track and field

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.”

 

General Amherst coaching legend Dave Scott passes away

 

General Amherst teaching and coaching legend Dave Scott has died.

News of Scott’s passing was learned Thursday. Scott spent approximately 43 years coaching at General Amherst.

Scott was also a student at Amherst, starting in 1959 and was a key component of the newly created football program, founded by Jack Wilson and George Pringle in 1961. Scott, the team’s quarterback, scored the football program’s first-ever touchdown.

The team went undefeated the next two years and General Amherst won the SWOSSAA “B” championship in 1963. Scott was the quarterback the first three years of the program and was named the school’s top male athlete in 1964, the first time that award had been given.

Scott was captain of both the football and basketball teams from 1959-64. In 1961, the junior basketball team won the ECSSA title and travelled to London for the WOSSAA championship, where they lost by one point in the final.

Dave Scott poses with his track team shortly after the team surprised him with a cake to celebration his 40 years of coaching. This photo was taken in 2012. (RTT File Photo).

After obtaining an honours in physical education, he returned to General Amherst in 1968 and started his teaching and coaching career. In his first year, he coached football, basketball and started the track and field team. He became health and physical education department head in 1971.

Scott coached the senior football team to ECSSAA championships in 1972 and 1974 and began junior football in 1980. From 1980-85, Amherst won five straight junior football ECSSA championships. In 1993, the senior team had a perfect 8-0 record with the junior team winning that year as well. The juniors also won in 1999.

After retiring from teaching in 2000, Scott returned to the sidelines in 2004 and resumed coaching track and field as well. His track and field coaching credentials are impressive as well, as he led the team to 19 straight ECSSAA championships from 1971-94 with the team also winning SWOSSAA the first 16 years of that streak as well. The team has also achieved significant success at the provincial level, winning 14 gold medals at OFSAA.

Not only did he help lead General Amherst to success on the track, he helped build the local track and football complex. In 1984, Scott formed a committee with Dave Bailey and Mike Nedin to study the feasibility of building a track and field/football complex. They worked with the town in creating Centennial Park, and received help from then-mayor Bill Gibb and administrator Tom Kilgallin in obtaining the government funding required.

On the basketball court, he coached at the senior level from 1968 until his retirement in 2000 and continued to coach juniors after his retirement. The senior boys ended a 28-year dry spell in 1975 by winning the ECSSA championship, a feat they also accomplished in 1978. Teams led by Scott also won WECSSAA “AA” and SWOSSAA “AA” titles in the late 1990’s. Scott also has an Ontario District High School championship in 1998.

Scott has also won a variety of awards during his career. He was a recipient of the Ontario Bicentennial Volunteer Award, given by then-Premier Bill Davis. He was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013, won a Watson Hallock award for contributions to General Amherst, has been recognized by the town of Amherstburg, was awarded a WECSSAA plaque in 2000 for three decades of dedication to youth in track and field and won the Honourary Bulldog Award from General Amherst in 2009. Scott also won the Labatts Award from the Kinsmen Club of Windsor as their “Sports Person of the Year” June 6, 1983.

Scott also recalled the events he helped plan, from parades and hay rides to homecoming events and dances. He said the town would shut down in the early 1970’s for some of the homecoming parades that were held.

“It’s always been a great experience. I’ve never had a bad experience,” Scott said in a September 2016 interview with the River Town Times.

(NOTE: This story contains excerpts from a story the RTT published on Scott last year, when he was forced to step away from coaching due to his battle with ALS.)

Four Amherst track athletes qualify for OFSAA Western Regionals

 

The SWOSSAA track and field meet was held last week with athletes from General Amherst High School having four qualify for the OFSAA Western Regionals. Those that qualified for regionals have an asterisk by their name.

Abbey Gibb* (2nd in Junior Girls Long Jump and Triple Jump)
Sydney Gosselin (7th in Junior Girls Javelin)
Ethan Hamelin* (4th in Midget Boys 300 m hurdles and 7th in triple jump)
Nia Holmes* (4th in Senior Girls 110m hurdles, 7th in 400 m hurdles)
Taja Holmes (6th in junior girls 80 m hurdles)
Marisa Levy (12th in midget girls 800m)
Owen Martin* (3rd in midget boys 1500m, 4th in 3000m)
Mya Palumbo (7th in junior girls 3000m)
Tyler Rowles (6th in midget boys 3000m)
James Shaw (7th in senior boys 110m hurdles)

 

Bulldogs do well at WECSSAA track and field meet

The General Amherst Bulldogs did well at last week’s WECSSAA track and field meet.

