Jr. Bulldogs lose to Villanova 41-1



By Ron Giofu


It wasn’t a game that the General Amherst Bulldogs junior football team will consider their finest.
For the Villanova Wildcats, last week’s game will provide them with better memories.

The Wildcats knocked off the visiting Bulldogs 41-1 last Tuesday afternoon in a game played at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School. Villanova did the bulk of its scoring in the first half with General Amherst coach Dino Rosati stating his team showed some improvement in the second half.

Eric Blanchette (11, left) throws a pass during fourth quarter action Oct. 17 at Villanova. Villanova won 41-1.

“It didn’t quite go the way we wanted,” Rosati remarked after the game.

Quarterback Emmitt Rosati missed the game due to a sprained ankle with Eric Blanchette and Nolan Crain splitting time under centre against Villanova.

“They both did an OK job,” said Rosati, noting the two back-up quarterbacks picked up valuable experience they didn’t have before.

“They played pretty well for never having played that spot before,” said the head coach.

Other players managed to get on the field and get some experience as well, Rosati added.

“We got a lot of kids in there. We see some positives,” said Rosati. “We got a lot of kids some experience.”

Preston Muzzin (84) reels in a pass against Villanova during General Amherst’s 41-1 loss to the Wildcats Oct. 17.

The second half was better because of the defense, he believed.

Anthony Paossi scored three touchdowns for Villanova with Dawson Taylor, Josh Rosa and Jaxon Laramie each having one touchdown for the Wildcats.

“We had a couple of good stops on defense in the second half,” said Rosati.

The Bulldogs (0-4) host another winless team Oct. 24 as the Catholic Central Comets come to Amherstburg. The Bulldogs conclude the regular season Oct. 31 with a 4 p.m. game against Sandwich, also at Centennial Park.

Two Amherstburg residents inducted into University of Windsor Alumni Sports Hall of Fame



By Ron Giofu


A pair of Amherstburg residents have been inducted as part of this year’s class in the University of Windsor Alumni Sports Hall of Fame.

Ritch Coughlin and Stephen Gibb were recently inducted into the Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held earlier in October.

Coughlin graduated from the University of Windsor’s human kinetics program 1986. He played football at and ran track and field for four years while in university. Since graduating, Coughlin was an assistant coach for the track and field team from 1989-98, an assistant football coach in 1994 and 1995 and has also coached many other athletes including Lancer long jump and triple jump record holder Kelly Dinsmore as well as three others who made over 6m in the women’s long jump for the first and only time in OUA history in 1995.

Coughlin has also won other awards, including the Gino Fracas Coaching Award in 1996, the Lancer “A” Award in 1985-86 and was the Canada Summer Games opening ceremonies flagbearer in 1986.

Ritch Coughlin (Photo by Dongjie Lai)

As for being inducted into the Alumni Sports Hall of Fame, Coughlin said he was “honoured and humbled” but it was “great to represent track and field program especially the jumper group that I worked with for ten years.”

Coughlin said he received a call a few months ago about the award. He said he was proud at first but his second reaction was “an uncomfortable feeling of being singled out in front of so many other worthy candidates through the years. I spoke with Steve Gibb about this and he felt the same.”

Coughlin added he never gave such an award a thought.

“My successes were really the successes of the student athletes and was always proud of their growth and improvement in the sport. The Hall of Fame stuff was never on the radar,” he said.

Noting he is “proud to represent and bring light to the amazing accomplishments of the kids I worked with,” Coughlin said one of them is in the Hall of Fame and his goal is to get more recognized in the future.

Coughlin still coaches a few high school track athletes and also managed the Amherstburg bantam travel baseball team that won a provincial title a few years ago. He still runs marathons and half-marathons.

Gibb played volleyball, basketball and did track at General Amherst High School before moving on to the University of Windsor where he played track and volleyball.

“It’s been 32 years since I graduated so the experience of reflecting on those distant memories has been very nostalgic,” said Gibb. “It’s nice to be recognized for your achievements and contributions and I really am proud to be part of the track and field legacy at the University of Windsor. But to be honest, I never thought I’d get the call.”

Gibb stated this award didn’t exist until after he graduated so he wasn’t even aware of it until he was nominated a few years ago.

“In the intervening years, the university has built some really strong track and field teams and I felt my time had passed and the dust had settled on the small mark I left on the program. So, I was pretty shocked when I got the news,” he said. “I was involved with the track team from 81-86 and played on the men’s varsity volleyball team from ’84-’86 so this was a few years ago. Being recognized for my track contributions would have made more sense to me back then instead of today, but I do still hold the fifth best all-time high jump mark and ninth best triple jump mark for the University of Windsor, so I had that going for me.”

