They might not have imagined it when they joined the wrestling team at Beaconsfield High School, but just three short years into their wrestling careers local boys Alex Lauzon and Dylan Flesjzon will be representing Quebec at the Canada Games this August in P.E.I.
This feat is the result of a strong showing at the Canada Games Trials earlier this month, where both wrestlers defeated all comers on the way to earning top status in their respective weight classes.
According to Coach Tony Ronci Jr., who revived the dead wrestling program at BHS, where he met and trained Lauzon and Flesjzon, it has been an uphill climb to promote the sport. He began with 15 wrestlers three years ago but that total has been whittled down to five.
He expects both Lauzon and Flesjzon to follow a similar path to his own, from high school to Vanier College and later to Concordia, schools that boast impressive wrestling programs. Both have taken the first step towards this end, enrolling at Vanier where they will learn under the tutelage of Victor Zilberman, former coach of the Canadian Olympic team.
Lauzon, who competes in the 85 kg class, is the son of a former Olympic swimmer and a body builder, will study health sciences in Cegep. A hulking specimen and a quick learner, he has two provincial championships and a GMAA title to his credit.
Flesjzon joined the BHS wrestling team after moving to Montreal from Calgary, wrestles in the 63 kg class and will study pure and applied science next year. Ronci applauds his never say die mentality, singling it out as his greatest strength.
Flesjzon has also been selected to represent Canada at the Maccabiah Games in Israel this July and is looking forward to the opportunity to work extensively with Coach Zilberman. “I’m so excited,” he gushed. “You can tell right away that your work is paying off. Within the first year of training with Victor you become so much better. I can’t wait!”
For his part, Ronci, who is a volunteer at BHS, hopes to attract more attention to the sport by establishing a community wrestling program out of the Beaconsfield Recreation Center, where he can cater to a wider audience and make use of better equipment. You can bet he will be looking on intently this August when his two prized students will represent Quebec at the Canada Games. “It’s been our goal since last season to compete in the Canada games and our hard work has paid off. Next year they’ll be training with former Olympians on a regular basis so hopefully this is only a stepping stone in their careers.”