Sports

Lady Gens compete at University of Western Invitational

 

Special to the RTT

The General Amherst senior girls’ basketball team took part in the 32-team University of Western Invitational this past weekend.

In their opening game Amherst ended up on the short end of a 46-41 score in a highly competitive game against St. Thomas Aquinas from London. Lexi Dodds hit 13 of 14 of her free throws and ended up with a game high 31 points. Also scoring for Amherst were Ramie Tytgat with five, Dani Brindley with three and Taja Holmes with two points.

In their next game against Brantford Assumption, General Amherst trailed only by three at the half but had trouble finding the bottom of the basket in the second half and lost 38-25. Tytgat and Dodds had five points each in the game followed by Hannah Bauer with four and Holmes, Brindley and Emma Marshall all had three points each. Alyssa Herd rounded off the scoring with two points and Madison Pillon led the team in rebounds.

In their final game of the tournament, General Amherst led 31-11 after three quarters and coasted to a 39-21 victory over Waterloo Collegiate. Taja Holmes played a strong defensive game and led the team in steals. Lexi Dodds paced the scoring with 19, Dani Brindley had six, Emma Marshall had five, Madi Pillon had three and Taja Holmes, Breana Farias and Hannah Bauer all had two points each.

Amherst will have an exhibition game this Thursday against Brennan at home at 4:15 p.m.

Sr. Bulldogs open season with 41-0 loss to Riverside

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team is struggling to keep the number of players up and some of those players they do have suited up for the first time in a game last Thursday.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, it showed in the results.

General Amherst was on the short end of a 41-0 decision to the Riverside Rebels in a game played at Tecumseh Vista Academy. The teams were scoreless through one quarter though Riverside had a touchdown called back on a penalty.

General Amherst running back Levi Reaume (left, 21) heads upfield during last Thursday’s game against Riverside.

The Rebels put up three touchdowns in the second quarter thanks to a three-yard run, a 45-yard punt return and an 18-yard pass, the latter being on the final play of the half.

General Amherst’s best chance to score came in the third quarter when they got to the Riverside four-yard line. However, a third-and-goal play ended with a sack.

Riverside tacked on three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter through a 24-yard-pass, a 60-yard punt return and a one-yard run.

The low numbers and inexperience of the players wasn’t lost on Amherst head coach John Rudak.

“That’s definitely the headline,” said Rudak.

Rudak pointed out that the Rebels recently combined their senior and junior football teams, meaning they won’t play at the junior level this season, adding that he gave consideration to doing the same thing at General Amherst. When he put a challenge out to the players about bolstering the team’s numbers, about 28 showed up for practice and Rudak shelved the plan to combine the teams at that point.

General Amherst quarterback Spencer Hawkins (3) throws a pass last Thursday afternoon against the Riverside Rebels.

“That gave our team false hope because eight guys quit shortly thereafter,” said Rudak. “The best part of that is (the remaining players) don’t seem to care. They still love playing football.”

There is still a concern about the ability to finish the season as if more players quit or if some get injured, it could deplete the team’s roster too much. Rudak was encouraged that the new players now have a game under their belts.

“Their learning curve is going to be very good,” he said. “They can only get better.”

Rudak said they are still welcoming new players and if anyone wants to join either the senior or junior teams, they can attend practices at Centennial Park after school.

The Bulldogs’ next game is Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Libro Centre against Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Drone racing event coming to Libro Centre Sept. 23

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Libro Centre has featured a number of events from hockey, figure skating, baseball, football, soccer and more.

Now, drone racing can be added to that list.

The group FPV Canada is hosting a drone racing event this Saturday at the Libro Centre with local president David McCall stating it is “a new and exciting sport” that originated in Australia and “has become a worldwide phenomenon.

“Drone racing entails the building and racing of small radio controlled drones which can fly at speeds of 80 mph and are controlled by a pilot using a radio transmitter and FPV or First Person Video goggles,” he explained. “Each drone carries a small micro video camera and record which is connected to the FPV Goggle and which allows the pilots to see as if they were on the drone. This is a very exciting and immersive style of flying.”

McCall stated that an aerial track is set up creating a type of aerial obstacle course that the pilot must maneuver through. Flags, gates (arches), hoops and other obstacles “create a very challenging event for the pilots and exciting visual display for the spectators.” The races are flown in heats with each heat two to three minutes in length and McCall added the pilot must maneuver through the course as many times as they can in the allotted time.

