It only stands to reason that the Jason Morris Judo Center team would have the edge when it comes to winning the Morris Cup.
After all, it's the only time all year when the Glenville-based club can send most of its judokan on to the mats.
JMJC won the team title for the sixth time in the Morris Cup's 10-year existence last Saturday at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School after claiming 19 medals, including seven gold medals. JMJC finished with 65 points, 18 points ahead of Upper Canada and Combat Sambo Center.
The main reason why [we have won six titles] is because it's local, and I can get most of my team here, said JMJC and Morris Cup founder Jason Morris.
Kyle Vashkulat led JMJC by winning the men's plus-100 kilogram weight class. The victory earned Vashkulat a $250 pay day and a $1,000 bonus for sweeping all four events on the "Zebra Tour" " the Morris Cup, the Starrett Cup, Pedro's Challenge and the Ocean State International. Brad Bolen (66kg) and Jake Stromecki (100kg) also won men's division titles.
On the women's side, Angela Woosley (48kg), Natalie Lafon (52kg) and Muffa Hermansson (57kg) took home gold medals for JMJC. Woosley also received the Jimmy Pedro Award as the Morris Cup's most outstanding senior female.
Other special awards went to Alexis Morin-Martel of Shidokan (outstanding senior male), Quentin Cook of Anderson YMCA (outstanding junior male), Briana McCracken of Upper Canada (outstand-ing junior female), Steven Cherny of Combat Sambo Center (potential and sportsmanship) and Mikhael Charlidze of Spartak (most inspirational).
More than 500 athletes representing 16 states and 10 foreign countries competed in this year's Morris Cup.
"I never envisioned this level of success [for the tournament]," said Morris. "The original intent is still intact " to service our local judo community by bringing in all this [international] talent. Luckily for us, it keeps growing."