Greg Scott

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.

 

 

General Amherst honours top athletes at awards banquet

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The top athletes at General Amherst High School were honoured last week at the annual athletic awards banquet.

The banquet, held last Thursday evening at the Ciociaro Club, saw major sports awards handed out as well as awards in individual sports. Two of the big winners of the evening were Josh DiCarlo and Reese Jones, who were male and female athlete of the year respectively.

“I’m pretty excited,” said DiCarlo. “I knew I had a chance.”

DiCarlo acknowledged he is only in Grade 11 and said it was a bit of a surprise that he beat out the Grade 12 athletes.

“I worked hard for it and I’m glad I got it,” said DiCarlo.

DiCarlo, who played badminton, golf and hockey this past high school season, thanked his coaches and parents for getting him this far. Jones was also grateful, believing she had a chance at her award.

Jones thought it was be between her and teammate Brooklyn Prescott for the award, but Jones also thought Prescott had a chance at the top female student athlete award as well due to her intelligence.

“I was really excited,” said Jones, who played tennis, volleyball, badminton and slo-pitch this year. “I was hoping to win it.”

A full list of winners was as follows:

Josh DiCarlo and Reese Jones were named Top Male and Top Female Athletes of the Year.

TOP MALE ATHLETE – Josh DiCarlo.

TOP FEMALE ATHLETE – Reese Jones

TOP MALE STUDENT ATHLETE – Cole Zelle

TOP FEMALE STUDENT ATHLETE – Brooklyn Prescott

MOST DEDICATED AWARD – Payton Laing, Tyler Tofflemire

ATHLETE-PLUS AWARD – Tate Levesque, Linden Crain

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD – Carly Renaud, Spencer Hawkins

SPIRIT AWARD – Matt Belanger

TOP JUNIOR MALE ATHLETES — Matteo Palumbo, Max Jones, Nathan Maxey, Ty Queen, Emmitt Rosati

TOP JUNIOR FEMALE ATHLETES — Danielle Brindley, Lexi Dodds, Abby Orchard, Allison Dufour, Emma MacVoy

General Amherst High School’s top athletes were honoured last Thursday night including major award winners. Top row, from left: Max Jones, Emmitt Rosati, Matt Belanger, Matteo Palumbo, Nathan Maxey, Lexi Dodds, Allison Dufour, Abby Orchard, Linden Crain. Bottom row (from left): Sebastian Hebert, Reese Jones, Brooklyn Prescott, Payton Laing, Carly Renaud, Josh DiCarlo, Tyler Tofflemire, Spencer Hawkins and Tate Levesque.

INDIVIDUAL SPORT AWARD

GOLF – Josh DiCarlo (Lowest Scoring Average)

CROSS COUNTRY – Tyler Rowles (Top Performer), Tyler Tofflemire (Award of Excellence)

TENNIS – Reese Jones (MVP), Matteo Palumbo (Most Dedicated

FOOTBALL – Levi Reaume (Offensive Player of the Year), Spencer Hawkins (Defensive Player of the Year), Bryce Dougan (Lineman of the Year), Matt Belanger (Most Dedicated Player)

GIRLS BASKETBALL – Lexi Dodds (MVP), Brooklyn Prescott (Most Dedicated)

BOYS BASKETBALL – Sebastian Hebert (MVP)

BOYS HOCKEY – Josh DiCarlo (Offensive MVP), Jorden Meyer (Defensive MVP)

GIRLS HOCKEY – Carly Renaud (MVP), Emily Pontini (Corey Meloche Memorial Award)

CURLING – Kylie Parent (Sportsmanship Award)

WRESTLING – Tate Levesque (MVP)

DANCE – Alyssa Jones (Most Dedicated)

GYMNASTICS – Mackenzie Bauer (MVP), Chelsey Deslippe (Rookie of the Year)

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL – Reese Jones, Bryanna France (Awards of Excellence)

GIRLS SLO-PITCH – Brooklyn Prescott (MVP), Alexis DiCarlo (Rookie of the Year)

BADMINTON – Josh DiCarlo (Top Male Player), Jaycie Stanek (Top Female Player)

GIRLS SOCCER – Breana Farias (Coaches Award), Jenna Fiala (MVP)

BOYS SOCCER – Kieron Sweet (Offensive MVP), Griffin Muzzin (Defensive MVP)

BOYS BASEBALL – Sebastian Hebert (MVP), Colton Taylor (Coaches Award)

TRACK AND FIELD – Sydney Doyle (Coaches Award), Tyler Tofflemire (Award of Excellence)

 

Principal Melissa DeBruyne spoke about how students and young people in general can learn from sports. Growing from adversity and difficult times can help young people as they go through life.

“It makes you a stronger person,” said DeBruyne.

