Sports

General Amherst wrestlers do well at OFSAA tournament

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The two wrestlers from General Amherst High School returned from OFSAA with solid showings.

Myah Trymbulak and Katie McEvoy and their coach Rodney Levesque travelled to Ottawa last week for the meet, which was the largest one in Ontario with over 900 wrestlers in attendance. Both competed in the 44kg weight class with Trymbulak coming home with a bronze medal and McEvoy with a sixth place finish.

“I’m a weight class above last year,” explained Trymbulak. “It’s definitely harder.”

There were 27 girls in the 44kg weight class and Trymbulak and McEvoy were seeded highly entering the tournament. Both had five matches over last Tuesday and Wednesday. Trymbulak said she didn’t wrestle the way she wanted to on the first day of the meet.

“I thought I could have wrestled better,” she said.

Trymbulak felt she competed better on the second day.

Levesque countered by saying they wrestled well.

“Sometimes a win isn’t pretty but it’s still a win,” he said.

Katie McEvoy (left) finished sixth at OFSAA in her weight class while Myah Trymbulak won a bronze medal.

While she would have liked to have finished first, Trymbulak said she is still pleased with her bronze medal that she earned at the provincial tournament.

“I’m still impressed with myself,” she said.

Trymbulak’s summer plans are to train weekly at the Windsor Wrestling Club and join a local gym to get stronger and gain muscle heading into next year. She was grateful to her parents Rob and Wendy Trymbulak for travelling with her to support her at out-of-town meets, including OFSAA, as well as Levesque. McEvoy offered similar thanks and also included principal Melissa DeBruyne for her support and allowing them to go to OFSAA.

McEvoy believed she would get a top six finish upon arrival at OFSAA but hoped for better after the tournament began.

“I was pretty bummed because I didn’t get higher than sixth,” admitted McEvoy, though added she is now fine with how she placed.

“I’m proud of my sixth place (finish),” she said.

McEvoy won two matches and lost three but competed well in all of them.

“I had really good matches,” she said. “On the second day, I had close matches, but I couldn’t pull them out and win them.”

The OFSAA experience was also positive, McEvoy added.

“It was pretty cool to go out there and watch everyone from our region do so well,” said McEvoy. “It’s fun to cheer for your team.”

Trymbulak will return to General Amherst High School next year for her Grade 12 year but McEvoy graduates this June and has likely wrestled her last match. McEvoy said she is “pretty satisfied” looking back at her high school wrestling career.

Lady Gens advance to OFSAA quarterfinals before bowing out

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A team from Fonthill captured the OFSAA “AA” senior girls volleyball championship but the home team still had a respectable showing at the tournament.

E.L. Crossley defeated Widdifield, the latter school being from North Bay, in the OFSAA gold medal game last Wednesday evening in a five-set match, winning the fifth and final set 16-14. E.L. Crossley entered the tournament as the fifth seed while Widdifield was the second seed. The match concluded the provincial tournament, hosted by General Amherst High School, with the home team putting in a solid effort.

The Lady Gens, who were seeded sixth, were defeated by Franco Cité, an Ottawa-based school last Tuesday night in the championship quarterfinals. Third seeded Franco Cité won the first set 25-23 before General Amherst rallied to win the second set 25-20. Franco-Cité would advance to the semi-finals with 25-17 and 25-22 in the third and fourth sets respectively.

General Amherst’s Abby Orchard (black jersey) plays the ball during the OFSAA quarterfinal match with Franco Cité March 5.

General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller said he was looking forward to the match with Franco Cité as they are similarly sized teams that played similar styles.

“I knew it would be a hard fought match,” said Miller. “We just made a couple of more errors.”

Miller believed the Lady Gens “shot ourselves in the foot” in the first set a couple of times and missed some timely serves. Had the Lady Gens won that set, “it could have been completely different,” he added.

“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” he stated. “I thought we played better in OFSAA than we did at WECSSAA and SWOSSAA. I’m happy. I think it’s fantastic to get to the OFSAA quarterfinals and be one of eight teams that had a chance.”

Miller said it was a good achievement for the Lady Gens to advance to the OFSAA quarterfinals, particularly since they only won one match during the 2017-18 season.

“It’s tough to lose in the quarterfinals but they are a great team,” said assistant coach Mary Ewer. “We didn’t give up.”

The General Amherst Lady Gens celebrate after getting a point versus Franco Cité.

The Lady Gens gelled together this year and Ewer noted they were a young team this season.

“We’re proud of them,” said Ewer.

Eight of the 11 players are eligible to return next season with graduating seniors including captain Vanessa Pidutti, Ramie Tytgat and Lizzy Homeniuk-Smith. With so many players returning, Miller believes that it could lead to bigger and better things for the Lady Gens next season. He said they are hoping to earn a medal at next year’s OFSAA.

Ewer pointed out that none of the players on this year’s team had played at the provincial level in high school.

“None of them had experience at OFSAA,” she said.

General Amherst’s Elyssa Grondin (10) sets the ball in the air as Dani Brindley (right) looks on.

Ewer emphasized the Lady Gens made great strides and had a very good season.

“It was pretty awesome,” she said.

The bronze medal match was won by Corpus Christi, as they defeated Franco Cité. Corpus Christi was the top seed entering the tournament. Thornlea won the consolation championship as they defeated the Essex Red Raiders in the consolation championship match.

