Rodney Levesque

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.

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.

General Amherst High School hosts “Girls in Trades” events



By Ron Giofu


In an effort to get more female students interested in trades, General Amherst High School has been hosting Grade 8 classes to expose them to those programs at the school.

Students from Amherstburg Public School, Malden Central Public School and Anderdon Public School rotated between four different classrooms recently with Anderdon students being the most recent, having visited General Amherst last Thursday.

While both boys and girls attended, the idea was to get more students including girls to consider a career in trades. General Amherst was able to hold such an event this year thanks to provincial grant funding, said technical studies department head Rodney Levesque.

“We’re trying to expose them to things they haven’t been exposed to through trades and technology,” said Levesque.

Matelyn Levy (left), a Grade 8 student at Anderdon Public School, tries her hand at taking off a tire last Thursday. Keeping a watchful eye is General Amherst student Austin Farmer.

Students rotated between the machine shop, auto shop, communications technology and the technological design lab and got a glimpse of what each has to offer. Levesque said “it is important to expose girls to trades”

Levesque added: “A lot of them are being exposed to things they’ve never used before.”

Halle Higgins, a Grade 11 automotive student at General Amherst, encouraged the students to stay involved. Higgins said she grew up around an automotive environment and said she enjoys taking part in the class.

“I like this class because there is a lot of hands-on work,” said Higgins.

Levesque added that some students earn $30,000 while working part-time in local shops and that he often doesn’t have enough students to send to shops that call him.

“This is a good opportunity to expose students to the trades and a viable career,” said Levesque.

Local student’s abilities in machining allows for another competition win



By Ron Giofu


Devin Paquette, who already won gold at the “Get Skilled” competition at St. Clair College in March, has added another award to his resumé.

Paquette, a Grade 12 OYAP student at General Amherst High School, won the precision machining competition that was held as part of the Skills Ontario event in Toronto. Given two projects to complete in three hours each, Paquette’s came the closest to perfection among the competitors from around the province. The tolerance on a cylinder and a cube was 5/1,000s of an inch, with score deductions for every 1,000th outside the specifications.

During the morning, he worked on a lathe while the afternoon saw him work on a milling machine.

The win sees Paquette advance to the National Skills Championship in Edmonton as part of Team Ontario.

“I’m pretty excited to move on,” said Paquette. “I knew I was doing well at the (Skills Ontario) competition. I knew there were a few mistakes, but I knew I was doing OK.”

Devin Paquette, a Grade 12 student at General Amherst High School, won the precision metal competition in Toronto. (Special to the RTT)

Rodney Levesque, Paquette’s teacher at General Amherst, said the students were given a blueprint of what they had to make from a raw piece of material.

“I had three hours with each machine,” said Paquette.

Levesque said the Skills Ontario competition wasn’t just for machining, but a wide range of disciplines including carpentry, video production, hair styling, and much more. Amherst students Aiden Bradwell and Ethan Lavigne also participated at Skills Ontario in video production.

“Through the OYAP program, Devi has had a placement at Centreline,” said Levesque. “It’s a great program for students looking to get into the trades.”

Paquette is also part of the Specialty High Skills Major program (SHSM).

“It’s going to be a fun trip,” Paquette said of the upcoming trip to Edmonton. “I’m looking forward to spending time with Team Ontario.”

Levesque said more students are needed to go into the trades, as he said there is a large market for people.

“The demand is greater than the number of students that I have to give them,” he said.

Local high school student’s machining skills getting him noticed



By Ron Giofu


The machining talents of a General Amherst High School student are taking him places. Devin Paquette captured the gold medal in precision metal trades at the “Get Skilled” competition at St. Clair College March 24. His success there entitled him to compete at the “Skills Ontario” competition in Toronto May 7-9.

Paquette said he had to create a jack screw from raw materials, including bringing it down to size and machining it. He got furthest along on the project during the “Get Skilled” competition in Windsor and claimed first place.

“It’s nice to be the best,” he said. “You feel you actually accomplished something.”

General Amherst student Devin Paquette won a gold medal in the precision metal trades category at the recent “Get Skilled” competition at St. Clair College. He now advances to the “Skills Ontario” competition in Toronto May 7-9.

Paquette said he was pleased to finish in first place in the competition.

“I was pretty happy,” he said. “My dad was there. He was pretty enthusiastic. He’s a machinist too.”

Paquette notes that he works at Centreline in Windsor in addition to still going to school and enjoys training to be a machinist. He said that is his focus for what he wants to with his future.

“I like the creativity and doing your own thing,” he said. “You have to have the skill to do it on your own.

Rodney Levesque, Paquette’s teacher, said each student was eligible for a $500 scholarship by going into the “Get Skilled” competition, though added Paquette wasn’t able to accept it because he is going towards an apprenticeship.

General Amherst’s Devin Paquette (second from right) stands with the winners at the awards ceremony at the “Get Skilled” competition at St. Clair College. (Special to the RTT)

Levesque said practical components in the precision metal competition included milling, lathe work, job interview skills and shop safety skills.

Overall, the “Get Skilled” competition included other components such as construction, automotive, animation, culinary arts, CAD and welding to name a few. Those disciplines are also offered at General Amherst High School.

“It’s a very large event,” said Levesque.