Bulldogs

Bulldogs fall to 0-3 after loss against undefeated St. Anne team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The toughest part of the General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team schedule is the early portion but they are fighting their way through it.

The Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 on the WECSSAA boys hockey season after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the St. Anne Saints last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre. The win boosted St. Anne’s record to 5-0.

Jacob Howson scored the Bulldogs only goal of the game, as he poked home a rebound midway through the third period. The Bulldogs were without their number one goal Jacob Lister as he missed the game due to illness.

General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett believes the young team is making progress.

Jacob Howson of the General Amherst Bulldogs breaks in for a scoring chance during last Thursday afternoon’s WECSSAA boys hockey game against the St. Anne Saints.

“I think we’re coming,” said Garrett. “I think our backup goalies did a great job.”

The Bulldogs trailed 3-0 heading into the third period and Garrett said their goal at that point was just to win the third period, which they did.

“I’m really impressed with the young players,” he said. “The Grade 9’s and 10’s played well. That’s exciting for the future.”

Garrett called the 2018-19 WECSSAA schedule “front loaded” with the games with the larger, stronger schools at the beginning and the games with schools similarly sized to General Amherst towards the latter portion of the season. The Bulldogs have four league games over the next two weeks heading into the Christmas break as well as a tournament.

“We’re going to get an opportunity to put six or seven games together,” he said. “I think we’ll be a much better team once we get those games in.”

Drake McGowan gets a shot on goal during last Thursday’s game at the Libro Centre.

Garrett said they only have a handful of skaters and one goalie back from last year, but he is happy with the talent level he sees on the young Bulldogs team. He notes most of the team are new faces and that they are performing better than expected.

“It’s quite a bit different,” he said of this year’s team, as they usually have more players that returned from the previous year.

The Bulldogs played Tuesday against L’Essor at Tecumseh Arena after the print issue of the RTT went to press. They host Tecumseh Vista Academy at the Libro Centre Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

 

Bulldogs now 5-0 after defeating visiting Blenheim

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs have won their first five games of the WECSSAA Tier 3 football season with the latest win coming last Thursday.

The Bulldogs knocked off the visiting Blenheim Bobcats at Centennial Park 27-13 with the Bulldogs scoring the first 27 points on the afternoon. The scoring began in the first quarter on 13-yard touchdown run by quarterback Emmitt Rosati on the game’s opening drive.

The Bulldogs would add 17 more points in the second quarter to take a 24-0 halftime lead. After kicker Matteo Gugliotta connected on a 24-yard field goal, running back Levi Reaume scored on a 20-yard touchdown run to make it 17-0.

Brayden LeClerc got in on the act later in the quarter on a seven-yard touchdown run.

Gugliotta, who also converted the three General Amherst touchdowns, kicked a 26-yard field goal in the third quarter. Blenheim had seven and 62 yard touchdown passes in the fourth quarter but could not close the gap any further.

“We played really well in the first half,” said Rosati. “We had penalties that cost us big plays. Overall we played pretty well.”

Brayden LeClerc makes a catch during first half action against Blenheim last Thursday. General Amherst beat Blenheim 27-13 at Centennial Park.

Rosati said they get a lot of penalties in games and that is something they have to improve upon. He said the 5-0 start was nice, particularly after both junior and senior teams went winless in 2017.

“It feels great, especially after last season,” he said.

The Bulldogs play two tough opponents in the final two games, both on the road, and Rosati said they will have to play hard to win them.

General Amherst head coach John Rudak said they controlled the ball well and “we didn’t have to pass too much.”

“They played us straight up. They didn’t try to cheat on us,” Rudak said of the Bobcats, adding the visitors were “undermanned” and used some trick plays to get scores.

“The best part was all of our future guys were all able to get in the game and have a chance to play,” he said, as the Bulldogs are a combined team this year with a lot of junior aged players on it.

Reaume and LeClerc both ran the ball well, he noted and Bryce Dougan played well on defense.

“Penalties are costing us,” he added. “We had two touchdowns called back.”

Both of the final two regular season games are at Tecumseh Vista Academy, with the opponents this week being Riverside at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Bulldogs close the season with a game next Friday against Tecumseh Vista Academy at 5 p.m.

For more photos from the Oct. 18 football game, view our photo album.

Bulldogs showing progress on the volleyball court

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst senior boys volleyball team were on the court twice and experienced their first taste of victory.

