General Amherst Bulldogs

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.

Amherst coach optimistic despite setback in season opener

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a tough way to open the season for the General Amherst Bulldogs boys baseball team but their coach sees room for improvement.

The Bulldogs lost 14-3 to the visiting Sandwich Sabres last Wednesday afternoon at the Libro Centre. Despite the loss, coach Kyle Goodchild sees potential in the Bulldogs.

Goodchild said they hit the ball well but a lot of errors came back to bite the Bulldogs as it allowed Sandwich to score a lot of runs.

Julian Hebert rips a base hit for General Amherst in their season opening game last Wednesday at the Libro Centre. Sandwich defeated General Amherst 14-3.

Julian Hebert rips a base hit for General Amherst in their season opening game last Wednesday at the Libro Centre. Sandwich defeated General Amherst 14-3.

“I still think we’ve got a great team,” said Goodchild. “We have to play better next game.”

The Bulldogs have had good teams the last couple of years, he added, and this year’s team has a lot of Grade 9 players. Even with some young players, Goodchild believes they have the potential to finish near or at the top of their division.

General Amherst’s Spencer Hawkins delivers to the plate during last Wednesday’s 14-3 loss to Sandwich. Errors were blamed for the loss in the Bulldogs’ opening game.

General Amherst’s Spencer Hawkins delivers to the plate during last Wednesday’s 14-3 loss to Sandwich. Errors were blamed for the loss in the Bulldogs’ opening game.

Julian Hebert had a good game in the loss to Sandwich, as he picked up two hits on the day.

General Amherst is on the road twice this week with games against Herman and Lajeunesse with their next home game being April 24 when the Belle River Nobles come to the Libro Centre. The first pitch of that game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Bulldogs lose in WECSSAA finals in three games

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs pushed the Belle River Nobles to the limit in the WECSSAA “AA” boys hockey final but could get no further.

The third and deciding game was played Monday afternoon at the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore with the Nobles winning the best-of-three series and the championship with a 4-0 victory.

General Amherst’s Max Clifford flips the puck into the Belle River zone during the third and deciding game of the WECSSAA Tier 1 hockey final Monday afternoon at the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore. Belle River won the game 4-0 to win the title.

General Amherst’s Max Clifford flips the puck into the Belle River zone during the third and deciding game of the WECSSAA Tier 1 hockey final Monday afternoon at the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore. Belle River won the game 4-0 to win the title.

“It was a good hockey game for two periods,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Pat Garrett.

A shorthanded goal that made it 2-0 for Belle River seemed to take the Bulldogs off their game for a bit but the wheels came off for the Bulldogs in the third period. Garrett said they tried sneaking a player behind the Nobles’ defense to generate some offense but that led to two-on-ones the other way, which proved costly.

“For lack of a better term, it got away from us,” he said, referring to the third period.

Garrett, who coached the team this season with Joe Shaw, said they were proud of the players and the effort they put forth.

“The tough part about championship games is someone has got to win and someone has got to lose,” he said.

Ethan Hamelin had a “phenomenal” game Monday afternoon with Garrett adding that Reid Stieler, Jacob Fields and Stefan Dobrich playing a ton of minutes on defense.

The two teams had split games last week to send the game to the deciding third game with Belle River winning last Tuesday 2-0 on their home ice and the Bulldogs tying the series with a 5-4 overtime win at the Libro Centre last Thursday afternoon. Hamelin scored the overtime winner last Thursday with Josh DiCarlo adding two goals and Dobrich and Nathan Lenson adding singles.

General Amherst celebrates Ethan Hamelin’s overtime goal last Thursday at the Libro Centre. The 5-4 win forced Monday’s Game 3.

General Amherst celebrates Ethan Hamelin’s overtime goal last Thursday at the Libro Centre. The 5-4 win forced Monday’s Game 3.

Garrett said goalie Will Bratt played well in that game. He added they had their chances in the first game but just couldn’t find a way to score despite outshooting the Nobles.

“We wanted to take it in regulation but any win is good,” Stieler said after the second game. “We’ve got to keep our energy for three periods. We finally proved we can take it to them.”

Garrett said Monday that they only lose one player to graduation and perhaps two or three more to junior hockey. The rest are eligible to return, leading him to believe the future is bright for the Bulldogs.

“That’s a good core of kids in there,” he said Monday, gesturing towards the Amherst dressing room. “I enjoyed coming to the rink and coaching them.”
Despite a 3-6-3 record in the regular season, Garrett stood by his belief they were better than that and noted they played without key players particularly early in the season. He said they had a good run when they got to the playoffs.

“It was a fun ride,” Garrett concluded.

