Rodney 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.

General Amherst wrestler takes silver at OFSAA



By Ron Giofu


General Amherst had a small but strong wrestling team this year with one of its members coming home with a silver from OFSAA.

Myah Trymbulak, a Grade 10 student, captured the silver medal in the 41 kg girls class. It was an accomplishment she is pleased with but one she will try and improve upon in future years.

“It feels really good,” she said. “I know I put in a lot of work and effort (during the season). I wasn’t expecting it at first but I’m really proud of myself.”

Trymbulak wrestled twice on the first day of the tournament, held at the WFCU Centre in Windsor March 5-7, and twice on the second day. The first match on the second day was one of her toughest, she said.

“I felt she was just as aggressive as I was,” said Trymbulak. “She came at me hard. She wanted to win just as much as I did.”

Myah Trymbulak shows the silver medal she won at the recent OFSAA wrestling meet in Windsor.

Trymbulak said she was nervous at first going into the finals but that wore off as introductions were made. She was placed in a pinning situation and tried to get out of the pin but ended up on the short end of the match.

The OFSAA silver medal followed gold medals at both WECSSAA and SWOSSAA, where she wrestled the same two opponents. She hopes to add a gold at OFSAA next year.

“I would definitely like to make OFSAA and place first,” she said. “I think I have a good chance of doing it if I keep working as hard as I have been the last couple of years.”

Trymbulak started coming to the school and practising while in Grade 7. She first tasted tournament action last year as a Grade 9 and also joined the Windsor Wrestling Club. She thanked her coach at General Amherst, Rodney Levesque, her teammates and family, including brother Matthew.

“He’s the one that got me into wrestling,” she explained.

This year’s Amherst wrestling team consisted of (from left):
coach Rodney Levesque, Myah Trymbulak (1st WECSSAA AND SWOSSAA, 2nd OFSAA), Tate Levesque (1st WECSSAA, 2nd SWOSSAA),Katie McEvoy (3rd SWOSSAA), Matt Belanger. (Submitted photo)

Levesque said two other Amherst wrestlers made it to OFSAA including Tate Levesque in the 72 kg weight class and Katie McEvoy in the 44 kg weight class. Matt Belanger also was on this year’s team.

“Wrestling is one of the hardest high school sports to go into,” Levesque believed. Not only are there multiple practices per week, there were roughly eight tournaments that they competed in.

“We’re talking quite a few weeks that they were competing,” said Levesque.


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.