Sports

General Amherst honours top athletes at awards banquet

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The top athletes at General Amherst High School were honoured last week at the annual athletic awards banquet.

The banquet, held last Thursday evening at the Ciociaro Club, saw major sports awards handed out as well as awards in individual sports. Two of the big winners of the evening were Josh DiCarlo and Reese Jones, who were male and female athlete of the year respectively.

“I’m pretty excited,” said DiCarlo. “I knew I had a chance.”

DiCarlo acknowledged he is only in Grade 11 and said it was a bit of a surprise that he beat out the Grade 12 athletes.

“I worked hard for it and I’m glad I got it,” said DiCarlo.

DiCarlo, who played badminton, golf and hockey this past high school season, thanked his coaches and parents for getting him this far. Jones was also grateful, believing she had a chance at her award.

Jones thought it was be between her and teammate Brooklyn Prescott for the award, but Jones also thought Prescott had a chance at the top female student athlete award as well due to her intelligence.

“I was really excited,” said Jones, who played tennis, volleyball, badminton and slo-pitch this year. “I was hoping to win it.”

A full list of winners was as follows:

Josh DiCarlo and Reese Jones were named Top Male and Top Female Athletes of the Year.

TOP MALE ATHLETE – Josh DiCarlo.

TOP FEMALE ATHLETE – Reese Jones

TOP MALE STUDENT ATHLETE – Cole Zelle

TOP FEMALE STUDENT ATHLETE – Brooklyn Prescott

MOST DEDICATED AWARD – Payton Laing, Tyler Tofflemire

ATHLETE-PLUS AWARD – Tate Levesque, Linden Crain

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD – Carly Renaud, Spencer Hawkins

SPIRIT AWARD – Matt Belanger

TOP JUNIOR MALE ATHLETES — Matteo Palumbo, Max Jones, Nathan Maxey, Ty Queen, Emmitt Rosati

TOP JUNIOR FEMALE ATHLETES — Danielle Brindley, Lexi Dodds, Abby Orchard, Allison Dufour, Emma MacVoy

General Amherst High School’s top athletes were honoured last Thursday night including major award winners. Top row, from left: Max Jones, Emmitt Rosati, Matt Belanger, Matteo Palumbo, Nathan Maxey, Lexi Dodds, Allison Dufour, Abby Orchard, Linden Crain. Bottom row (from left): Sebastian Hebert, Reese Jones, Brooklyn Prescott, Payton Laing, Carly Renaud, Josh DiCarlo, Tyler Tofflemire, Spencer Hawkins and Tate Levesque.

INDIVIDUAL SPORT AWARD

GOLF – Josh DiCarlo (Lowest Scoring Average)

CROSS COUNTRY – Tyler Rowles (Top Performer), Tyler Tofflemire (Award of Excellence)

TENNIS – Reese Jones (MVP), Matteo Palumbo (Most Dedicated

FOOTBALL – Levi Reaume (Offensive Player of the Year), Spencer Hawkins (Defensive Player of the Year), Bryce Dougan (Lineman of the Year), Matt Belanger (Most Dedicated Player)

GIRLS BASKETBALL – Lexi Dodds (MVP), Brooklyn Prescott (Most Dedicated)

BOYS BASKETBALL – Sebastian Hebert (MVP)

BOYS HOCKEY – Josh DiCarlo (Offensive MVP), Jorden Meyer (Defensive MVP)

GIRLS HOCKEY – Carly Renaud (MVP), Emily Pontini (Corey Meloche Memorial Award)

CURLING – Kylie Parent (Sportsmanship Award)

WRESTLING – Tate Levesque (MVP)

DANCE – Alyssa Jones (Most Dedicated)

GYMNASTICS – Mackenzie Bauer (MVP), Chelsey Deslippe (Rookie of the Year)

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL – Reese Jones, Bryanna France (Awards of Excellence)

GIRLS SLO-PITCH – Brooklyn Prescott (MVP), Alexis DiCarlo (Rookie of the Year)

BADMINTON – Josh DiCarlo (Top Male Player), Jaycie Stanek (Top Female Player)

GIRLS SOCCER – Breana Farias (Coaches Award), Jenna Fiala (MVP)

BOYS SOCCER – Kieron Sweet (Offensive MVP), Griffin Muzzin (Defensive MVP)

BOYS BASEBALL – Sebastian Hebert (MVP), Colton Taylor (Coaches Award)

TRACK AND FIELD – Sydney Doyle (Coaches Award), Tyler Tofflemire (Award of Excellence)

 

Principal Melissa DeBruyne spoke about how students and young people in general can learn from sports. Growing from adversity and difficult times can help young people as they go through life.

“It makes you a stronger person,” said DeBruyne.