There can be upwards of eight to ten pilots flying during each heat and the completion becomes an elimination style event down to a single winner,” he pointed out.

McCall said they don’t know how many people to expect for the event.

“Since this is our first Windsor-Essex County public event, we are truly not sure of the size of turnout to expect. Drone racing is new and very popular among students, university and millennials but also has an appeal to the curiosity of an older crowd,” he said. “People will definitely travel to an event, recently a large event was held in B.C and people came from all over as well there is the upcoming Drone Nationals held in Ottawa and people will be coming from all over.”

FPV Canada which McCall said is Canada’s largest drone racing league and which FPV Windsor is a registered chapter.

“We chose Amherstburg because of the central location to the county, the size of the Libro Centre, the parking for spectators, the size of the field space and their forward vision with regards to drone racing. They see the future of racing and the positive potential for their town and community as this sport continues to grow,” said McCall

McCall noted there are various sizes of racing drones or quads as they are more commonly referred to by racers. He said they range from micro quads being a drone that will fit in the palm of your hand, to mid sized and racing or 250’s as they are referred too.

People who wish to race may contact FPV Windsor though Facebook or online through the Windsor Drone Racing League website at www.windsordroneracingleague.com. They can contact them via e-mail at fpvwindsor@gmail.com.

“Anyone is welcome to come and watch and there is no admission to do so,” said McCall. “We are encouraging the public to come and see what we do and ask questions. We feel that the sport will grow through interaction and education.”

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, with Sunday being a rain date if needed. McCall stated that spectators are asked to stay to designated spectator areas.

“We will be presenting a series of micro-races through the fall and winter if anyone is interested please contact fpvwindsor@gmail.com for details.”

Admirals down Petrolia 5-3 in regular season opener

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Integrity Admirals defeated the Petrolia Flyers 5-3 in the PJHL Stobbs Division regular season opener, but it is clear the Admirals are looking for a better effort going forward.

Ryan Alexander had a hat trick for Amherstburg Sunday night, including the opening goal 9:20 into the first period. Caleb Paquette made it a 2-0 game 50 seconds later. A bad bounce for Amherstburg led to a Connor Lovell goal and made it a 2-1 game but Alexander scored again at the 19:19 mark of the opening period making it a 3-1 game at the first intermission.

Amherstburg’s Caleb Paquette (6, left) rounds the Petrolia net with the puck while being watched by Eric Marsh.

The Flyers tied it on goals by Eric Campbell and Eric Marsh in the second period but captain Dylan Muzzatti’s goal gave the Admirals the lead after 40 minutes. Muzzatti also had two assists on the night.

Alexander scored a powerplay goal with approximately three minutes to play in the third period to round out the scoring.

Amherstburg outshot Petrolia 39-26 on the night.

“We came out pretty strong for the first little bit. We died down after that. We didn’t play a full 60 minutes,” said Alexander.

Alexander credited his teammates for the hat trick.

“None of the goals were unassisted,” he said. “I couldn’t do it without my teammates.”

The Admirals did a good job picking each other up but Alexander emphasized they have to have a better effort in future games.

“I’m glad we got the two points but we’ve got to have better efforts down the road,” he said. “Down the road, we can’t get away with playing ten minutes out of a full 60.”

Alexander said “expectations are always as high as they can be” for the season and that while they have some new faces this year, they have players with a good work ethic that will get better as the 2017-18 season goes on.

Amherstburg forward Cory Burns (9) crashes the net during Sunday’s 5-3 win over Petrolia. The Admirals got three goals from Ryan Alexander and single goals from Dylan Muzzati and Caleb Paquette in the season opening win.

Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon also pointed out they didn’t have the best effort on the night.

“What I told our guys was to be happy with the result but don’t be happy with the effort,” said Bortignon. “The effort wasn’t quite there tonight.”

If they have similar efforts in future games, the Admirals likely will be on the opposite end of the result, Bortignon believed. He attributed the less than stellar effort to first game jitters but said there was more intensity from the rookies through the veterans during the pre-season.

“Overall, it was not good enough,” he said. “We obviously have to get better and get better in a hurry.”

