Matteo Palumbo

Bulldogs drop to 0-8 with a pair of road losses



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs senior basketball team came back from the exam break with a pair of losses, but the two games were different except for the outcome.

The Bulldogs started the week last Thursday against the UMEI Lightning (4-4) in Leamington with a 35-33 loss but General Amherst was nearly able to complete the comeback. The Bulldogs trailed 19-10 at the half but made it close at the end.

“We started off slow,” said assistant coach Alex Temesy. “We only had ten points in the first half. We finished strong to end the game.”

Temesy said they were unable to get a shot off in the final seconds of the game.

“We ended up making it an exciting game,” he said.

The Bulldogs (0-8) were in Windsor the following day for a game against Lamothe-Cadillac (9-1) with the home team coming away with an 81-44 victory.

Brandon Snippe of UMEI (left) is challenged for
control of the ball by the Bulldogs’ Matteo Palumbo during the second quarter of a WECSSAA Tier II senior boys basketball game last Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Southpoint Sun)

“That’s the best team in the league,” said General Amherst head coach Frank Palumbo, of the Friday night opposition.

“They are a very good team,” agreed Temesy. “They are a big team and very athletic. We lack the size to go up against them.”

Temesy estimated they were outrebounded by about 30. However, he said the Bulldogs didn’t quit despite being down by a lot of points.

“The thing I like about this team is they don’t give up,” said Temesy.

The Bulldogs worked on the things they know and worked hard until the end, he stated, though they were missing one of their better players in Riley Sesto against Lamothe-Cadillac.

They had two games earlier this week against Maranatha and Ste. Cecile.

“We can definitely win those games,” Temesy said, noting Friday night that the Bulldogs were still eyeing a playoff berth. “I think we can break the goose egg.”

Next year’s team should be good, he added, as they will have talented seniors returning with a year’s experience plus some good players coming up from the junior ranks.

Palumbo wins gold at SWOSSAA tennis tournament



By Ron Giofu


A General Amherst High School student has captured gold at the recent SWOSSAA tennis tournament.

Matteo Palumbo captured the gold medal after winning all three of his matches at the regional tennis tournament in Chatham. He won his matches 8-2, 8-4 and then 8-4 again in the finals.

Palumbo said he worked hard over the summer and that has paid off for him now as he is now representing his school.

“It was a little challenging but I was able to play pretty well,” said Palumbo, of the recent SWOSSAA tournament as it was played in sometimes windy conditions.

There is a gap between now and OFSAA, as the provincial tournament doesn’t occur until June.

“I’ve got a couple of months outside to play before OFSAA,,” he said, adding he will also play indoors with his coach Nancy Loeffler-Caro.

Matteo Palumbo won gold at the recent SWOSSAA tennis tournament in Chatham. (Submitted photo)

Palumbo said he started playing tennis when he was young at a court across from his house. He estimates he was about eight-years-old when he first started playing.

“I’d just go out and hit against a wall and play against my dad,” the Grade 11 student stated. “I didn’t play a lot competitively until I got to high school.”

Palumbo said he likes the fact that “it’s all on you” in tennis.

“I like the workout,” he added. “You are always moving. You’ve got a lot of court to cover.”

Quickness is the name of the game for Palumbo.

“I’m not the most powerful guy around but I can place the ball and play strategically,” said Palumbo.

Palumbo believes he will be seeing some of the same players he has seen in previous competitions when he goes to OFSAA, he knows it will be a tough test regardless of who he plays.

“It’s going to be a lot of good tennis and there will be some really good tennis players,” he said.

In addition to thanking Loeffler-Caro, Palumbo also expressed his thanks to the tennis team’s teacher representative Stephanie Melcher.

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.