OFSAA

General Amherst wrestlers do well at OFSAA tournament

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The two wrestlers from General Amherst High School returned from OFSAA with solid showings.

Myah Trymbulak and Katie McEvoy and their coach Rodney Levesque travelled to Ottawa last week for the meet, which was the largest one in Ontario with over 900 wrestlers in attendance. Both competed in the 44kg weight class with Trymbulak coming home with a bronze medal and McEvoy with a sixth place finish.

“I’m a weight class above last year,” explained Trymbulak. “It’s definitely harder.”

There were 27 girls in the 44kg weight class and Trymbulak and McEvoy were seeded highly entering the tournament. Both had five matches over last Tuesday and Wednesday. Trymbulak said she didn’t wrestle the way she wanted to on the first day of the meet.

“I thought I could have wrestled better,” she said.

Trymbulak felt she competed better on the second day.

Levesque countered by saying they wrestled well.

“Sometimes a win isn’t pretty but it’s still a win,” he said.

Katie McEvoy (left) finished sixth at OFSAA in her weight class while Myah Trymbulak won a bronze medal.

While she would have liked to have finished first, Trymbulak said she is still pleased with her bronze medal that she earned at the provincial tournament.

“I’m still impressed with myself,” she said.

Trymbulak’s summer plans are to train weekly at the Windsor Wrestling Club and join a local gym to get stronger and gain muscle heading into next year. She was grateful to her parents Rob and Wendy Trymbulak for travelling with her to support her at out-of-town meets, including OFSAA, as well as Levesque. McEvoy offered similar thanks and also included principal Melissa DeBruyne for her support and allowing them to go to OFSAA.

McEvoy believed she would get a top six finish upon arrival at OFSAA but hoped for better after the tournament began.

“I was pretty bummed because I didn’t get higher than sixth,” admitted McEvoy, though added she is now fine with how she placed.

“I’m proud of my sixth place (finish),” she said.

McEvoy won two matches and lost three but competed well in all of them.

“I had really good matches,” she said. “On the second day, I had close matches, but I couldn’t pull them out and win them.”

The OFSAA experience was also positive, McEvoy added.

“It was pretty cool to go out there and watch everyone from our region do so well,” said McEvoy. “It’s fun to cheer for your team.”

Trymbulak will return to General Amherst High School next year for her Grade 12 year but McEvoy graduates this June and has likely wrestled her last match. McEvoy said she is “pretty satisfied” looking back at her high school wrestling career.

Lady Gens advance to OFSAA quarterfinals before bowing out

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A team from Fonthill captured the OFSAA “AA” senior girls volleyball championship but the home team still had a respectable showing at the tournament.

E.L. Crossley defeated Widdifield, the latter school being from North Bay, in the OFSAA gold medal game last Wednesday evening in a five-set match, winning the fifth and final set 16-14. E.L. Crossley entered the tournament as the fifth seed while Widdifield was the second seed. The match concluded the provincial tournament, hosted by General Amherst High School, with the home team putting in a solid effort.

The Lady Gens, who were seeded sixth, were defeated by Franco Cité, an Ottawa-based school last Tuesday night in the championship quarterfinals. Third seeded Franco Cité won the first set 25-23 before General Amherst rallied to win the second set 25-20. Franco-Cité would advance to the semi-finals with 25-17 and 25-22 in the third and fourth sets respectively.

General Amherst’s Abby Orchard (black jersey) plays the ball during the OFSAA quarterfinal match with Franco Cité March 5.

General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller said he was looking forward to the match with Franco Cité as they are similarly sized teams that played similar styles.

“I knew it would be a hard fought match,” said Miller. “We just made a couple of more errors.”

Miller believed the Lady Gens “shot ourselves in the foot” in the first set a couple of times and missed some timely serves. Had the Lady Gens won that set, “it could have been completely different,” he added.

“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” he stated. “I thought we played better in OFSAA than we did at WECSSAA and SWOSSAA. I’m happy. I think it’s fantastic to get to the OFSAA quarterfinals and be one of eight teams that had a chance.”

Miller said it was a good achievement for the Lady Gens to advance to the OFSAA quarterfinals, particularly since they only won one match during the 2017-18 season.

“It’s tough to lose in the quarterfinals but they are a great team,” said assistant coach Mary Ewer. “We didn’t give up.”

The General Amherst Lady Gens celebrate after getting a point versus Franco Cité.

The Lady Gens gelled together this year and Ewer noted they were a young team this season.

“We’re proud of them,” said Ewer.

Eight of the 11 players are eligible to return next season with graduating seniors including captain Vanessa Pidutti, Ramie Tytgat and Lizzy Homeniuk-Smith. With so many players returning, Miller believes that it could lead to bigger and better things for the Lady Gens next season. He said they are hoping to earn a medal at next year’s OFSAA.