While both matches were defeats, the Bulldogs scored a win in one of the three games against the Brennan Cardinals Thursday afternoon. Played at Brennan, the Bulldogs dropped the first two games 25-21 and 25-18 but rallied to win the third game 25-23.

The week started with a loss on the Bulldogs’ home court to Riverside last Tuesday evening. The visitors swept the Bulldogs in three straight sets, 25-17, 25-11 and 26-24.

Despite the loss, head coach Craig Lohnes was satisfied with his team’s performance.

Quenton Desjardins (14) of General Amherst bumps a ball back over the net during WECSSAA senior boys volleyball action last Tuesday night. The Bulldogs lost in three sets to Riverside.

“They are doing better, slowly but surely,” Lohnes said after last Tuesday evening’s match.

After a lopsided loss in the second game, Lohnes was pleased with how his team rebounded in the third match and nearly won it.

“They came back and had a good showing in the third game,” he said. “It would have been nice to finish off that set.”

Lohnes said the Bulldogs are getting better and applauded the work of his players, in particular those who come off the bench. He said it is tough to come off the bench cold and serve but credited players for doing just that. Players that stood out included Quenton Desjardins and Matteo Palumbo.

“We want to get better as the season progresses,” said Lohnes. “They are doing well.”

Riley Sesto (11) and Brady DeWaal (9) go up to block a ball at the net.

Lohnes added they knew Riverside had some talented players but thought the Bulldogs responded to the challenge.

“I thought we fared well with their skill level. We are happy with that,” he stated. “Riverside is a good team.”

The Bulldogs are in action only once this week, as St. Thomas of Villanova’s senior boys volleyball team comes to General Amherst for a 4 p.m. match Thursday.

Local coach to be inducted into Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A coach who has led General Amherst High School basketball teams to numerous boys and girls championships is getting a significant honour himself.

Domenic Silvaggio will be inducted into the Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame this fall. The news went public last week that Silvaggio will be part of the class of 2018.

Silvaggio got the word in late-June that he was likely to be inducted this year and the official word came last week. He will be inducted as part of the builder’s category.

“It was kind of nice to hear, that’s for sure,” he said.

Silvaggio added he was at a “loss for words” when the call came that he was a soon-to-be Hall of Famer.

“There’s been quite a few people asking me about it (in past years),” he said. “I said it’s something I have no control over. If it comes, it comes.”

Now that the honour has come, Silvaggio is sharing it with many of his peers. That includes many coaches within the elementary and the Amherstburg Basketball Club system especially those who were involved with both systems including Karl Wightman, Frank Palumbo, Vic DiNardo, Jim Belcher, Dale Prisley, John VandeBovenkamp, Tim Dodds, Amy Bondy and Brad Bondy.

Among those that helped him along the way have also included Ross Scott, Mike Nedin and Dave Scott.

“These guys were influential in getting me into coaching,” he said.

Nicole Rusenstrom was also thanked for her help with teams in recent years.

Special thanks was given to Greg Scott and Don Parks, who were recognized for their many years of coaching with Silvaggio. He also recognized his son Stephen, who both played and coached with him and now has his own basketball program at Kennedy.

“All the coaches should be sharing this with me as well,” he said.

General Amherst coach Dom Silvaggio (centre) goes over a play during a timeout of a Nov. 2017 game against Kennedy. Silvaggio’s accomplishments over his coaching career have landed him a spot in the Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be in October.

Fundraisers for the local basketball programs have included Ross Scott, Parks, Greg Scott and Palumbo plus the many players and parents that helped out.

Parents have also been of great help over the years.

“They always had my back, driving the kids to all parts of Ontario,” he said.

The players were also thanked, with Silvaggio noting that none of the championship teams he has coached would have been possible without the hard work of the players. He recalled championship teams that would win a tournament on a Saturday and come home and want to practice on the Sunday.

“That’s the dedication and drive they had,” said Silvaggio. “Without that, you aren’t going to win anything.”

While the dedication of players and parents were pointed out, so too were the efforts of his fellow teachers and administrators as well.

“It makes my job a heck of a lot easier when you have that,” he said.

Silvaggio gave special thanks to his family, including wife Susan, son Stephen and daughter Kim. Kim also played for her father during her time at General Amherst.

“Without their support, I wouldn’t have been able to put in the time,” he said. “There were a lot of weekends away, that’s for sure.”