Bortignon was happy with the two points and the Admirals’ penalty killing, but didn’t think they were as good as they should be five-on-five or on the powerplay.

“It’s tough to pick out a lot of positives in a game like that,” he added.

Assistant coach/co-owner Matt Fox said the team was pleased with the attendance, noting they got a lot of support from the town.

“It was great to see,” said Fox.

The Admirals were in Essex Tuesday night, after this issue of the RTT went to press. They have two weekend games at the Libro Centre this weekend, hosting Blenheim Saturday and Mooretown Sunday. Both weekend games are at 7 p.m.

Admirals boasting abundance of local talent on this year’s team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

When the Amherstburg Integrity Admirals hit the ice this season, they will be doing so with a lot of locally trained hockey players.

The bulk of the Admirals’ 23-player roster is made of locally developed talent with the local content also included in the team’s ownership and management.

“I’m pumped for the outlook of our team this season, probably more than I’ve been in the four years I’ve been here,” said co-owner Wes Ewer. “I’m pumped about the amount of Amherstburg talent we have in all aspects of the organization.”

Ewer pointed out that 13 of the 23 players are from Amherstburg, three coaches are from Amherstburg and three of the four support and training staff are from Amherstburg. The ownership group of the Admirals also features two local people – Ewer and Matt Fox. Fox is also an assistant coach.

Local players include Kyle Meloche, Zack Yott, Cory Burns, Austin Jennings, Ryan Holzel, Cole Welsh, Luc Warnock, Jack Hubbell, Bryce McGregor, Catalin Morin, Mike Lenson, Brock Beaudoin and Reid Stieler.

“I would challenge anyone to find me a team in the PJHL that has as many people from its town involved in all areas and be a strong team,” said Ewer. “We are very, very proud we have local talent spread out in all areas of the organization. We are going to put a lot of familiar faces on the ice.”

The Amherstburg Integrity Admirals will hit the ice for the 2017-18 PJHL Stobbs Division season with a healthy dose of local talent among their ranks. The Amherstburg executives, coaches and players include (back row, from left): From Left to right (Standing)- Wes Ewer (owner), Zack Yott (#17), Cory Burns (#9), Austin Jennings (#10), Ryan Holzel (#14), Cole Welsh (#4), Luc Warnock (#27), Jack Hubbell (#2), Bryce McGregor (#18), Rob Bondy (assistant coach), Paul Bortignon (general manager/head coach). Front row (from left): Matt Fox (owner/assistant coach), Catalin Morin (#33), Mike Lenson (#8), Brock Beaudoin (#11), Reid Stieler (#7). Not pictured: Kyle Meloche (#12), Grant Wood (room manager), Stu Bertram (assistant trainer), Bryan Hayes (prevention services), Scott Riddell (assistant trainer), B.J. Wiley (assistant trainer).

The Admirals praised the work of the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) for its role in developing the local talent.

“You can’t say enough about AMHA,” said Ewer. “They make it easy for us.”

The coaches are confident about the players they are utilizing, Ewer added, and that those players can be used in all situations.

“We know what (AMHA) is doing and they are doing it right,” he said.

Ewer pointed out Glen Holden and Dennis Emerson, coaches of the Amherstburg Stars midget major and juvenile teams respectively, deserve credit for developing players in their final years of minor hockey.

“We’re going to be in a good position because of the good coaching they are doing with their teams,” he said.

Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon said the level of hockey talent that is developed in Amherstburg is something the Jr. C club can’t turn away from. He said the number of Amherstburg players on the Admirals is due to their abilities rather than simply the team trying to accumulate as many local players as possible.

“I don’t think we’d take Amherstburg kids on the ice if it hindered our hopes for winning a championship,” said Bortignon.

Bortignon believed that winning a championship with so many local players and coaches could be “the first of its kind” in Jr. C.

Fox said AMHA has produced strong hockey players over the years and that trend is continuing. He said with the Admirals now in town, local players have been choosing to stay home to further their careers at the junior level.

“There are teams that are winning in this league that are doing it on the backs of Amherstburg kids,” said Fox.

Ewer added that although they are excited about the number of Amherstburg players in the lineup, they are equally excited about the other players from outside of town they have acquired as well. The Admirals open the regular season Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Libro Centre against the Petrolia Flyers.