For more photos on the Lady Gens’ OFSAA quarterfinal match, visit our Facebook photo album.

Two General Amherst wrestlers now competing at OFSAA

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

After finishing first and second in the 44kg weight class at SWOSSAA, a pair of wrestlers from General Amherst High School are now wrestling on the provincial stage.

Myah Trymbulak and Katie McEvoy are representing their school in OFSAA and trying to bring home some hardware. For Trymbulak, she admitted there is some pressure as well as she finished second last year in Windsor and she wants to at least match, if not beat that standard.

“I obviously want to finish first,” she said. “I feel I put in a lot of work and have a shot at it if I work my hardest.”

Myah Trymbulak stands atop the podium at SWOSSAA with Katie McEvoy on the right with her silver medal.

Trymbulak, a Grade 11 student, said she was excited to go to OFSAA again, with this year’s meet being in Ottawa, with McEvoy stating she is excited also.

For McEvoy, it is her third year going to OFSAA and she hopes to finish in the top six. It is also her last high school wrestling meet as she is in Grade 12.

“It’s kind of sad to give it up,” said McEvoy.

Trymbulak said they knew they had a shot at OFSAA and McEvoy said they know some of the competition at OFSAA including a girl from northern Ontario that has beaten them both. They may even have to face each other.

“Wrestling each other definitely sucks because we’ve been partners for so long,” said Trymbulak.

McEvoy and Trymbulak are the only two members of the General Amherst wrestling team left standing and they practice at Sandwich Secondary School with another wrestler they work with being Angelina Papia. They practice five nights per week until 5 p.m. and then work with the Windsor Wrestling Club two nights per week as well.

Katie McEvoy and Myah Trymbulak flex for the cameras.

Trymbulak said they stuck with that schedule in preparation for OFSAA.

“There’s not much more we can do,” said Trymbulak.

Both love the aggressiveness of wrestling and the fact it is an all-contact sport. McEvoy said there are still not as many female competitors in the sport so “I think it’s good to break barriers.”

Rodney Levesque, the teacher/coach of the General Amherst wrestling team, said there will be over 900 competitors at OFSAA and 31 weight classes. Both wrestlers thanked him for his efforts as well as everyone else who helped them get to where they are. The wrestling season lasts from November-March.

Area sports store closing its doors

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

An area sports shop that has served the area for over 20 years is closing its doors, but the current owners hope that it’s not for good.

LaSalle Sports Zone is closing at the end of March as current owners Glen and Mary O’Neil are retiring. The O’Neils say they have served many customers from LaSalle, Amherstburg and south Windsor and are Amherstburg residents themselves.

“We’re trying to retire for good,” said Glen, adding they hope to travel and golf more.

The couple, who used to work at the GM transmission plant in Windsor before going into business for themselves, said they opened in 1998 on Malden Road before moving a few years ago to their Sprucewood Dr. location.

“We want to retire and enjoy life,” said Mary. “It’s time for someone to take over who has contacts with the local athletic associations.”

Amherstburg residents Glen and Mary O’Neil are closing their store – the LaSalle Sports Zone – at the end of March.

They have someone who is showing interest and hope that person will be able to keep the business going.

The O’Neils said they have enjoyed working with the customers and have enjoyed meeting players, including young hockey players getting fitted for equipment for the first time. They state they even tell hockey parents who have never dressed their child before to stop by about an hour before they have to be at the rink so they can help get their young players ready.

“It’s more of a personal service,” said Mary.

“We do a lot of things the big box stores don’t do,” added Glen.

They have had such NHL players as Eric Wellwood and Taylor Hall stop by for autograph sessions over the years. Glen noted they have also employed numerous students from the Amherstburg and LaSalle areas over the years with two going on to become dentists and another student now being a lawyer.

Mary added they take pride in their skate sharpening and Glen adding loyal staff such as Louis Lamb have helped out with that over the years.

Glen said they will miss their loyal customers and that they have gotten to know a lot of them well.

“It’s a great job,” said Kyle Kwiatkowski, a Grade 12 student from Villanova. “It’s great if you play sports.”

Oldtimers tournament held last weekend

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Oldtimers maintained their tradition with their annual hockey tournament last weekend.

“We had a great turnout; we are getting more teams that want to enter than we can handle at this time,” said Jim Rousseau, one of the tournament’s organizers.  “We had 28 teams playing last weekend, six from Amherstburg, one from Bothwell, one from Tillsonburg, six from Michigan and 12 from Windsor and Essex County area.”

There were seven divisions of four teams each playing at the three-day tournament at the Libro Centre. Divisions included one open, 40-rec, four 50-and-over and one 60-and-over.

Rousseau stated this season has been good as they have played in three local tournaments and got into the finals where they won one and lost the other two. The Amherstburg Oldtimers also played in a tournament in Kitchener were they lost in the finals there.

“We have two more Thursday night skates and then we will be off to St Catharines for a season ending tournament,” he said. The Amherstburg Oldtimers’ charity donations again this year will most likely be the Amherstburg Jumpstart program and the Miracle League of Amherstburg.

Attendance numbers for all the local teams’ games were good, said Rousseau.

“We would like to thank all teams for coming out for tournament,” he stated.