OFSAA

Local golfer wraps up successful season, goes to OFSAA

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local youth golfer did well this past season, including strong performances with his school’s golf team.

Josh DiCarlo of General Amherst High School was the individual SWOSSAA champion shooting a -4 (68) at the SWOSSAA championship.  He went on to OFSAA and fired rounds of 73-78 – 151 (+7) in some pretty tough conditions to finish 18th out of 120 players at the OFSAA Championship.

The 16-year-old Grade 11 student said that he made five birdies as part of the SWOSSAA tournament and was happy with how he shot in the first round at OFSAA.

“My mind stayed in the moment,” he said.

DiCarlo said conditions were hard both days and was also satisfied with his second day at OFSAA.

“It was hitting my drives well. The putts weren’t falling,” he said. “I still had fun with the kids I played with.”

General Amherst golfer Josh DiCarlo finished first at SWOSSAA and finished a respectable 18th out of 120 golfers at OFSAA.

DiCarlo is no stranger to tournament success, winning five times in 2017 on the AJGA, GAO and MJT golf circuits, the latter being a tournament in Calgary. He also finished sixth on the Jamieson Tour.

Noting that he would still like to strengthen the mental aspect of his game, DiCarlo said he likes the individual challenges of golf.

“I like how you can’t blame anyone for a mistake,” he said. “It’s all on you.”

DiCarlo said his love of golf started when he went with his father Mark to Oxley to play and his passion grew to where he golfs daily at Pointe West when the whether permits. He plays in tournaments across Ontario, travels to Ohio and elsewhere when he is given the opportunity.

“I’m hoping to get a scholarship,” he said. “I’m going to keep working hard and keep my grades up.”

DiCarlo also thanked his parents Mark and Michelle for “for allowing me to play the sport I love” and General Amherst golf coach Jeff Miller for “everything he does for the golf program.”

Wildcats have great run at OFSAA despite not winning a medal

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats didn’t win a medal at the OFSAA girls hockey championship, but their head coach still sounds pleased with the team.

The Wildcats went to the provincial championship in Mississauga last week. They won one game and lost two others in very close fashion.

“Great run but no medal,” said head coach John Purdie.

Villanova lost their first game at OFSAA to Medway, the eventual gold medal team, by a score of 1-0.

“They scored with four seconds left in the game,” said Purdie.

Game #2 saw the Wildcats defeat Napanee by a score of 3-1.  The Wildcats’ goal scorers were Brooke Gibson, Allison Langille and Avery Mertz.

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats competed at OFSAA last week. The team advanced to the provincial tournament thanks to winning SWOSSAA (pictured here).

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats competed at OFSAA last week. The team advanced to the provincial tournament thanks to winning SWOSSAA (pictured).

The third game was another heartbreaker for Villanova as the Wildcats lost 2-1 with the winning goal coming with 1:32 left in the game.

“It seems like we were snake bit,” said Purdie. “Mertz scored again. Our goaltending was phenomenal, (Erica) Fryer and (Kristen) Swiatoschik and Harrow’s Carli Dumeah really carried the team. We shut down on the back end and our captain’s leadership skills were the key to our whole run.”

The Wildcats advanced to OFSAA by winning SWOSSAA over Chatham-Kent 1-0 in quadruple overtime at the Libro Centre March 7.

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.

Local coaching legend forced to take a step back due to health reasons

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Forced to take a step back from coaching due to health reasons, a General Amherst coaching legend still plans to be involved in any way he can.

While Dave Scott has stepped down as the head coach of the General Amherst Bulldogs junior football team, he still aims to continue his 43-year coaching career by helping the passing games of both the junior and senior football teams.

“I’ll have to see how this goes, whether I coach track or not. I don’t know,” said Scott, who didn’t want to disclose his health publicly.

Scott has spent the better part of his life at General Amherst, including his years as a student. He began there in 1959 and was a key component of the newly created football program, founded by Jack Wilson and George Pringle in 1961. Scott, the team’s quarterback, scored the football program’s first-ever touchdown.