Steve Gibb (Photo by Dongjie Lai)

Gibb pointed out he won the OUA provincial championships in high jump and has more than a dozen other OUA medals for high jump and triple jump, both indoors and outdoors. He was fourth at the Canadian championships a number of times. In 1984, Gibb was awarded the Demarco Award at the University of Windsor for being top male student athlete.

“The Hall of Fame nod was pretty sweet especially getting to share the day with my old pal, teammate and training partner Ritch Coughlin,” said Gibb.

Gibb said he never did compete in track after university, which at that time seemed the norm.

“Today athletes compete into their mid ’30s and older,” he said. “I continued playing volleyball until my knees started yelling at me, but now I really like walking and people always comment they’ve seen me around my neighbourhood with my wife Jacquie.”


Sr. Lady Gens play better despite two more losses



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball team showed signs of improvement last week despite a pair of losses.

The Lady Gens dropped to 0-5 in WECSSAA Tier 1 play, though played better in losses to Essex and Kingsville. The most recent game was Thursday evening against Kingsville and saw the Cavaliers come away with a 49-24 win.

While it was a 25-point win for Kingsville, the game was actually closer in three of the four quarters.

The game was tied 6-6 after one quarter with Kingsville taking a 12-10 lead by halftime. However, the third quarter proved to be the turning point as the Cavaliers outscored the Lady Gens 30-12 over the eight-minute period.

Emma Marshall (right) drives to the basket during General Amherst’s game against Kingsville last Thursday evening.

The fourth quarter was a bit closer, with Kingsville outscoring General Amherst 7-2.

Players on the Lady Gens knew the second half wasn’t their best.

“We need to rebound,” said Dani Brindley, who led the Lady Gens with seven points against Kingsville. “In the first half, we played really well. In the second half, we lacked rebounding and didn’t spread the floor.”

Teammate Madison Pillon also believed they had a let down in the second half.

“I feel we sort of gave up after the first half,” she said. “We stopped spreading out the floor on offense, stopped making good passes and rebounding. We’ve got to work harder in practice.”

Pillon added the “third quarter pretty much killed us” and believes they have to practice “more team stuff.”

“I think (the third quarter) pretty much ended the game,” added Brindley.

Brindley also said they have to work harder in practice and get everyone to come out.

The Lady Gens also lost two days earlier to Essex 43-27. Brindley said it was a similar game to Thursday as “we slacked in the third quarter.”

Amherst coach Dom Silvaggio said they were in the game against Essex, though missed layups and free throws put them down 12-2 after one quarter. The Lady Gens actually outscored the Red Raiders 10-6 in the second quarter and only lost to them by three in the third but Essex pulled away in the end.

General Amherst’s Taja Holmes (left) brings the ball up the floor during last Thursday’s game vs. Kingsville.

“Essex is undefeated,” said Silvaggio. “We hung with them.”

Silvaggio said that they haven’t been able to put a full game together as of yet. He pointed out Kingsville’s 30-point third quarter sunk the Lady Gens in Thursday’s game. He said the coaches draw up plays in time-outs but those plays sometimes don’t get carried out.

“It gets frustrating,” said Silvaggio. “We call a time-out, we diagram something and they don’t go out and do what we just diagramed.”

The Lady Gens need to do a better job running their offense, he added. The Lady Gens spread out their offense in the first half but collapsed in during the second half and eliminated their passing lanes.

Kingsville was given credit for a strong third quarter, as they hit seven three-point shots, but Silvaggio said the Lady Gens shouldn’t have given up that many.

“We started chasing on defense instead of playing defense,” he said.

There are aspects of their game that still need work, continued Silvaggio, and hopes things will improve by the end of the year. He was encouraged that they have seen the best “AA” school in the area and have played well except for one quarter in each game.

Lexi Dodds and Taja Holmes had six points each against Kingsville.

General Amherst has a pair of road games this week. They played at Villanova at 4 p.m. Tuesday then play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Holy Names.

Admirals go 1-1-1 over the past week



By Ron Giofu


The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals won one, lost one and tied another game over the past week.

The Admirals’ week concluded Sunday night at the Libro Centre where the local Jr. C team tied the Dresden Jr. Kings 2-2. The teams were even at one after one period as Josh Talerico (Amherstburg) and Will Tetzlaff (Dresden) traded goals.