Greg Scott, physical education department head, congratulated the Grade 12 players who are graduating and encouraged returning athletes such as the junior-aged players to seize the opportunities put before them.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on at General Amherst is providing opportunities,” said Scott.

Bob Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby popular again with kids

 

By Jonathan Martin

 

By now, local fish must shudder at the mention of the name Bob Meloche.

According to Meloche’s son, Gord, the annual Bob Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby has been going on since he was seven or eight.  That means the derby has been an ongoing tradition for around half a century.  Still, it shows no sign of slowing down.

According to Luc Trembley, chairman of AMA Sportsmen’s Club fishing committees, over 250 kids signed up for the Father’s Day event.  The young fishers packed King’s Navy Yard Park, which the Town of Amherstburg offered up for derby use.

For the first time, fish were measured on-site at the Navy Yard Park, which allowed for fish to be released back into the Detroit River.  In previous years, measurements took place at the AMA Sportsmen’s Club facility, which sits a few kilometres away on Lowes Side Road, a long journey for a fish out of water.

(From Left) Olivier Gemus, Shanell Schmidt, Sebastien Gemus, Archer Schmidt, Aubrey Schmidt, Avery Semitic, Avery Maiter and Tom Mailloux pose for a photo in King’s Navy Yard Park. The youths fished out of the Detroit River as part of the Joe Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby. Avery Semitic caught the fish pictured.

The sportsmen’s club is still the place to be after fishing is done, though.  Free food, free games, contests and awards kept excited children busy into the afternoon.  Trembley said the event was funded through donations and sponsorships from local businesses.

“We couldn’t do this without the generosity of the community,” he said.  “We’re truly grateful.”

Gord Meloche said the AMA Sportsmen’s Club’s generosity shouldn’t be understated, either.

“The club has always been good about giving to the children,” he said.  “They have so much youth programming here.  Every year I see club members work harder and harder to give these kids the best experience they can.”

This year, the children laughed as they watched their released fish zoom off into the river.  Tembley said it was an opportunity to teach the kids about environmental preservation.

The children seemed to love the idea.  After having their fish measured on a little table set up on the lawn, they waddled over to the railing to launch their catch into the river.

A little blurp and the fish were gone, off to tell the Legend of Bob Meloche to all their fishy friends.

 

 

Local boxers excel at Ontario Bronze Gloves tournament

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A quartet of local boxers went to the Ontario Bronze Gloves tournament and did well for their club and for themselves.

The tournament, held June 1-3 in Etobicoke, saw fighters from Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club come home with one gold medal and three silver medals.

Nathan DiPasquale returned to the ring and fought in the 69kg weight class, winning a silver medal. He fought once.

“I hadn’t fought competitively for eight years but I fought good, losing a split decision,” said DiPasquale. “I could have won, but I was a little anxious, a little nervous.”

DiPasquale said school and work were reasons he stepped away from the ring and had only been training for about six months prior to his fight.

“I really want to get in there and see where I was at,” said DiPasquale. “It was a good test and one judge thought I won the fight.”

DiPasquale thanked the coaches as well as the young boxers at the club.

“They are really inspirational. They work hard day in and day out,” he said.

Fighters from Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club brought home one gold and three silvers from the recent Ontario Bronze Gloves tournament. From left: Nathan DiPasquale, Brandon French, Carter White and Neo Mulder.

Brandon French captured gold in the 40kg weight class.

“I am the two-time Bronze Gloves champion,” French pointed out. “I fought pretty well.”

One of his wins was by split decision so French knows he has room to get better. It was his eighth and ninth fights overall.

“It was another fight to put under my belt,” he said.

Carter White lost a split decision in his only boxing match of the tournament.

“I got the wind knockout of me in the first round,” White acknowledged.

White believes he is improving in the ring.

“It was probably my best fight so far,” he said. “I’m more used to it now. It’s getting a little easier. I’m not as nervous.”
White added “once it’s done, it’s done” and he is ready to move on. He fought out of the 54kg weight class.

Neo Mulder fought in his first boxing match and came away with silver in the 40kg weight class. He knows what he needs to do to get better.

“It was fun,” said Mulder. “I should have punched more – a lot more.”

Matt DiPasquale coached the fighters at the Bronze Gloves tournament.

“I thought they represented our gym well. They fought with heart and determination,” he said.

Noting that Fighting Island Boxing Club members have a reputation of being tough to fight against, Matt DiPasquale said they held true to their reputation at the Bronze Gloves tournament.

Minor baseball concerned about immediate future with pending loss of diamonds

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association (AMBA) is wondering where their players are going to play next season and took their concerns to town council.

AMBA president Mary Lippert appeared before town council and questioned where the local players plus ones coming to town to play in the multiple tournaments that have been scheduled are going to play. With the sale of 15 acres of Centennial Park to the Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB), it means the loss of four diamonds there.

