Katie McEvoy

General Amherst staff, students hit the volleyball court in memory of former teacher

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Staff and students at General Amherst High School had a chance to gain calories in one gymnasium and work them off in the next, all in the name of fundraising.

The local public high school held a fundraiser which included a staff-student volleyball game in the main gymnasium and a bake sale in the smaller gymnasium. Proceeds will benefit the local chapter of the ALS Society.

This year’s event was originated by students Celina Varacalli and Katie McEvoy, and those two students brought the idea to the school’s fitness and recreational leadership class. Varacalli and McEvoy said the fitness and recreational leadership class did a lot of the work in organizing the event.

General Amherst teacher Jeff Miller hits a ball over the net during a recent staff-student volleyball game. The event raised over $2,000.

“We had a lot of hands on deck this year,” said Varacalli.

Varacalli noted that last year’s event raised about $1,300 and featured a walkathon and T-shirt sales. This year’s event topped $2,000.

While T-shirts were also available this year, they wanted to change things up and chose the bake sale and staff-student volleyball game that came as part of suggestions from the rest of the student body.

“We picked the ideas we liked,” said McEvoy.

McEvoy said the event was in memory of long-time coach and teacher Dave Scott, who had ALS and died last year.

“It’s great to give back to the community,” McEvoy added.

General Amherst High School held a bake sale as part of their fundraiser for the ALS Society, in
memory of former teacher/coach Dave Scott. From left: Lexi Newhook, Katie McEvoy, Grace Duggan, Celina Varacalli and Alyssa Jones.

Varacalli added they hope to keep the spirit alive to future Bulldogs. Both McEvoy and Varacalli gave credit to the fitness and recreational leadership class for their work in presenting the event.

Teacher Greg Scott said his students get an opportunity to work on such projects and when Varacalli and McEvoy came forward, they treated them as their clients and worked on their behalf. He added it took about three weeks to come together and groups worked on their own to complete the projects.

General Amherst wrestler takes silver at OFSAA

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

General Amherst had a small but strong wrestling team this year with one of its members coming home with a silver from OFSAA.

Myah Trymbulak, a Grade 10 student, captured the silver medal in the 41 kg girls class. It was an accomplishment she is pleased with but one she will try and improve upon in future years.

“It feels really good,” she said. “I know I put in a lot of work and effort (during the season). I wasn’t expecting it at first but I’m really proud of myself.”

Trymbulak wrestled twice on the first day of the tournament, held at the WFCU Centre in Windsor March 5-7, and twice on the second day. The first match on the second day was one of her toughest, she said.

“I felt she was just as aggressive as I was,” said Trymbulak. “She came at me hard. She wanted to win just as much as I did.”

Myah Trymbulak shows the silver medal she won at the recent OFSAA wrestling meet in Windsor.

Trymbulak said she was nervous at first going into the finals but that wore off as introductions were made. She was placed in a pinning situation and tried to get out of the pin but ended up on the short end of the match.

The OFSAA silver medal followed gold medals at both WECSSAA and SWOSSAA, where she wrestled the same two opponents. She hopes to add a gold at OFSAA next year.

“I would definitely like to make OFSAA and place first,” she said. “I think I have a good chance of doing it if I keep working as hard as I have been the last couple of years.”

Trymbulak started coming to the school and practising while in Grade 7. She first tasted tournament action last year as a Grade 9 and also joined the Windsor Wrestling Club. She thanked her coach at General Amherst, Rodney Levesque, her teammates and family, including brother Matthew.

“He’s the one that got me into wrestling,” she explained.

This year’s Amherst wrestling team consisted of (from left):
coach Rodney Levesque, Myah Trymbulak (1st WECSSAA AND SWOSSAA, 2nd OFSAA), Tate Levesque (1st WECSSAA, 2nd SWOSSAA),Katie McEvoy (3rd SWOSSAA), Matt Belanger. (Submitted photo)

Levesque said two other Amherst wrestlers made it to OFSAA including Tate Levesque in the 72 kg weight class and Katie McEvoy in the 44 kg weight class. Matt Belanger also was on this year’s team.