Ewer pointed out that none of the players on this year’s team had played at the provincial level in high school.

“None of them had experience at OFSAA,” she said.

General Amherst’s Elyssa Grondin (10) sets the ball in the air as Dani Brindley (right) looks on.

Ewer emphasized the Lady Gens made great strides and had a very good season.

“It was pretty awesome,” she said.

The bronze medal match was won by Corpus Christi, as they defeated Franco Cité. Corpus Christi was the top seed entering the tournament. Thornlea won the consolation championship as they defeated the Essex Red Raiders in the consolation championship match.

For more photos on the Lady Gens’ OFSAA quarterfinal match, visit our Facebook photo album.

Two General Amherst wrestlers now competing at OFSAA

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

After finishing first and second in the 44kg weight class at SWOSSAA, a pair of wrestlers from General Amherst High School are now wrestling on the provincial stage.

Myah Trymbulak and Katie McEvoy are representing their school in OFSAA and trying to bring home some hardware. For Trymbulak, she admitted there is some pressure as well as she finished second last year in Windsor and she wants to at least match, if not beat that standard.

“I obviously want to finish first,” she said. “I feel I put in a lot of work and have a shot at it if I work my hardest.”

Myah Trymbulak stands atop the podium at SWOSSAA with Katie McEvoy on the right with her silver medal.

Trymbulak, a Grade 11 student, said she was excited to go to OFSAA again, with this year’s meet being in Ottawa, with McEvoy stating she is excited also.

For McEvoy, it is her third year going to OFSAA and she hopes to finish in the top six. It is also her last high school wrestling meet as she is in Grade 12.

“It’s kind of sad to give it up,” said McEvoy.

Trymbulak said they knew they had a shot at OFSAA and McEvoy said they know some of the competition at OFSAA including a girl from northern Ontario that has beaten them both. They may even have to face each other.

“Wrestling each other definitely sucks because we’ve been partners for so long,” said Trymbulak.

McEvoy and Trymbulak are the only two members of the General Amherst wrestling team left standing and they practice at Sandwich Secondary School with another wrestler they work with being Angelina Papia. They practice five nights per week until 5 p.m. and then work with the Windsor Wrestling Club two nights per week as well.

Katie McEvoy and Myah Trymbulak flex for the cameras.

Trymbulak said they stuck with that schedule in preparation for OFSAA.

“There’s not much more we can do,” said Trymbulak.

Both love the aggressiveness of wrestling and the fact it is an all-contact sport. McEvoy said there are still not as many female competitors in the sport so “I think it’s good to break barriers.”

Rodney Levesque, the teacher/coach of the General Amherst wrestling team, said there will be over 900 competitors at OFSAA and 31 weight classes. Both wrestlers thanked him for his efforts as well as everyone else who helped them get to where they are. The wrestling season lasts from November-March.

OFSAA volleyball action starts today, banquet held Sunday night

 

By Ron Giofu

The OFSAA “AA” senior girls volleyball tournament is getting started between Amherstburg and Windsor but one member of the host General Amherst team has already won an award.

Assistant coach Mary Ewer was honoured at Sunday night’s OFSAA banquet at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts in Windsor with the OFSAA Leadership and School Sport Award. Presented by tournament co-convener and Lady Gens head coach Jeff Miller, the award recognized Ewer’s years of work in both elementary and high school sports.

Mary Ewer won the OFSAA Leadership and School Sport award during the banquet for the OFSAA “AA” volleyball tournament March 3. Making the presentation is General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller. Tournament action runs March 4-6 between General Amherst High School and the St. Clair College Sportsplex.

Miller noted that Ewer “dedicated her whole life and career to sports” and that she has spent 20-plus years at the high school level coaching, including six OFSAA medals in the past. About 17 of those years have seen the two coach the Lady Gens together.

Ewer said she was “shocked and honoured” to receive the award.

“I was totally shocked,” she said. “I had no idea. It’s an honour, especially that Jeff gave it to me. It’s very wonderful.”

Miller thanked the volunteers, fellow co-convener Greg Scott and the sponsors for helping plan the provincial volleyball tournament, which has seen 20 teams from around Ontario come to the area. He gave special thanks to his wife Nicole for her support as well.

General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller (right) receives an award from OFSAA representative Tom Couvillion for his efforts in organizing the OFSAA “AA” senior girls volleyball tournament. The OFSAA banquet was Sunday night at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts.

Cathy George, head volleyball coach at Michigan State University, was guest speaker and encouraged the roughly 250 players in attendance to use the gifts they have.

