Nancy Loeffler-Caro

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.


OTA West Region Jr. Tennis Tour stops in Amherstburg



By Ron Giofu


Some of the region’s finest tennis players were in Amherstburg recently as part of the OTA West Region Tennis Tour.

About 15 players participated in the May 26 tournament, about half of what they had last year. Convenor Nancy Loeffler-Caro said weather was partially to blame as the forecast wasn’t favourable that day. That said, she was pleased with how things went.

“The kids were happy. It’s kind of nice to have nice courts in Amherstburg where I can run tournaments,” said Loeffler-Caro. “It went off really well.”

The tournament saw refurbished courts in Anderdon and Malden used. In all, it is one of eight tournaments on the schedule with others being in Chatham, Sarnia, London, Rockwood, Stratford, Southampton and Kitchener. There are over 300 youths on the OTA tour this year, she added, noting it used to be called the Little Caesars Tennis Tour.

Players from the local AMA Tennis Club in Amherstburg won four of the five events, she added.

Declan McGrath competes in the recent OTA West Region Jr. Tennis Tour event that was held in Amherstburg. (Submitted photo)

Mixed U10 Champion

Felix Fan (AMA Club)


Girls U14

Maggie Betker (London)


Boys U14

Ryan Cipkar (AMA Club)


Girls U18

Ashley Injic (AMA Club)


Boys U18

Matteo Palumbo (AMA Club)


It will be the first of two tournaments being held in Amherstburg this year as the Amherstburg Open Tournament is July 13-15. Events in that tournament include Open Women’s Singles, Open Men’s Singles, Over 40 Women’s Singles, Over 40 Men’s Singles, Open Women’s Doubles and Open Men’s Doubles. The entry fee for that is $25 per event.

Loeffler-Caro also helps oversee the Essex County Tennis Association with not only the Amherstburg team involved, but teams in LaSalle and Lakeshore as well. There are 12-and-under and 19-and-under teams with local practise being Wednesdays from 5-6 p.m. for the 12-and-under and 6-7 p.m. Wednesdays for the 19-and-under. Both are at the Malden courts.

For information on the upcoming tournament or the league itself, visit the town’s website at and search under parks and recreation.

People can also e-mail Loeffler-Caro directly at

Essex County badminton players do well at 2017 Senior Olympics


Special to the RTT


Two Essex County athletes recently returned from the 2017 Senior Olympics in Birmingham, Alabama representing Canada and brought several medals home with them.

Both athletes, one from Leamington and the other from Amherstburg, competed in badminton.

Jill Jackson-Jakob from Leamington won the gold medal in the Women’s Singles 60+ division.

Jill Jackson-Jakob from Leamington (left) and Nancy Loeffler-Caro of Amherstburg (right) did well in badminton at the recent Senior Olympics. (Special to the RTT)

Jill Jackson-Jakob from Leamington (left) and Nancy Loeffler-Caro of Amherstburg (right) did well in badminton at the recent Senior Olympics. (Special to the RTT)

Jackson-Jakob won the silver medal in the Women’s Doubles 55+ partnered with Nancy Loeffler-Caro with Jackson-Jakob also capturing the bronze medal in mixed doubles partnered the Dennis Jutzi of Sarnia.

Loeffler-Caro of Amherstburg, also represented Canada, won the silver medal in Women’s Singles 55+ in addition to the silver she won in women’s doubles teamed with Jackson-Jakob.

Loffler-Caro also placed sixth in Mixed Doubles 55+ partnered with James Agee

of Tennessee.