Sports

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.

OFSAA volleyball action starts today, banquet held Sunday night

 

By Ron Giofu

The OFSAA “AA” senior girls volleyball tournament is getting started between Amherstburg and Windsor but one member of the host General Amherst team has already won an award.

Assistant coach Mary Ewer was honoured at Sunday night’s OFSAA banquet at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts in Windsor with the OFSAA Leadership and School Sport Award. Presented by tournament co-convener and Lady Gens head coach Jeff Miller, the award recognized Ewer’s years of work in both elementary and high school sports.

Mary Ewer won the OFSAA Leadership and School Sport award during the banquet for the OFSAA “AA” volleyball tournament March 3. Making the presentation is General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller. Tournament action runs March 4-6 between General Amherst High School and the St. Clair College Sportsplex.

Miller noted that Ewer “dedicated her whole life and career to sports” and that she has spent 20-plus years at the high school level coaching, including six OFSAA medals in the past. About 17 of those years have seen the two coach the Lady Gens together.

Ewer said she was “shocked and honoured” to receive the award.

“I was totally shocked,” she said. “I had no idea. It’s an honour, especially that Jeff gave it to me. It’s very wonderful.”

Miller thanked the volunteers, fellow co-convener Greg Scott and the sponsors for helping plan the provincial volleyball tournament, which has seen 20 teams from around Ontario come to the area. He gave special thanks to his wife Nicole for her support as well.

General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller (right) receives an award from OFSAA representative Tom Couvillion for his efforts in organizing the OFSAA “AA” senior girls volleyball tournament. The OFSAA banquet was Sunday night at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts.

Cathy George, head volleyball coach at Michigan State University, was guest speaker and encouraged the roughly 250 players in attendance to use the gifts they have.

“I believe everyone has gifts,” she said. “Everyone makes your team stronger.”

George encouraged the teams to have fun and enjoy the experience but “go out there and run through a wall.” She also stated that the girls can use the tournament to become better as people and wanted them to give back to others.

“You have to be a giver. You have to make a difference in the world,” she said.

Lucas Hodgson, head coach of the women’s team at the University of Windsor, also encouraged the students to “take it all in” and enjoy the experience while OFSAA representative Tom Couvillion said the same thing.

“Make sure you enjoy it,” said Couvillion.

General Amherst vice principal Bonnie DesJardins brought greetings from both the school and the Greater Essex County District School Board.

Action runs Monday-Wednesday at the St. Clair College Sportsplex and General Amherst High School. Championship matches will be at General Amherst. Tickets are $20 for an adult tournament pass, $10 for a student tournament pass, $10 for an adult day pass and $5 for a student day pass. Children under 13 are free.

Lady Gens capture SWOSSAA “AA” volleyball championship

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens were already going to the OFSAA “AA” championships as the host team, but have now earned the right to be there based on their play.

The Lady Gens won the SWOSSAA “AA” title last Friday night on their home court, thus solidifying their position as a provincial-calibre senior girls volleyball team. However, they made things dramatic for themselves and their fans as they needed five sets to defeat the visiting Chatham John McGregor Panthers. The match was almost a reversal of the previous week’s WECSSAA title win over Essex, as it was the Lady Gens who won the first two sets before losing the next two. General Amherst was able to rally and win the decisive fifth set to claim the title.

The scores were 25-12, 25-20, 18-25, 22-25 and 15-5.

“It’s awesome. We’re really excited,” said Emma MacVoy.

The General Amherst Lady Gens captured the SWOSSAA “AA” title with a five-set win over Chatham John McGregor last Friday night. Bottom row, from left: Lexi Dodds, Elyssa Grondin, Abby Orchard, Lizzy Homeniuk-Smith, Emma MacVoy. Top row, from left: coach Jeff Miller, Danielle Brindley, Allison Dufour, Brynlee Ammonite, Emery Lucier, Ramie Tytgat, Vanessa Pidutti and coach Mary Ewer.

MacVoy said they thought they would win and thought they had a chance to win in three straight games. They were a bit caught off-guard but John McGregor’s comeback in the third and fourth games but rebounded in the fifth and final set.

“We shook up the lineup a bit,” said MacVoy. “It was definitely fun.”

The Lady Gens got down on themselves in the third and fourth sets, she added, but were able to rebound.

“We were just thinking ‘why do we do this to ourselves?’” she said. “Why not pound the ball and get it in there?”

MacVoy added that “it was awesome to prove we deserve to be at OFSAA. We earned our spot. We worked our butts off, practicing every day even on snow days.”

Assistant coach Mary Ewer said they played well in the first set and were fine in the second but the “blocks were non-existent” in the third and fourth sets.

“Everything was the opposite of the first two games,” said Ewer.

The Lady Gens played hard in the fifth game and were able to win it.

Emma MacVoy (2) spikes the ball over the net during the SWOSSAA “AA” final at General Amherst Feb. 22.

“Near the end, we served tough,” said Ewer.

Head coach Jeff Miller said they played great in the first set but “struggled in the second set and got through it.”

“Realistically, I thought John McGregor outplayed us most of the second, third and fourth sets. We were fortunate to come out on top in the second set,” he said.

The serving was going well early, he added, but that was problematic in the middle of the match.

“We could never sustain momentum because we were making service errors,” he said. “In the fifth game, the kids did a good job resetting and going back to basics. We made good plays and forced (John McGregor) into errors.”

The field is not quite set for OFSAA but 20 teams from around Ontario will be playing matches at both General Amherst High School and the St. Clair College Sportsplex. Miller said there are about 50-60 kids from General Amherst volunteering and sponsorships are going OK. Individuals and businesses looking to sponsor the tournament or be part of the tournament brochure can contact Miller at 519-736-2149 or jeff.miller@publicboard.ca. People can also send inquiries to kieth_ewer@hotmail.com or call 226-350-5900. Cheques are payable to General Amherst High School.

Allison Dufour (12) and Brynlee Ammonite (1) go up for a block at the net.

OFSAA starts March 3 with the banquet with matches running March 4-6. The final matches will be in Amherstburg.

Tickets are $20 for an adult tournament pass, $10 for a student tournament pass, $10 for an adult day pass and $5 for a student day pass. Children under 13 are free.

Matches will also be streamed on YouTube by following 2019 OFSAAVB GAHS Court or 2019 OFSAAVB St. Clair Court.

To see more photos from the SWOSSAA “AA” title game, visit our Facebook photo album.