Greg Scott, physical education department head, congratulated the Grade 12 players who are graduating and encouraged returning athletes such as the junior-aged players to seize the opportunities put before them.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on at General Amherst is providing opportunities,” said Scott.

General Amherst’s “Run for Rocky” helps promote GSA’s

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

General Amherst High School hit the streets last Thursday to help raise funds and awareness for its Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) as well as GSA’s in other local high schools.

The “Run for Rocky” came to Amherstburg after five years of being in Windsor. Money raised will go to a project fund in memory of Rocky Campana, with funds being accessible to any school to tap into for guest speakers, library materials and other projects.

The event included a 5K run/walk from the school that saw the route cut through Toddy Jones Park, go down Dalhousie St. to the Blue Haven Motel and then return.

Rob Campana, Rocky’s father, said he and his wife Nancy envisioned local schools picking up the torch after they committed to running the event in Windsor for the first five years. He said they wanted it to become “a legacy project” and have individual schools pick it up.

During its five years in Windsor, Campana said that General Amherst either raised the most money or had the most students participate in four of the five years.

General Amherst High School presented its own “Run for Rocky” last Thursday. Students and staff cut through Toddy Jones Park en route to Dalhousie St. for the 5K run/walk. In the foreground running are principal Melissa DeBruyne and teachers Dan Campana and Lisa Voakes.

“General Amherst has been unbelievable from the beginning thanks to (physical education and leadership class teacher) Greg Scott,” said Campana. “This is no surprise to us that Greg has carried the torch with the students and did this run. Hopefully this inspires other schools to do the same thing.”

The biggest thing the “Run for Rocky” does, Campana believes, is create awareness of GSA’s. Campana said GSA’s keep students safe and educated. He recalled Rocky being pleased when GSA’s became mandated.

“He did have difficulties in high school being a gay man,” he said.

Educating adults and educators is another one of the goals for “Run for Rocky,” Campana added.

“It’s all about educating people,” he said.

People in the LGBT community are “no different that you or I,” he added.

Campana told the students that “it doesn’t matter who you love, just love each other.”

“It’s a tough enough world,” said Campana. “Let’s start coming together and loving each other.”

Rob Campana (far right), father of Rocky Campana, addresses the Run for Rocky participants outside of General Amherst High School last Thursday.

Scott said the event was run by his fitness and leadership class and the General Amherst GSA. When the event ended in Windsor, “we decided we wanted to run one here.” It could become an annual event but in its first year in Amherstburg, at least half of the General Amherst population signed up with additional members of the public joining as well.

Scott told the RTT late Friday afternoon that the event raised $1,400, “which will go to the Run for Rocky Legacy Project which helps support and fund high school GSA programs.”

Jenna Fiala, a student in the fitness and leadership class, noted there is a family connection as well as Rocky’s uncle Dan Campana is a teacher at General Amherst High School.

“I think this is a good event we organized at our school,” said Fiala, adding they also oversaw food preparation, safety precautions and event management in addition to promoting the GSA.

“It’s good to see how many people are supportive of what’s going on in the community,” added Karlie Simon, a Grade 9 student who is a member of the GSA.

Trevor Klundert, a guidance counsellor and faculty advisor to the GSA, said having about half of the school sign up shows great enthusiasm for the cause.

“From the GSA’s perspective, we’d like to do it annually,” he said.

The subject of sexual orientation sometimes carries a stigma, particularly in a small town, said Klundert, but that is not the case in Amherstburg as he said the community is very supportive. A number of former students supported the “Run for Rocky” as well, he pointed out.

Klundert added the GSA wants students to be comfortable if they come out as being gay so that they can be the students that they want to be. One of the messages from the event was that “every face you see in the run supports you, loves you and has your back,” he said.

 

General Amherst bringing “Run for Rocky” to Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The “Run for Rocky,” a fundraising event for local high school Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA’s), is coming to Amherstburg.

After five years of the event being in Windsor, where April 9 is Run for Rocky Day, General Amherst High School is hosting their own event April 26. Teacher Greg Scott, whose fitness and recreation leadership class is helping to organize the event, said the Campana family’s five-year commitment to run the event is over but they hope it will continue in school communities. The event is in memory of Rocky Campana.

“Their thought was that individual schools would do something on their own,” said Scott. “We decided to keep the run going and give it a try at our school.”

Linden Crain, student parliament prime minister, said it will involve not only General Amherst students, but students from Amherstburg Public School as well. The general public is also invited to drop by the school and donate or show up the day of the event and take part.

“It’s a minimum $5 pledge,” said Crain. “Any other donations are greatly appreciated.”

Rocky’s father Rob Campana is expected to attend the April 26 event. Rocky’s uncle Dan is a teacher at General Amherst High School.

