General Amherst

Outlook improved for General Amherst senior girls basketball team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Wins have been tough to come by for the General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball the last couple of seasons but things appear to be looking up.

Bolstered by an increased number of girls trying out, the team appears to be heading back in the right direction. Head coach Dom Silvaggio said the players that have tried out all have basketball experience.

“Our depth is going to be better than the last few seasons,” said Silvaggio. “Now we have to get them to the next level and get them used to a level they’re not used to playing at.”

General Amherst coach Dom Silvaggio speaks to the senior girls basketball team at a practice last week.

The first couple of weeks of the season will be used to help define where people will play with Silvaggio stating that the increased depth gives him increased options of who to put on the floor.

“It’s a step back to where we used to be,” said Silvaggio. “People will have to earn playing time. We’re definitely headed in the right direction.”

The increase in players means practices are more competitive as well, he continued, and that they can work on more things. Silvaggio added that a difference can be seen in the players who have been turning out to practice consistently.

“I see a dramatic improvement in the kids that have been coming out,” said Silvaggio.

There are six players back from last year’s Lady Gens team – Taja Holmes, Ramie Tytgat, Lexi Dodds, Emma Marshall, Dani Brindley and Maddie Pillon – with Holmes and Tytgat being Grade 12 players. The bulk of the team is made up of Grade 11 players, though there are some Grade 10 athletes.

The Lady Gens will compete in the WECSSAA Tier 1 division again this season and while they were 1-7 in league play last year with an additional playoff win, Silvaggio said many of the games were competitive.

Ramie Tytgat takes a shot during a senior girls basketball practice at General Amherst High School Sept. 6.

“Hopefully, we’ll take one more step this year and see if we can earn a few more wins,” he said.

When playoffs roll around and the Lady Gens are matched up with their “AA” level counterparts, Silvaggio believes they will be in the mix with Essex, Kennedy and Kingsville for a title.

“It’s going to be a dogfight between those four teams,” he said.

As of press time, the 2018 WECSSAA Tier 1 schedule had not been posted on www.wecssaa.com.

 

Lady Gens eliminated in “disappointing” WECSSAA playoff tournament

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The WECSSAA girls slo-pitch playoffs were last Monday and Tuesday but the General Amherst Lady Gens could not replicate their recent tournament success.

The Lady Gens played four games and lost two of them, which eliminated them from the tournament, which was played at Co-An Park in McGregor.

Mike Prescott, who coached the team with Nikki Maxey, called the WECSSAA playoffs “very disappointing.”

“Teams wanted to plays us hard and it showed,” he said.  “We came out strong against Belle River and they came back on us to tighten the game to the end. We came through in the end with the hits needed to win.”

The final score was a 14-13 win for the Lady Gens.

The second game was against Kingsville and General Amherst came out on the short end of a 15-14 decision.

The General Amherst Lady Gens girls slo-pitch team.

“In the Kingsville game, I feel we came out flat against a team that really wanted it.  Our talent gave us the late lead but in the final inning, Kingsville went ahead by two and we could only answer with one,” said Prescott. “It was a tough loss which dropped us to the loser bracket and a long road to the top.”

The third game was against UMEI and it was a 20-5 win.

“In the UMEI game, our team got it going quick and aggressively,” he said.  “It was a hitting and fielding display and we finished that one with a mercy.”

The fourth, and what turned out to be the final game, was a 26-19 loss to Villanova. The Wildcats would advance to the finals where they would lose 10-6 to Leamington.

“In our final game against Villanova, they started out on us with a two-out, 10-run first inning,” he said.  “You tell hitters to hit where they aren’t and that’s what they did.  We climbed out of it to bring the game to even going into the seventh.  They put up another big inning on us and we didn’t answer.”

“It was a tough day for a very promising team,” said Prescott.  “We lose seniors who have had an impact on this team since Grade 9. We have three all-stars selected from this team to represent us including Brooklyn Prescott, Carly Renaud and Payton Laing.  Our future though looks very bright as we fielded a very young team.”

 

Chatham Maroons add Amherstburg player to their lineup

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Chatham Maroons will have at least one Amherstburg name in their lineup next season.

The Jr. B hockey team signed Josh DiCarlo with DiCarlo having played last year with both the Windsor AAA program and the General Amherst Bulldogs high school team.

“I’m excited to be given the chance to prove myself,” said DiCarlo. “As a smaller guy, people have always tried to put a ceiling on my hockey career. I’m grateful that the Maroons looked past my size, and focused more on my work ethic and my ability to see the ice and make things happen.”

DiCarlo said the Maroons were keeping an eye on him during his last season with Windsor AAA. After the season, he had the opportunity to be invited to a pre-camp and it was at that point where he stated that they showed real interest.