“I believe everyone has gifts,” she said. “Everyone makes your team stronger.”

George encouraged the teams to have fun and enjoy the experience but “go out there and run through a wall.” She also stated that the girls can use the tournament to become better as people and wanted them to give back to others.

“You have to be a giver. You have to make a difference in the world,” she said.

Lucas Hodgson, head coach of the women’s team at the University of Windsor, also encouraged the students to “take it all in” and enjoy the experience while OFSAA representative Tom Couvillion said the same thing.

“Make sure you enjoy it,” said Couvillion.

General Amherst vice principal Bonnie DesJardins brought greetings from both the school and the Greater Essex County District School Board.

Action runs Monday-Wednesday at the St. Clair College Sportsplex and General Amherst High School. Championship matches will be at General Amherst. Tickets are $20 for an adult tournament pass, $10 for a student tournament pass, $10 for an adult day pass and $5 for a student day pass. Children under 13 are free.

Lady Gens capture SWOSSAA “AA” volleyball championship

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens were already going to the OFSAA “AA” championships as the host team, but have now earned the right to be there based on their play.

The Lady Gens won the SWOSSAA “AA” title last Friday night on their home court, thus solidifying their position as a provincial-calibre senior girls volleyball team. However, they made things dramatic for themselves and their fans as they needed five sets to defeat the visiting Chatham John McGregor Panthers. The match was almost a reversal of the previous week’s WECSSAA title win over Essex, as it was the Lady Gens who won the first two sets before losing the next two. General Amherst was able to rally and win the decisive fifth set to claim the title.

The scores were 25-12, 25-20, 18-25, 22-25 and 15-5.

“It’s awesome. We’re really excited,” said Emma MacVoy.

The General Amherst Lady Gens captured the SWOSSAA “AA” title with a five-set win over Chatham John McGregor last Friday night. Bottom row, from left: Lexi Dodds, Elyssa Grondin, Abby Orchard, Lizzy Homeniuk-Smith, Emma MacVoy. Top row, from left: coach Jeff Miller, Danielle Brindley, Allison Dufour, Brynlee Ammonite, Emery Lucier, Ramie Tytgat, Vanessa Pidutti and coach Mary Ewer.

MacVoy said they thought they would win and thought they had a chance to win in three straight games. They were a bit caught off-guard but John McGregor’s comeback in the third and fourth games but rebounded in the fifth and final set.

“We shook up the lineup a bit,” said MacVoy. “It was definitely fun.”

The Lady Gens got down on themselves in the third and fourth sets, she added, but were able to rebound.

“We were just thinking ‘why do we do this to ourselves?’” she said. “Why not pound the ball and get it in there?”

MacVoy added that “it was awesome to prove we deserve to be at OFSAA. We earned our spot. We worked our butts off, practicing every day even on snow days.”

Assistant coach Mary Ewer said they played well in the first set and were fine in the second but the “blocks were non-existent” in the third and fourth sets.

“Everything was the opposite of the first two games,” said Ewer.

The Lady Gens played hard in the fifth game and were able to win it.

Emma MacVoy (2) spikes the ball over the net during the SWOSSAA “AA” final at General Amherst Feb. 22.

“Near the end, we served tough,” said Ewer.

Head coach Jeff Miller said they played great in the first set but “struggled in the second set and got through it.”

“Realistically, I thought John McGregor outplayed us most of the second, third and fourth sets. We were fortunate to come out on top in the second set,” he said.

The serving was going well early, he added, but that was problematic in the middle of the match.

“We could never sustain momentum because we were making service errors,” he said. “In the fifth game, the kids did a good job resetting and going back to basics. We made good plays and forced (John McGregor) into errors.”

The field is not quite set for OFSAA but 20 teams from around Ontario will be playing matches at both General Amherst High School and the St. Clair College Sportsplex. Miller said there are about 50-60 kids from General Amherst volunteering and sponsorships are going OK. Individuals and businesses looking to sponsor the tournament or be part of the tournament brochure can contact Miller at 519-736-2149 or jeff.miller@publicboard.ca. People can also send inquiries to kieth_ewer@hotmail.com or call 226-350-5900. Cheques are payable to General Amherst High School.

Allison Dufour (12) and Brynlee Ammonite (1) go up for a block at the net.

OFSAA starts March 3 with the banquet with matches running March 4-6. The final matches will be in Amherstburg.

Tickets are $20 for an adult tournament pass, $10 for a student tournament pass, $10 for an adult day pass and $5 for a student day pass. Children under 13 are free.

Matches will also be streamed on YouTube by following 2019 OFSAAVB GAHS Court or 2019 OFSAAVB St. Clair Court.

To see more photos from the SWOSSAA “AA” title game, visit our Facebook photo album.