By Ryan Laverty
The Composition of an astounding Dino:
–exceptional athletic ability
The Look of an astounding Dino:
–strength beyond years
–discombobulating good looks?
Maybe. Elvis shades? Definitely.
–big, blond "Fro"
The Name of an astounding Dino:
At the 35th Annual Night of the Dino, the composition and the look gave rise to the name announced as the 2001/02 Bill Popplewell Dinos Male Rookie of the Year.
"It is an amazing honour when you consider the volume of athletes on campus and the pool to select from," explained wrestling Head Coach Mitch Ostberg of his first-year man. "I am so happy for Joe. He is not only an exceptional athlete but an exceptional individual."
A graduate of the National Sports School at William Aberhart High School, Bentley took the long journey across Crowchild Trail to the bright lights and big buildings of the University of Calgary. It was seemingly easy decision for the five-year veteran of the Dinos Wrestling Club to step up to the varsity wrestling team.
"I’ve been training part-time with the team for the last couple of years," said Bentley, a first-year Communications and Culture student. "So, the transition was more or less like going from part-time to full-time."
Still, while friction was not a problem in joining the team, Bentley admitted moving from high school to university was an adjustment.
"I was really nervous at our first dual meet at Regina. I wasn’t sure what to expect," he said. "It was definitely a change from wrestling boys to wrestling men.
"But once I’d been around and had wrestled pretty much everyone in my weight class, I knew I was in contention."
Contention may have been an understatement. In his first year of varsity competition, he surprised his adversaries by winning silver at both the Canada West Championships and the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships. And while he is happy with his performance, he is by no means satisfied.
"I lost to a guy at CWs that I shouldn’t have lost to and then I lost to a guy I beat at CWs at CIs," he explained. "Next year I want double gold."
For most, a goal like this would be overly ambitious, but for this guy it is more like a minimum standard.
"In wrestling, success is dependent upon depth and experience," said Ostberg. "But Joe seemed to transcend those qualities. He is already a leader on this team and his confidence makes him a very real competitor."