“I was supposed to pass but I ran it in from the ten-yard line,” Scott recalled.

The team went undefeated the next two years and General Amherst won the SWOSSAA “B” championship in 1963. Scott was the quarterback the first three years of the program and was named the school’s top male athlete in 1964, the first time that award had been given.

Scott was captain of both the football and basketball teams from 1959-64. In 1961, the junior basketball team won the ECSSA title and travelled to London for the WOSSAA championship, where they lost by one point in the final. Jerry St. Pierre was the coach, Scott said.

The General Amherst football team won the SWOSSAA “B” championship in 1963. Dave Scott is in the front row, wearing uniform #36. Scott was the quarterback and went on to have a lengthy coaching career which he still aims to continue at General Amherst. (Special to the RTT)

The General Amherst football team won the SWOSSAA “B” championship in 1963. Dave Scott is in the front row, wearing uniform #36. Scott was the quarterback and went on to have a lengthy coaching career which he still aims to continue at General Amherst. (Special to the RTT)

Scott graduated from Grade 13 in 1964, after which he enrolled at the University of Western Ontario. After obtaining an honours in physical education, he returned to General Amherst in 1968 and started his teaching and coaching career. In his first year, he coached football, basketball and started the track and field team. He became health and physical education department head in 1971.

Scott coached the senior football team to ECSSAA championships in 1972 and 1974 and began junior football in 1980. From 1980-85, Amherst won five straight junior football ECSSA championships. In 1993, the senior team had a perfect 8-0 record with the junior team winning that year as well. The juniors also won in 1999.

After retiring from teaching in 2000, Scott returned to the sidelines in 2004 and resumed coaching track and field as well. His track and field coaching credentials are impressive as well, as he led the team to 19 straight ECSSAA championships from 1971-94 with the team also winning SWOSSAA the first 16 years of that streak as well. The team has also achieved significant success at the provincial level, winning 14 gold medals at OFSAA.

“We won a medal in all of the events,” he said.

Not only did he help lead General Amherst to success on the track, he helped build the local track and football complex. In 1984, Scott formed a committee with Dave Bailey and Mike Nedin to study the feasibility of building a track and field/football complex. They worked with the town in creating Centennial Park, and received help from then-mayor Bill Gibb and administrator Tom Kilgallin in obtaining the government funding required.

“We raised $10,000 at the school,” said Scott, adding a million-dollar grant helped fund the remainder.

“It was the nicest one in Ontario,” he said of the park. “We had seating for 1,000. We filled it on game days. We also held ECSSAA for five straight years until Essex was built.”

OFSAA Regionals and SWOSSAA meets were also held in Amherstburg.

“It was a tremendous facility at the time,” he said. “It’s been let go and a lot of people are upset about that. This would only cost $1 million and it would be done.”

Recalling the staff that helped run the meets, he said those helped expose students to track and field locally and assisted him in building the teams he had.

The 1975 Amherst senior boys championship basketball team. Front row (from left): Dave Spencer, Paul Smeltzer, Dom Silvaggio, manager Dane Clark, manager Loretta Budiak, Marino Donatucci, Frank Ventura. Back row (from left): Vince Sauro, Dan Derenoski, Tony D’Alimonte, coach Dave Scott, Bob Parr, Doug Jones, Dave Parks.

The 1975 Amherst senior boys championship basketball team. Front row (from left): Dave Spencer, Paul Smeltzer, Dom Silvaggio, manager Dane Clark, manager Loretta Budiak, Marino Donatucci, Frank Ventura. Back row (from left): Vince Sauro, Dan Derenoski, Tony D’Alimonte, coach Dave Scott, Bob Parr, Doug Jones, Dave Parks. (Special to the RTT)

Scott is hopeful that a combined General Amherst and Western high school will be built on the property, even suggesting the former AMA Arena be used as a horticultural facility for the Western students.

“I hope that school is built there or someone takes charge and does that track or stadium,” said Scott.