“Wrestling is one of the hardest high school sports to go into,” Levesque believed. Not only are there multiple practices per week, there were roughly eight tournaments that they competed in.

“We’re talking quite a few weeks that they were competing,” said Levesque.

 

General Amherst students raise more than $2,000 for ALS Society

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

In the name of coach Dave Scott, leadership students Katie McEvoy and project partner Celina Varacalli have presented a $2,135.35 cheque to Sharon Colman, president of the ALS Society of Windsor Essex County.

“It’s kind of awesome because Coach Scott was my coach so it feels really nice,” said McEvoy. “Knowing where it’s going is also really nice, to help other people who have ALS. It was really stressful, I missed a lot of class to do it, but I think it was worth it in the final event. Everyone said that it turned out really good and a lot of people showed up. We raised past our goal and we got a lot of positive feedback.”

General Amherst students Celina Varacalli (left) and Katie McEvoy (right) present Sharon Colman, president of the ALS Society of Windsor Essex County (center) with a cheque for $2,135.35.

After the two held their run Oct. 23, they called Colman, who is also a General Amherst alumni, and said she was “dumbfounded” to hear how much they had raised.

“I think it’s a reflection of the community and the love they had for Dave,” said Colman. “We are just so grateful and I hope some of these kids will take forward what they know about ALS and when they hear about ALS, they will realize there are organizations out there that are helping. Their funding will help provide some equipment to those with ALS.”

 

Small but successful wrestling team at General Amherst concludes season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a smaller than usual wrestling team at General Amherst High School but the team did boast some success in the 2016-17 school year.

The team recently completed its year and had three medalists at WECSSAA, one medalist at SWOSSAA with that SWOSSAA medalist also representing the school at OFSAA in early March.

Coach Rodney Levesque praised the work of the team and noted they had fewer members this year than they have had in previous years.

“We had a small team,” said Levesque.

Levesque said they had “eight dedicated kids” this year, down from the 10-15 the team usually has. There were six boys and two girls on this year’s team and, by comparison, Tecumseh Vista Academy had 40 girls on their team.

“The hardest thing about the team is getting people to come out for it,” said Levesque.

Nathan Charron, Katie McEvoy and Jacob Stanek were three of General Amherst’s medalists at the WECSSAA wrestling meet.

Nathan Charron, Katie McEvoy and Jacob Stanek were three of General Amherst’s medalists at the WECSSAA wrestling meet. (Submitted photo)

With the boom over the last decade of mixed martial arts (MMA), Levesque hoped it would have translated into increased numbers for the General Amherst wrestling team. That said, the athletes who do come out for it are dedicated to the sport.

“It’s a long season,” he said, pointing out it lasts from early November to March.

Practices were four to five times per week, with tournaments on weekends.

“It keeps them in very good shape,” said Levesque. “It’s a very intense sport.”

Katie McEvoy, a Grade 10 student, completed her second year in wrestling and brought home a silver medal from SWOSSAA and was the school’s lone representative at OFSAA.

McEvoy made OFSAA a goal at the beginning of the year and said she was happy to have achieved it.

“It was pretty exciting,” she said, of the trip to the provincial tournament in Brampton.

McEvoy won two matches and lost two matches and was her school’s lone representative at the tournament. She added she got into wrestling because she likes the contact and the discipline the sport offers.

Jacob Stanek was one of the school’s other medalists at WECSSAA, as he won a bronze medal.

“I felt I improved from last year,” said Stanek.

Stanek said he felt stronger and more skilled this year.

“I felt pretty confident going into SWOSSAA,” said Stanek, adding his goal for next year is a gold medal at WECSSAA.

Nathan Charron said he put what he learned in all four years of high school wrestling together this year and that resulted in a third place finish at WECSSAA and fourth at SWOSSAA. It was the first year he won a medal, with Charron adding he wanted to win a medal at WECSSAA in his final year in high school.

Other members of the team include Tate Levesque, Devin Duhart, Myah Trymbulak, Bobby Bridgens and Matt Belanger.