by 10 or more points), over Sam Griffin (Sacred Heart), Ben Andrews (Sinclair), Jai Sodhi (Fletcher's Meadow) and in the semifinals, Chad Raye (West Humber).
"I didn't have to use my bread and butter signature move until the final. It was a whole lot of controlling and a lot of motion. In some of my matches, my opponent was the aggressive one, so I sprawled back and kept my legs away from them," said Salvador. "The final was definitely my toughest match although my semifinal was tough. My opponent (Raye) didn't score a point on me but I had to work for my points."
Standing on the podium Salvador received his medal from his greatest inspiration.
"The best part was I had my brother."
Usually the coach of the winning athlete presents the medals to the top six athletes, but Salvador asked Schweitzer, if his brother, Ingmar, could instead step in for the ceremony.
"It was a big honour for my brother to do it and it was absolutely an unforgettable moment," said Patrick. "OFSAA is a big deal and my brother was also a wrestler in high school. He got second and third at OFSAA. Sadly he lost in his final. So I knew I had to bring home one (gold) for the family."
Salvador brought lessons from the past to OFSAA this year.
In Grade 10, Salvador just missed a medal in his OFSAA debut, placing fourth, at 61-kilograms. Last year Salvador was fifth, at 64-kilograms, when his attitude got the better of him.
"I had a very tough quarterfinal against a guy. I underestimated him. I had always beaten him before. I allowed myself to get too cocky and he ended up winning by two points," said Salvador. "Now when I go into a match, I don't think about if I have beaten this guy before. I go out there and give my 100 percent for the entire match."
Salvador started wrestling in Grade five, but didn't look at the sport seriously until high school.
"In Grade nine I really started pushing hard," Salvador said. "My brother was a big motivator for me. He pushed me through everything and always been there for me."
Salvador is also very appreciative of the Rams.
"Coach Schweitzer accepted us (Fortier, Dettloff) with open arms and let us train at St. Joe's," Salvador said. "I learned a lot and made a lot of new friends there."
His golden run has created interest from a number of universities, although Salvador is returning to Mother Teresa next year, and prepared him for the upcoming Under-17 / U19 Canadian championships for club wrestlers, in Fredericton, N.B., April 4-6th.
Salvador will be representing the London-Western club and competing at 80-kilograms.