Sports

Wildcats have great run at OFSAA despite not winning a medal

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats didn’t win a medal at the OFSAA girls hockey championship, but their head coach still sounds pleased with the team.

The Wildcats went to the provincial championship in Mississauga last week. They won one game and lost two others in very close fashion.

“Great run but no medal,” said head coach John Purdie.

Villanova lost their first game at OFSAA to Medway, the eventual gold medal team, by a score of 1-0.

“They scored with four seconds left in the game,” said Purdie.

Game #2 saw the Wildcats defeat Napanee by a score of 3-1.  The Wildcats’ goal scorers were Brooke Gibson, Allison Langille and Avery Mertz.

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats competed at OFSAA last week. The team advanced to the provincial tournament thanks to winning SWOSSAA (pictured here).

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats competed at OFSAA last week. The team advanced to the provincial tournament thanks to winning SWOSSAA (pictured).

The third game was another heartbreaker for Villanova as the Wildcats lost 2-1 with the winning goal coming with 1:32 left in the game.

“It seems like we were snake bit,” said Purdie. “Mertz scored again. Our goaltending was phenomenal, (Erica) Fryer and (Kristen) Swiatoschik and Harrow’s Carli Dumeah really carried the team. We shut down on the back end and our captain’s leadership skills were the key to our whole run.”

The Wildcats advanced to OFSAA by winning SWOSSAA over Chatham-Kent 1-0 in quadruple overtime at the Libro Centre March 7.

Small but successful wrestling team at General Amherst concludes season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a smaller than usual wrestling team at General Amherst High School but the team did boast some success in the 2016-17 school year.

The team recently completed its year and had three medalists at WECSSAA, one medalist at SWOSSAA with that SWOSSAA medalist also representing the school at OFSAA in early March.

Coach Rodney Levesque praised the work of the team and noted they had fewer members this year than they have had in previous years.

“We had a small team,” said Levesque.

Levesque said they had “eight dedicated kids” this year, down from the 10-15 the team usually has. There were six boys and two girls on this year’s team and, by comparison, Tecumseh Vista Academy had 40 girls on their team.

“The hardest thing about the team is getting people to come out for it,” said Levesque.

Nathan Charron, Katie McEvoy and Jacob Stanek were three of General Amherst’s medalists at the WECSSAA wrestling meet.

Nathan Charron, Katie McEvoy and Jacob Stanek were three of General Amherst’s medalists at the WECSSAA wrestling meet. (Submitted photo)

With the boom over the last decade of mixed martial arts (MMA), Levesque hoped it would have translated into increased numbers for the General Amherst wrestling team. That said, the athletes who do come out for it are dedicated to the sport.

“It’s a long season,” he said, pointing out it lasts from early November to March.

Practices were four to five times per week, with tournaments on weekends.

“It keeps them in very good shape,” said Levesque. “It’s a very intense sport.”

Katie McEvoy, a Grade 10 student, completed her second year in wrestling and brought home a silver medal from SWOSSAA and was the school’s lone representative at OFSAA.

McEvoy made OFSAA a goal at the beginning of the year and said she was happy to have achieved it.

“It was pretty exciting,” she said, of the trip to the provincial tournament in Brampton.

McEvoy won two matches and lost two matches and was her school’s lone representative at the tournament. She added she got into wrestling because she likes the contact and the discipline the sport offers.

Jacob Stanek was one of the school’s other medalists at WECSSAA, as he won a bronze medal.

“I felt I improved from last year,” said Stanek.

Stanek said he felt stronger and more skilled this year.

“I felt pretty confident going into SWOSSAA,” said Stanek, adding his goal for next year is a gold medal at WECSSAA.

Nathan Charron said he put what he learned in all four years of high school wrestling together this year and that resulted in a third place finish at WECSSAA and fourth at SWOSSAA. It was the first year he won a medal, with Charron adding he wanted to win a medal at WECSSAA in his final year in high school.

Other members of the team include Tate Levesque, Devin Duhart, Myah Trymbulak, Bobby Bridgens and Matt Belanger.

Skate Amherstburg presents “Musical Mania”

 

By RTT Staff

Skate Amherstburg held its 46th annual ice show Sunday afternoon before a large crowd at the Libro Centre.

Senior skaters with Skate Amherstburg perform during the March 26 "Musical Mania" ice show at the Libro Centre.

Senior skaters with Skate Amherstburg perform during the March 26 “Musical Mania” ice show at the Libro Centre.

This year’s theme was “Musical Mania” with songs from Chicago, Hairspray, Mama Mia, High School Musical and more featured during the two-hour show.

