Lady Gens

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.

 

 

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.

Lady Gens record walk-off 6-5 win over rival Villanova

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens slo-pitch team picked up their sixth win of the 2018 WECSSAA season last week and did so in dramatic fashion.

The Lady Gens improved to 6-1 with a 6-5 win over the visiting Villanova Wildcats last Tuesday afternoon at Wigle Park. General Amherst had to dig themselves out of a hole as the Wildcats were up 5-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

After that, the Lady Gens scored twice in the sixth thanks to a Brooklyn Prescott triple and three more in the seventh inning and walked off victorious.

Madison Pillon connects with a pitch during last Tuesday’s WECSAA slo-pitch game between General Amherst and Villanova.

“We fell a little short at the beginning of the game, but we came from behind at the end,” said Payton Laing, one of the Grade 12 players on the Lady Gens’ slo-pitch team.

Laing credited her teammates for plays both in the field and at the plate. She added that it’s nice to beat a rival school like Villanova and that they don’t like to lose to them. The triple by Prescott is what “picked us up” and gave them the momentum they needed for the win.

“It was a great game. We played our hardest,” said Laing. “Our bats came through at the end. Overall, it was a good game by both teams, really.”

The Lady Gens were in a tournament last weekend and the results were unavailable at press time. They are scheduled to play their final regular season game May 29 at home versus Essex, in a make-up game from one that had been rained out earlier in the season.

Lady Gens slo-pitch team dominant in win over Sandwich

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst girls slo-pitch team improved to 5-1 on the 2018 WECSSAA season with a dominant performance last week over Sandwich.

The Lady Gens took control early and recorded an 18-0 win over the Sabres. The Lady Gens scored twice in each of the first two innings before reaching the five-run limit in the third inning (once a team scores five in an inning, the inning is over).

General Amherst scored four more in the fourth inning and added five more in the fifth inning.

General Amherst’s Carly Renaud tags out the Sandwich baserunner at second base during last Thursday
afternoon’s WECSSAA girls slo-pitch game at the Vollmer Complex in LaSalle.

The game ended after five innings due to the mercy rule.

“I think we played really well,” said Brooklyn Prescott, who played most of the game at first base.

Prescott said the bats were alive and the team also played solid defensively against Sandwich.

“Our hard work is paying off,” she said.

The team is playing well overall, Prescott added, but wanted them to ensure they keep playing well defensively. That includes avoiding the small, minor errors they make on the diamond.

General Amherst’s Lexi Dodds rips a first inning single in last Thursday’s win over Sandwich.

“As soon as we clean it up, we’ll be OK,” she said.

Prescott believed the Lady Gens have a good chance at winning the provincials and doing well in the WECSSAA playoffs.

“This is a strong team. I think we’ll go far,” said Prescott. “I think our rookies have stepped up this season and have helped the team out.”
The Lady Gens are at home Tuesday (May 22) for a game against Villanova and still have a home game against Essex to make up before the WECSSAA regular season concludes.

Girls soccer team bows out of WECSSAA playoffs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens soccer team suffered its first loss of the season last Tuesday afternoon, but it was enough to end their season.

The Lady Gens dropped a 2-0 decision to the Sandwich Sabres with Sandwich scoring a goal in each of the two halves to obtain the win in the WECSSAA “AA” quarterfinal game. The Lady Gens had gone undefeated (6-0-2) in the Tier 3 regular season and beat Essex in their first playoff game.

Despite the loss, the General Amherst coaches were still pleased with how the team played and the effort they showed.

“We have ended still on a high note even though it was a defeat,” said coach Mark Sweet.

Sweet believed the Lady Gens put forth a good effort and hung in with Sandwich, who played in Tier 1 during the regular season.

“(Sandwich) had to work for what they got,” he said.

General Amherst goalkeeper Delilah Brouwer boots the ball away from her goal during their May 15 game against Sandwich.

Vanessa Pidutti, one of the Lady Gens’ captains, also thought they played well and hung tough against Sandwich.

Pidutti added the Lady Gens got better as the 2018 season went on.

“Everyone worked hard this whole season,” she said. “You could see the improvement with everyone.”

The General Amherst Lady Gens girls soccer team gathers for a group photo after their game May 15 in LaSalle.

The team loses three players to graduation but Pidutti was optimistic for next year, stating she is looking forward to it.

“I feel most of the team coming back is going to help us have a much better season,” she added.

Pidutti said they will also be losing their coach as Sweet and his family are moving back to England.

For additional photos from the May 15 game, view our Facebook album.