Amherstburg forward Cory Burns (blue jersey) scores on Dresden goalie Brendan Johnston 35 seconds into the second period.

The teams also traded goals in the second period as Cory Burns scored for Amherstburg while Derek Shaw tallied for Dresden. The teams were scoreless in the third period and the three-on-three seven-minute overtime period.

“I thought we were OK,” said Admirals head coach/GM Paul Bortignon. “We still didn’t get that 60-minute effort.”

Bortignon noted the Admirals didn’t score on the powerplay despite having seven opportunities, including a full five-on-three man advantage in the second period. They also went 0-for-6 Friday night in Dresden, a far cry from the powerplay that went 6-for-8 in an 8-2 win in Petrolia last Thursday.

Amherstburg got goals from eight different players in Petrolia, with goal scorers being Jack Hubbell, Bryce McGregor, Carter Comeau, Ryan Alexander, Burns, Luc Warnock, Kadin Ritchie and Kyle Meloche.

The Petrolia game was the first since a hard skating practice after Bortignon said they were outworked in a loss in Wheatley that was reported in the Oct. 11 issue.

Amherstburg’s David Cooke (22, left) battles for the puck with Dresden’s Dayne Davis during the third period Oct. 15.

The first of two games last week against Dresden was on the road and ended in a 5-2 loss. Ryan Holzel and Burns scored 38 seconds apart for the Admirals in the third period. Bortignon said they had a good first period that night and noted all of the goals Dresden has scored against them this season have been from about six-feet from the net.

Bortignon said they have not had the practice time they’ve wanted and have been battling injuries as about six players are out including some lost to injury Sunday night.

“It’s frustrating but you’ve got to move forward with the cards you are dealt,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals (3-5-2-1, nine points) have a full week off as they don’t play again until this Sunday night at home against Essex so that will give them some of the practice time they need. Bortignon did credit goalie Ben Larder for playing well, noting Larder has been “a big time bright spot for us.”


Jr. Bulldogs fall to 0-3 after 15-6 loss to Massey



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs junior football injury lost their game to Massey last Tuesday but are hoping they haven’t lost their quarterback for a lengthy time period.

The Bulldogs lost 15-6 to the Massey Mustangs last Tuesday at Centennial Park but what was even more worrisome for the Bulldogs was an ankle injury to Emmitt Rosati, who also plays key roles on defense and special teams as well. Rosati suffered the injury in the second quarter when another player fell on him and he could not play the rest of the game.

Evan Beadow makes his way between two Massey tacklers during General Amherst’s junior football game with the Mustangs Oct. 10. Massey won 15-6.

“Hopefully it’s just a sprain,” said head coach Dino Rosati after the game.

Should Emmitt, who is also his son, not be able to play future games, the Bulldogs will look to alter their playbook to make things easier for backup quarterback Eric Blanchette.

Dino said that Blanchette started to settle in as quarterback after Emmitt’s injury.

The Bulldogs looked like the were going to score first as they got to the Massey one-yard line in the first quarter. However, a fumble killed that drive.

General Amherst’s Riley Sesto (20) looks for running room against Massey Oct. 10 at Centennial Park.

Massey took a 1-0 lead into the half after a punt went through the General Amherst end zone for the single. The Mustangs added two third quarter touchdowns thanks to a one-yard Matt Lajoie touchdown run and a 30-yard fumble return by Evan Campaglia.

The Bulldogs got on the board in the fourth quarter when Owyn Hayes intercepted a pass and ran 105 yards down the sidelines for a touchdown.

“It was a tough loss,” said Dino. “The defense stepped up. We can’t ask any more.”

Dino said the tackling was better as compared to the Bulldogs’ previous game against Kennedy, calling it “100 per cent improved.”

“Overall, our defense played well. They made so many nice tackles. The tackling improved a lot,” he said.

The General Amherst Bulldogs junior team gather around their coaches after their Oct. 10 game against Massey at Centennial Park.

Assistant coach Spencer Duby said it was unfortunate to lose Emmitt, but also praised the team’s defensive effort.

“I think our defense played great today,” he said after the Oct. 10 game. “We’ve got to give our defense credit. We were able to take it to them today.”

The Bulldogs were at Villanova yesterday for a 3 p.m. game and return home for their final two regular season games Oct. 24 versus Catholic Central and Oct. 31 against Sandwich. The home games Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 are scheduled to start at 4 p.m.