A pair of young CanSkaters make their way onto the ice.

A pair of young CanSkaters make their way onto the ice.

Skaters have been preparing for the last several months with participants ranging in age from three-years-old to 60-years-old. A total of 145 skaters in all participated.

Lauren Kawai performs a solo number to the tune of Hairspray's "New Girl in Town."

Lauren Kawai performs a solo number to the tune of Hairspray’s “New Girl in Town.”

The day was also used as an occasion to pay tribute to the club’s award winning skaters and to celebrate the $100,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grant that Skate Amherstburg received earlier this year. Essex MPP Taras Natyshak was in Amherstburg several weeks ago when the club held a Mini-Fun Competition to help Skate Amherstburg celebrate.

“Big Buck Sunday” held at AMA Sportsmen Association

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A long-standing tradition continued March 12 at the AMA Sportsmen Association.

The club held its “Big Buck Sunday” event, something club member Brian Beattie said has been happening for the last 18 or 19 years.

While antlers were measured and scored, it wasn’t just about the “biggest buck.” A variety of vendors were brought in with anything from ATV’s to hunting equipment as well as lures, taxidermy, blankets, knitting, food and wood carvings among other things.

Six-month-old Eli Callja enjoys his view from a seat of an ATV.

Six-month-old Eli Callja enjoys his view from a seat of an ATV.

“We open the room to vendors,” said Beattie. “A lot of these vendors have been here for a while.”

There is no charge for vendors for the annual event, he added.

The day also coincided with the first 3-D shoot of the season, an event where animal replicas with targets are laid out on a piece of nearby land and arrows are shot into them. A perfect score is 300 with awards such as patches and pins handed out for scorers who approach it.

Big Buck Sunday offered a wide variety of vendors.

Big Buck Sunday offered a wide variety of vendors.

“You’ve got to be able to judge the distance to get an accurate shot,” said Beattie. “It’s a fun thing.”

There were 52 shooters including about 15 children in the 3-D shoot. An additional 60 came for breakfast.

The next 3-D shoots are April 9, May 28, Aug. 20 and Sept. 24.

“Big Buck Sunday”is a tradition that looks to be continuing well into the future.

“We’ll continue as long as everyone comes out and enjoys themselves,” Beattie stated.

Admirals make changes to management structure

 

 

There have been changes to the management structure of the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals, but the same faces are still involved with running the Jr. C franchise.

The Admirals announced Wednesday that “in an effort to get the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals back to their winning ways in the 2017/18 season” that co-owner Wes Ewer has stepped down as the general manager. His replacement will be Paul Bortignon, who will remain as the team’s head coach.

“I think it is an important shift of roles for our organization,” said Ewer, in the announcement made on the team’s website. “This will allow me to focus more on the business side of the Admirals and give Paul more autonomy as far as the players go.” The move comes after the Admirals were swept by the Essex 73’s in the PJHL Stobbs Division semi-final series. Essex went on to sweep Lakeshore in the Stobbs Division final.

Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon talks with his team during a timeout in the recent PJHL Stobbs Division semi-final series in Essex. Bortignon is now the  general manager as well after the team restructured its management last week.

Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon talks with his team during a timeout in the recent PJHL Stobbs Division semi-final series in Essex. Bortignon is now the
general manager as well after the team restructured its management last week.

“If you are not looking at all aspects of operation to improve – including your own role – then you are doing a disservice to the players, coaches and fans,” Ewer said.  “This is a pivotal year for the team.  I believe we underachieved last season and I think a fresh approach to managing the players will spark the improvement we are looking for this season.”

The Admirals went 26-14-0 during the 40-game 2016-17 regular season, good for a third place finish for the second year in a row.  Asked what he thinks will be different in the 2017-18 season, Bortignon had this to say.

“I believe the biggest difference will be the style and structure that we bring to the rink.  We have been a run-and- gun team for three years and although we have achieved some success, we have not got to the mountaintop yet.”

Speed and defense will be focused on going forward, the coach/GM stated.

“We will be a team that gets faster and a team that gets better defensive efforts at both the forward and defense positions. We will fill the team with guys who fit these tactics,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals are evaluating all aspects of the team and expect some more moves to be made from a personnel and management perspective, the team further announced.

“We aren’t done yet,” added Bortignon.

The team is well into the off-season now and the planning has already begun.  The date and time for the spring mini-camp has yet to be announced but any players interested in trying out for the team are welcome to fill out a recruitment form on the team’s website – www.amherstburgadmirals.com – and send directly to Bortignon.

The team expects some additional announcements in the coming weeks.