The results are as follows:

 

James Abson – 19th in 800, 18th in 100 (midget boys)

Gabriel Beaudoin – 18th in both discus and javelin (junior boys)

Abbey Gibb – 1st in junior girls long jump and triple jump

Sydney Gosselin – 3rd in javelin, 19th in 100 (junior girls)

Autumn Guthrie – 10th in shot put, 15th in javelin (junior girls)

Ethan Hamelin – 3rd in 300m hurdles, 6th in triple jump (midget boys)

Alyssa Herd – 13th in long jump, 15th in 80 m hurdles, 17th in 300m hurdles (junior girls)

Nia Holmes – 3rd in 100m hurdles, 7th in 300 m hurdles, 12th in the 400 (senior girls)

Taja Holmes – 4th in 80 m hurdles, 10th in 300 m hurdles, 9th in long jump (junior girls)

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Marisa Levy – 5th in 800m, 31st in 100m (midget girls)

Katie McEvoy – 15th in shot put, 12th in javelin (junior girls)

Owen Martin – 3rd in 1500m, 4th in 3000m, 7th in 800m (midget boys)

Lily Monforton – 27th in long jump, 46th in 100m (midget girls)

Lexi Newhook – 7th in 300m hurdles (junior girls)

Mya Palumbo – 6th in 3000m, 10th in 1500m (junior girls)

Ethan Richard – 29th in 1500m, 39th 100m (midget boys)

Tyler Rowles – 9th in 1500m, 6th in 3000m (midget boys)

James Shaw – 5th in 110m hurdles, 10th in 400m hurdles, 19th in 200m (senior boys)

Seth Shaw – 12th in javelin, 11th in discus (junior boys)

Lee Sinasac – 17th in discus, 16th in shot put (junior boys)

Senior Girls 4x100m relay team was 7th (Taja Holmes, Abbey Gibb, Lexi Newhook, Nia Holmes)

Midget Boys 4x100m relay team was 11th (James Abson, Owen Martin, Ethan Richard, Ethan Hamelin)

Open Girls 4 x 400m relay team was 9th (Nia Holmes, Taja Holmes, Mya Palumbo, Marisa Levy)

Open Boys 4 x 400m relay team was 10th (James Abson, Owen Martin, Tyler Tofflemire, James Shaw)

 

The Junior Girls placed second overall as a team too!

General Amherst’s Abbey Gibb captures gold and bronze at OFSAA track and field meet

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

General Amherst sent two track athletes to OFSAA last week in Windsor with one bringing home a gold and bronze.

Abbey Gibb won the bronze medal last Thursday in midget girls long jump with a jump of 5.05m.  She won the gold medal on Saturday morning in midget girls triple jump with a jump of 10.99m

Lance Tofflemire qualified for the finals in the 2000m steeplechase and finished 10th with a time of 6:19.71.

Abbey’s winning jump of 10.99 meters on Saturday also broke the school record.

The week previous in Cambridge at the OFSAA West regional meet, Gibb jumped 5.21 meters in long jump which established a new school record as well.

Silver medalist Sydney Campbell from Kingston CVI, gold medalist Abbey Gibb from General Amherst and bronze medalist Mila Puseljic from R.H. King Academy accept their medals Saturday after the OFSAA triple jump competition. (Special to the RTT)

Silver medalist Sydney Campbell from Kingston CVI, gold medalist Abbey Gibb from General Amherst and bronze medalist Mila Puseljic from R.H. King Academy accept their medals Saturday after the OFSAA triple jump competition. (Special to the RTT)

Gibb’s season was almost cut short April 30 at the annual Lancer Prep meet held at the University of Windsor. After competing in the long jump she dislocated her knee in the high jump and the injury could have wiped out any hopes of progressing through the series of meets which further qualify athletes to the next level of competition. But miraculously she was hopping around a few days after and by the following week was strong enough to compete (with the blessings of her coach Kristi Ryan and physiotherapist Anna Fiorito) at the WECSAA meet while wearing a brace. She continued to regain her strength as she qualified through the SWOSSAA and OFSAA West meets which finally led her to the OFSAA provincial championships last weekend.

Tofflemire was the only other athlete representing General Amherst at OFSAA and qualified for the final in the open men’s 2000 meter steeplechase. Lance clocked the fourth best time in the heats, but finished in tenth spot in the finals.

The OFSAA track and field championships were held in Windsor at the University of Windsor stadium and ran from Thursday, June 2 to Saturday, June 4. Over 2,300 athletes from across Ontario competed in this province-wide championships.