 

Bulldogs improve to 2-1 on WECSSAA Tier 2 basketball season

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs hit their home court for the first two times this season and won both games.

The games, played last Tuesday and Thursday, saw the Bulldogs come away with 50-43 and 44-40 victories over L’Essor and Brennan respectively. Darius Wilson led the way in Thursday’s win with 26 points and 21 rebounds with Nate Lovell having six assists.

This year’s team is being coached by Cameron Scott and Zac Tytgat.

General Amherst’s Nate Lovell (34) reaches for a rebound last Thursday evening against Brennan.

General Amherst’s Nate Lovell (34) reaches for a rebound last Thursday evening against Brennan.

“I thought we played well on Thursday. We were able to exploit a size match-up and did very well rebounding against a smaller team,” said Scott. “The offense and particularly our press break sort of collapsed toward the end of the game but relentless defensive effort and intensity helped us prevail.”

The new coaches didn’t know what to expect when they walked in but are seeing good results so far.

Jason  Hamilton drives to the basket during the second half of General Amherst's win over Brennan Dec. 15.

Jason  Hamilton drives to the basket during the second half of General Amherst’s win over Brennan Dec. 15.

“I like the group of guys we have. I had no idea about any of the kids heading into tryouts and they had no idea about me. But the guys have worked very hard and paid attention to get ready for the season,” said Scott.

Being a new coach, Scott said he is unfamiliar with the rest of the talent in the league so is unsure if the Bulldogs are contenders. He said he actually prefers not to know how talented other teams are so they can take things game-by-game.

“We are taking one game at a time and we will see where we end up,” said Scott, who, like Tytgat, is a former General Amherst student.

The Bulldogs’ final WECSSAA Tier 2 regular season game before the Christmas break was Tuesday night in Kingsville after this issue of the River Town Times went to press. They resume after the holidays Jan. 10 at Tecumseh Vista Academy before they host Leamington Jan. 12.

 

 

 

Bulldogs open 2016-17 hockey season with tie and win

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team have opened the season with a tie and a victory.

The Bulldogs opened the 2016-17 WECSSAA boys hockey season with a 4-4 tie with the Essex Red Raiders last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst’s Max Clifford (white jersey) drives to the Essex net on a play where he would score a third period goal. Amherst scored with nine seconds left to salvage a 4-4 tie last Thursday at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst’s Max Clifford (white jersey) drives to the Essex net on a play where he would score a third period goal. Amherst scored with nine seconds left to salvage a 4-4 tie last Thursday at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst opened the scoring in the second period to make it 1-0 and had leads of 2-1 and 3-2 at points during the rest of the game. However, Essex clawed back each time and eventually took a 4-3 lead. Bulldogs captain Reid Stieler would salvage the tie for the Bulldogs with a goal with only nine seconds left in the third period.

“Obviously we want to win but the tie is good,” Stieler said after the game.

Stieler said there are a lot of new faces on the Bulldogs team this year and they are trying to get the younger players acclimated to high school hockey where they will face bigger players throughout the season.

“It was a good first game,” said Stieler. “We were expecting a slow start to the season.”

When they got down late in the game, Stieler said they still were able to fight back due to being encouraged never to give up.

“We are always told to stay positive, keep our heads up and get the puck up high,” said Stieler.

Brock Beaudoin had two goals in the game with Max Clifford scoring the other.

Bulldogs coach Pat Garrett said he was pleased with the Essex game overall, but wished they could have put them away when the Bulldogs had the lead. He pointed out a powerplay opportunity that, if the Bulldogs had cashed in, would have given them a 4-2 lead at that point.

The General Amherst Bulldogs celebrate the tying goal that was scored with nine seconds left against Essex Nov. 24. The game ended tied at four.

The General Amherst Bulldogs celebrate the tying goal that was scored with nine seconds left against Essex Nov. 24. The game ended tied at four.

General Amherst has 13 new players this season and lost 11 off of last year’s SWOSSAA championship team, Garrett stated.

“It’s going to take these guys time to gel,” he said.

It’s more than a rebuilding year, he added, as Garrett expects the team to be in the mix for a WECSSAA AA championship.

“I feel good about this team,” he said. “We’re a young team but that’s not a bad thing.”

Garrett liked the way they fought back against Essex but noted they have more teams to compete with this season. There are now eight teams classified as AA schools.

“There will be a lot for us to see,” he said.

The Bulldogs were in action Monday afternoon at the WFCU Centre in Windsor and knocked off the Brennan Cardinals 3-1. Goals were scored by Beaudoin, Brandon Salvati and Cole Zelle. General Amherst was at home Tuesday afternoon against Holy Names in a game that was played after this issue of the RTT went to press.