General Amherst’s Josh DiCarlo scores a second period goal against Kingsville Dec. 21. The Amherstburg athlete just signed with the Chatham Maroons.

“It’s too soon to say what my role with the team will be, but I’m happy to be a part of the organization, and seeing what is in store for me,” he said. “I think the adjustment to junior hockey will be a big one. Heading into my Grade 12 year, I will have to continue to make school a priority while travelling to and from Chatham throughout the week, being on the road for games, etc. I’ll have to make sure I get all my homework done on the bus!

DiCarlo added that he just started playing in a league once per week with other junior players and he is also going to the gym on a regular basis to build up his strength. He added that he is thankful for everyone who helped him along the way.

“I have to say how grateful I am for all of the coaches I have had throughout the years. Without them, I wouldn’t be the player I am today,” said DiCarlo. “I should also say how appreciative I am for my parents, who have always supported me and been my biggest fans.”

 

 

General Amherst features two badminton champions

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A pair of General Amherst badminton players won SWOSSAA titles at the junior level and helped their team win junior gold at the same level.

Lexi Dodds, a Grade 9 student, and Matteo Palumbo, a Grade 10 student, won SWOSSAA singles titles at a recent competition held at Academie Ste.-Cecile to go with the WECSSAA achievements.

Palumbo said he was against twelve players in a double-elimination tournament. He had to overcome a loss but came back through the “losers’ bracket” and was still able to win gold including beating the competitor he lost to twice. He thanked coaches Nancy Loeffler-Caro and Craig Lohnes for their efforts.

“Nancy helped me throughout the season and Mr. Lohnes came to all the tournaments to help coach,” said Palumbo.

Noting his father got him started in the sport in Grade 1, Palumbo said he “fell in love with the game” from then on.

“It’s all about strategy, what shots you want to hit,” he said. “It’s a very strategic game.”

“For me at SWOSSAA, it was basically the same competitors from WECSSAA,” added Dodds.

Coaches Craig Lohnes (left) and Nancy Loeffler-Caro (right) stand
with SWOSSAA champions Matteo Palumbo and Lexi Dodds. (Submitted photo)

Dodds said SWOSSAA was tough because she was playing against other competitors that knew her strengths and weaknesses. She said she made it to the finals, lost the first set, but managed to win the rest to claim the title.

“Especially because I’m in Grade 9, it’s a big accomplishment,” said Dodds. “I never thought I was going to make it this far.”

Dodds agreed with Palumbo that it is a strategic game.

“I like how it’s a mental game and you don’t have to be the most athletic person to win,” she said.

Palumbo stated he practices Sunday nights with Loeffler-Caro during badminton seasons as well as with the school team while Dodds said she practices mainly with the school team.

“We ended up tying for the team championship with just two players,” he added.

As they are both juniors, neither have an OFSAA tournament to advance to as that is only available at the senior level.

 

Lady Gens win fastpitch high school tournament

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens captured a fastpitch tournament title last week.

Coach Mike Prescott stated the Lady Gens defeated three teams by a combined score of 24-0, including a 12-0 win over Huron Park in the tournament finals. They also defeated Saunders Secondary School 8-0 and Donald A. Wilson Secondary School 4-0 en route to becoming the champions of the ninth annual Debbie DeMoel High School Classic.

The tournament was played last Monday (May 28) at Seneca College in North York.

The General Amherst Lady Gens captured the recent Debbie DeMoel High School Classic. (Front row) Lexi DiCarlo, Jaiden Stiles. (Middle) Reese Jones, Brooklyn Prescott, Payton Laing, Lexi Dodds (Back) coach Mike Prescott, Alyssa Marshall, Savannah Prescott, Alyson Dufour, Bailey Briggs, Emma Marshall, coach Nicole Maxey. (Submitted photo)

“Brooklyn Prescott led us in pitching,” Mike said. “Alyson Dufour and Savannah Prescott both had stellar pitching performances as well.”

Mike Prescott added the Lady Gens defense was “fantastic” throughout the tournament as well. He pointed out they started the championship game against Huron Park with nine runs in the first inning.

Brooklyn Prescott added their bats were hitting well in the tournament, particularly in the title game and they did so against good pitching.
“We had really good defense,” she added.

Brooklyn said the team came together during the tournament and was able to come away with the victory.

Brooklyn Prescott pitches in the final game the ninth annual Debbie DeMoel High School Classic. (Submitted photo)

The Lady Gens resumed WECSSAA slo-pitch play last Tuesday afternoon at Wigle Park with a game against Essex. The Lady Gens finished the regular season with a 7-1 record after beating the Red Raiders 14-2.

The WECSSAA slo-pitch playoffs were at Co-An Park in McGregor this past Monday and Tuesday. Results were not available as of press time.