Among the accomplishments on Silvaggio’s resume include 26 WECSSAA/ECSSAA championships between boys and girls basketball teams. He has coached 13 SWOSSAA championship teams and the senior girls program he has overseen won ten consecutive medals at OFSAA at either the “AA” or “AAA” level, including five gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals at the provincial championship tournament.

Silvaggio’s teams have also won two gold medals and one silver at the senior boys Ontario District High School Championships and two golds in Division 2 at the Basketball Ontario Cup boys championship with the Amherstburg Basketball Club.

Silvaggio has won the most basketball OFSAA championships and medals as a coach in the Windsor/Essex area. His league and playoff win totals at the high school level top 600 and that number swells to 1,000 overall wins when tournaments are factored in.

The 2006 General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls team was selected as the top high school team of the year regardless of size by a committee of coaches and administrators from throughout Ontario.

In 2007, the senior girls won the Super 12 tournament which included the eventual OFSAA “AAAA” gold, silver and bronze medal winners as well as the OFSAA “AAA” gold, silver and bronze medal winners for that year. The Lady Gens won the “AA” gold that year.

From 2004-2013, the General Amherst senior girls basketball team had a record of 197-9 in WECSSAA, SWOSSAA and OFSAA league and playoff games. Silvaggio said most of those were at the Tier 1 level after WECSSAA started the tier system. Those teams had a 45-5 record in OFSAA play during that time span to go along with their ten straight medals.

Silvaggio was one of the founders and president for over 20 years of the Amherstburg Basketball Club. He said the Amherstburg Basketball Club was started to enhance and promote the game of basketball for the youth who lived in the Amherstburg area.

One of the teams Domenic Silvaggio (far right) coached to an OFSAA basketball championship were the 2011 General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls team (File photo – Special to the RTT)

“There were hundreds of children who played either house league or travel or both,” he said. “Many of the youth who were a part of this program probably would not have played basketball at the competitive and house league level if not for this club.”

Silvaggio believes he is one of only three high school basketball coaches to go into the Windsor-Essex Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be Oct. 19 at the Ciociaro Club.

Since the news went public, Silvaggio added he has been receiving many messages of congratulations.

“It’s nice,” he said. “It’s an honour but I’d like to share this with all of the other coaches.”

Other inductees into the Windsor-Essex Sports Hall of Fame include Paul Carter (basketball), J. Paul Reddam (horse racing) and Don Marrin (wrestling) in the builder’s category; golfer Cheryll Damphouse, boxer Mary Spencer, hockey player Andy Delmore and basketball player Richard Shaw going in as part of the athletes category.

The Tecumseh Baseball Club and the 2011-15 University of Windsor Lancer women’s basketball team will be inducted under the club and team category.

 

 

Bulldogs advance to WECSSAA boys soccer final

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs are in the WECSSAA “AA” boys soccer final.

The Bulldogs advanced in dramatic fashion last Thursday afternoon after winning 3-2 in Windsor over the Riverside Rebels. The game ended 1-1 after regulation time and then went to extra time, when the score ended up 2-2. General Amherst then won the game in penalty shots and progressed to the WECSSAA finals.

The Bulldogs’ Kerion Sweet squeezes between the boundary line to the left of his team’s net and the Cougars’ Bryden Fizer during the first half of a WECSSAA 2A senior boys’ soccer quarterfinal match at Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School in Leamington last Wednesday afternoon. Sweet, along with Cole Zelle, scored for General Amherst in a 2-1 victory to advance to the semi-finals.
(Photo by Bryan Jessop/Southpoint Sun-Journal)

The win over Riverside was the Bulldogs’ second victory in two days. The Bulldogs were in Leamington last Wednesday afternoon and defeated the Cardinal Carter Cougars 2-1.

General Amherst fell behind 1-0 thanks to a penalty shot goal by Cardinal Carter but the Bulldogs fought back in the second half and scored twice to send them to the semi-finals. Cole Zelle and Kieron Sweet scored in the win over the Cougars.

Members of the General Amherst Bulldogs react after winning the WECSSAA “AA” semi-final game in penalty kicks May 17. (Photo by Mark Sweet)

The Bulldogs will play the Essex Red Raiders in the WECSSAA “AA” soccer final. Essex defeated General Amherst 1-0 the only time they met in the regular season, with that game being played at Essex District High School.

The WECSSAA “AA” final will be played Thursday starting at 6 p.m. It will be played at a neutral site, as the game is scheduled to be played at Academie Ste.-Cecile International Private School at 925 Cousineau Road in Windsor.