While there is a recommendation to relocate the diamonds to the Libro Centre, a concern with that is the fact no construction has started on those yet.

“Our biggest concern is if something doesn’t get done soon, our kids won’t have any place to play,” said Lippert.

Lippert added there is a fear that if youth start playing elsewhere, they won’t come back to Amherstburg even when new diamonds are built. There were also questions raised over the shape of the diamond and the ability to have the AMBA work on some of the diamonds to ensure they are in good shape.

“Are we going to have input on how they are built?” she also asked.

The premier baseball diamond, already located at the Libro Centre, has seen Amherstburg players “get the leftovers” of the times that are remaining while out-of-town users have received better bookings.

Image courtesy of Amherstburg Minor Baseball’s Twitter account (@AmherstburgBall)

“We live here,” said Lippert. “That’s unacceptable.”

It all comes down to ensuring local kids have a place to play baseball, she added.

“It’s the kids I worry about,” she said. “We want to make sure they have some place to play. What about next year if we’re not starting soon? What do we do for these 400 kids?”

CAO John Miceli said the diamonds at the Libro Centre won’t be ready for next year but the town will have to spend one year working with user groups. He said this year was taken care of through an arrangement with the GECDSB to use Centennial Park but arrangements have to be made for next year.

“We do have a number of diamonds available,” he said.

Work also has to be done if the town and Amherstburg baseball players are to use Co-An Park in McGregor and River Canard Park. The latter is run by the Town of LaSalle, said Lippert, and AMBA received a bill for $8,300 to use it last year.

Councillor Rick Fryer said they are “behind the eight-ball already” with minor baseball and wanted to know why the town was “dropping the ball” in addressing their needs. Miceli said the town “does not want to build anything in haste” and wants to see a “centre of excellence” at the Libro Centre.

“I know it’s an inconvenience but we want to have the best facilities going forward,” he said.

Lippert voiced concerns over user groups at other diamonds and questioned the town over why the issue wasn’t addressed before the 15 acres of Centennial Park was sold.

“Why didn’t this get looked at before we sold this property?” said Lippert.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the sale of the Centennial Park land was an issue of timing and that the town wants to have the best facilities it can even though there will be a year where it will be tougher for local baseball players to get to their games and practices.

“We are going to have a year of inconvenience where we will work this out,” said the mayor.

 

Gord Downie Medal to be presented to Canada D’Eh Run participants

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

The largest run in Canada ON Canada Day has just been given even greater patriotic status.

Running Flat announced today that Gordon Downie will be featured on the medal to honor Downie as the “Great Canadian.”

The Canada D’Eh Run is the largest and most bombastic patriotic Canada Day Run in Canada.

It’s also the only run that has its participants choose what Canadian will get the honor of being on this medal – known as one of the great medals of running in Canada.

The Canada D’Eh runners and walkers from last year chose from Don Cherry, David Suzuki and Gordon Downie.

“Downie is such an amazing choice for our race and for society right now – he truly represented deep Canadian values and he was a strong advocate for the environment and Aboriginal issues,” says Uszynski.   “And this race has become known around the world.”

Uszynski said “this is the only open source medal in the running world giving the runners all the choice on who to honour and allowing anyone to sign up and register virtually. Up until June 1, 2018 someone from anywhere in the world can register and get their ‘Great Canadian Medal,’ Canada D’Eh Run shirt, and bib so you can run July.”

Uszynski says there are groups of people from Germany, Singapore, U.S. and around Canada who have registered every year.

On July 1, there will be an estimated 3,000 participants set to Run or Walk 5K in an all red and white celebration.

Prior ‘Great Canadians’ featured on the medal were Sir John A. MacDonald in 2013, Terry Fox in 2014, Commander Chris Hadfield in 2015, Wayne Gretzky in 2016 and the Mirror Medal (you are the reason Canada is so great) 150 Medal last year.

The patriotic 5K run and Kid’s Dash starts at 9 a.m. just outside of Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada – the headquarters for the British forces in southwestern Upper Canada during the War of 1812 – and continues up Laird Ave., around Toddy Jones Park, down Dalhousie St. and back.

Runners will also receive a Canadian full color sublimated tech maple leaf shirt, with the original Moose art of Madison Young so they can proudly wear their shirt long after they finish the race.

Money raised by participants is going to fund the great work of the Canadian Cancer Society, a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer.

RunningFlat produces high value endurance events in Canada and the United State since 2007 including such brands as I RAN THE D, Hockeytown 5K, Le Chocolat, Pelee Island Winery Half Marathon and Canada D’Eh Run.

Visit www.runningflat.com for more information about RunningFlat and podcasts of past shows as well as registration and pricing.