On the basketball court, he coached at the senior level from 1968 until his retirement in 2000 and continued to coach juniors after his retirement. The senior boys ended a 28-year dry spell in 1975 by winning the ECSSA championship, a feat they also accomplished in 1978. Teams led by Scott also won WECSSAA “AA” and SWOSSAA “AA” titles in the late 1990’s. Scott also has an Ontario District High School championship in 1998.

Scott has also won a variety of awards during his career. He was a recipient of the Ontario Bicentennial Volunteer Award, given by then-Premier Bill Davis. He was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013, won a Watson Hallock award for contributions to General Amherst, has been recognized by the town of Amherstburg, was awarded a WECSSAA plaque in 2000 for three decades of dedication to youth in track and field and won the Honourary Bulldog Award from General Amherst in 2009. Scott also won the Labatts Award from the Kinsmen Club of Windsor as their “Sports Person of the Year” June 6, 1983.

Scott also recalled the events he helped plan, from parades and hay rides to homecoming events and dances. He said the town would shut down in the early 1970’s for some of the homecoming parades that were held.

Numerous former athletes he coached have also gone into coaching themselves over the years, he said. A number of people have assisted him over the years in basketball, football and track and field. Those he listed include Dom Silvaggio, Jerry St. Pierre, George Pringle, Dave Heath, Jack Wilson, Jim Mathieson, Mark Usher, Jim Bradburn, Doug Middleton, Kieth Ewer, Rob Oriet, Dino Rosati, Dave Bailey, Mike Nedin, Cindy Nedin, Ross Scott, Lynn Yovonvich, Stephanie Bondy, Kristy Ryan and Scott Riddell.

Scott thanked everyone who has played a role in his career, adding he always enjoyed seeing the students improve their skills and go on to have productive lives of their own.

“It was a great career. It’s not finished yet, I’m still coaching,” he said. “It’s always been a great experience. I’ve never had a bad experience.”

At Monday night’s town council meeting, the town voted to support a bid to have Scott inducted into the Windsor-Essex Sports Hall of Fame. Dave Heath, a former colleague of Scott, is spearheading the campaign and said Scott “dedicated his life to youth and sports in this town.” He added he wants to show the selection committee the bid is not just the opinion of fellow coaches.

Heath said coaches take time away from their families to pursue working with athletes. Scott has worked with at least 40 athletes who became teachers, Heath added.

Councillor Jason Lavigne said he can attest to everything Heath said, calling the Hall of Fame bid “commendable.” Councillor Rick Fryer said Scott “pushed you to the limit to make you better. That’s why he is who he is.”

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale suggested a letter writing campaign, but Heath believed less would be more and that too many letters could be counterproductive. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo joked that despite the amount of laps both Scott and Heath made him run during his days at General Amherst, “I still support this.”

Sparling and Jones make quarters at OFSAA

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

The General Amherst girls’ doubles team of Gillian Sparling and Reese Jones had a strong run at OFSAA tennis.

They battled through a very tough draw, playing the eventual champions in the first round. Sparling and Jones surprised their opponents and fought tooth-and-nail until the end, barely coming up on the short end of an 8-6 outcome. That was it for Day 1 as they would flip to the back draw and have an extremely busy second day.

The Bulldog girls were very efficient in their following matches, winning by scores of 8-0, 8-1, 8-0 and 8-4. After these four must-win matches, the girls had to play another in the early evening of a long day.

Gillian Sparling (left) and Reese Jones made the quarterfinals at OFSAA (Submitted photo)

Gillian Sparling (left) and Reese Jones made the quarterfinals at OFSAA (Submitted photo)

The competition was stiffer now as only the top teams remained. Gillian and Reese took on a strong duo from Waterloo. All four players held serve to start before their return games picked up steam and some breaks ensued. Waterloo jumped ahead 6-4 and 30-0 before Amherst dug in, refusing to go away quietly.

The girls caught fire and vaulted their opponents into a 7-6 lead. They had a couple of match points in the next game but missed closing the deal by millimeters. Waterloo went on to win the tie-break but considering the General Amherst duo had played their fifth match of the day, the fight they showed this match and all tournament, as well as at SWOSSAA, was admirable.