Former W.J. Mouat standout Amrit Benning (in red) is part of the 11-man roster that UFV will take into its inaugural CIS season.

Former W.J. Mouat standout Amrit Benning (in red) is part of the 11-man roster that UFV will take into its inaugural CIS season.

Cascades wrestling program announces team for CIS debut

UFV's fledgling men's wrestling team has unveiled its inaugural roster, highlighted by six athletes from Abbotsford.

The University of the Fraser Valley’s fledgling men’s wrestling team has unveiled the roster it will take into its inaugural season, highlighted by six athletes from Abbotsford.

The Cascades wrestlers, coached by Arjan Bhullar and Raj Virdi, embark on their first season of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) competition in 2014-15. Bhullar and Virdi oversaw the club wrestling program at UFV last year, and several of club participants will transition with the program to the CIS level, while others are newcomers to the university.

Local content includes Rick Hansen Secondary graduates Chanmit Phulka (100 kg), Jasmit Phulka (90 kg) and Ranjot Sandhar (65 kg); W.J. Mouat product Amrit Benning (65 kg); Mennonite Educational Institute’s Dave Sharma (61 kg); and Yale Secondary grad Devin Purewal (65 kg).

All six Abby natives have won medals at the B.C. high school championships, and the Phulka brothers have both won multiple national championships in various age classes and have had success internationally. Benning, a two-time national champ, was named the most outstanding wrestler at high school provincials last season.

Other new Cascades of note include Aso Palani (57 kg), a three-time senior national champ who was an alternate for the 2012 Canadian Olympic team, and Wali Abdullah (54 kg), a former national champion from England who is the program’s first international recruit.

Rohit Thandi (57 kg), Jaskarn Ranu (72 kg) and Manny Kahlon (120 kg) round out the roster.

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