Proceeds will go towards a project fund with GSA’s from any school able to tap into that fund to help pay for guest speakers, library materials and other projects. Trevor Klundert, a guidance counsellor at General Amherst and the GSA staff liaison, said the next national GSA conference will be in New Brunswick and funds could be used to help pay for travel to that event.

“Even though it’s taking place in Amherstburg, it helps other schools too,” Crain said of the local Run for Rocky.

Student parliament prime minister Linden Crain and Karlie Simon, a member of General Amherst’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) stand near a poster promoting the GSA and the Run for Rocky. General Amherst High School is teaming with Amherstburg Public School to hold a Run for Rocky 5K event April 26.

Karlie Simon, one of the five Grade 9 students in the General Amherst GSA, said the event will also showcase what GSA’s can do and promote what they are and how they help. She said people don’t have to be from the LGBTQ community to help out. Klundert added that the April 26 event will also show students who may not have come out yet that other students “have their back” and will make it more comfortable to let them be who they want to be at school.

The 5K run/walk will start next to the high school and proceed to Toddy Jones Park. It will then go down Dalhousie St. to Front Road South (near the Blue Haven Motel) before coming back. There will be food and music at the start/finish area.

“We’re keeping things to the sidewalks,” explained Scott, adding they don’t plan on asking for any road closures.

The event will run from 12:30-2 p.m. April 26.

According to the Run for Rocky website (www.runforrocky.com), “Run for Rocky was a charity run/walk that took place in Windsor, Ontario for five years which was inspired by Rocky Campana who passed away in 2012 after attempting to take his own life. The Campana Family, along with the Windsor Pride Community, Education and Resource Centre, wanted to share Rocky’s story. Through their collaboration, they have been able to fund GSAs in the local high school and post-secondary school systems, ensuring that parents, educators and youth have the knowledge and funding needed to help create Safe Schools, and creating a support system for youth in times of crisis. Rocky paved the path to make a difference while living, and the Run for Rocky Legacy Fund will continue to make a significant difference in his absence for years to come.”

General Amherst, Amherstburg GM team up to raise $10,000 for school

 

 

By Danica Skakavac

 

For the third year in a row, General Amherst has raised the maximum amount of $10,000 in the Buick Drive for Your students test drive event.

The announcement was posted via Twitter, proudly stating that General Amherst once again raised the maximum amount of money. The cheque presentation occurred at the school June 13.

The first time this event was held was in October 2015. The $10,000 that was raised at the May 13 event at Amherstburg GMC Buick will go towards funding for many of the school clubs and organizations, depending on what club participating students and adults were representing or wanted their money to go towards. There is a variety of different programs and any club or program was open for people to donate to. People had the option of donating their $20 to the program, club or sports team of their choice.

A Buick Drive for your Students event at Amherstburg GMC raised $10,000 for General Amherst, with the cheque being presented last Tuesday. Back row (from left): Amherstburg GM finance manage Doug Davis, service manager Don Butcher, teacher Greg Scott, Amherstburg GM co-owners Scott Elliott and Mike Bezzoubkin. Students in the front with cheque are Jackie Wismer, Brooklyn Prescott, Noah Barron, Emily Pontini and Carly Renaud.

A Buick Drive for your Students event at Amherstburg GMC raised $10,000 for General Amherst, with the cheque being presented last Tuesday. Back row (from left): Amherstburg GM finance manage Doug Davis, service manager Don Butcher, teacher Greg Scott, Amherstburg GM co-owners Scott Elliott and Mike Bezzoubkin. Students in the front with cheque are Jackie Wismer, Brooklyn Prescott, Noah Barron, Emily Pontini and Carly Renaud.

Programs, clubs and sports teams that will get a piece of the pie include parent council, girls basketball, boys soccer, boys hockey, girls hockey, senior football, fit spirit run, the band, the prom, girls volleyball, boys basketball, girls slo-pitch, student council, eco-club, Doghouse Drama, track and field, curling, golf, dance, tennis, wrestling, boys baseball and senior boys volleyball.

Typically, not a lot of students show up but it is not uncommon to see a grade twelve student participating and sometimes even former students or those who were involved in coaching in the programs, said teacher Greg Scott. Fifteen of Scott’s fitness and leadership students put on the event.

Scott added the event usually gets a lot of support and action from the community, mainly parents whose children attend the school and are part of an extra-curricular activity.

“The best part of the event was seeing the number of people from the community who continue to get involved with the school and are always interested in helping the school raise the money. They allow our school to be as successful as it is,” said Scott. “I’d like to thank the people of Amherstburg for coming out and supporting the event again.”

Scott Elliott, owner of Amherstburg GMC Buick with business partner Mike Bezzoubkin, said they have now helped raise $35,000 through Buick test drive events for General Amherst High School.

The next Buick Drive for Your Students test drive event is scheduled for Oct. 14.