Sandwich Sabres

Lady Gens slo-pitch team dominant in win over Sandwich

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst girls slo-pitch team improved to 5-1 on the 2018 WECSSAA season with a dominant performance last week over Sandwich.

The Lady Gens took control early and recorded an 18-0 win over the Sabres. The Lady Gens scored twice in each of the first two innings before reaching the five-run limit in the third inning (once a team scores five in an inning, the inning is over).

General Amherst scored four more in the fourth inning and added five more in the fifth inning.

General Amherst’s Carly Renaud tags out the Sandwich baserunner at second base during last Thursday
afternoon’s WECSSAA girls slo-pitch game at the Vollmer Complex in LaSalle.

The game ended after five innings due to the mercy rule.

“I think we played really well,” said Brooklyn Prescott, who played most of the game at first base.

Prescott said the bats were alive and the team also played solid defensively against Sandwich.

“Our hard work is paying off,” she said.

The team is playing well overall, Prescott added, but wanted them to ensure they keep playing well defensively. That includes avoiding the small, minor errors they make on the diamond.

General Amherst’s Lexi Dodds rips a first inning single in last Thursday’s win over Sandwich.

“As soon as we clean it up, we’ll be OK,” she said.

Prescott believed the Lady Gens have a good chance at winning the provincials and doing well in the WECSSAA playoffs.

“This is a strong team. I think we’ll go far,” said Prescott. “I think our rookies have stepped up this season and have helped the team out.”
The Lady Gens are at home Tuesday (May 22) for a game against Villanova and still have a home game against Essex to make up before the WECSSAA regular season concludes.

Girls soccer team bows out of WECSSAA playoffs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens soccer team suffered its first loss of the season last Tuesday afternoon, but it was enough to end their season.

The Lady Gens dropped a 2-0 decision to the Sandwich Sabres with Sandwich scoring a goal in each of the two halves to obtain the win in the WECSSAA “AA” quarterfinal game. The Lady Gens had gone undefeated (6-0-2) in the Tier 3 regular season and beat Essex in their first playoff game.

Despite the loss, the General Amherst coaches were still pleased with how the team played and the effort they showed.

“We have ended still on a high note even though it was a defeat,” said coach Mark Sweet.

Sweet believed the Lady Gens put forth a good effort and hung in with Sandwich, who played in Tier 1 during the regular season.

“(Sandwich) had to work for what they got,” he said.

General Amherst goalkeeper Delilah Brouwer boots the ball away from her goal during their May 15 game against Sandwich.

Vanessa Pidutti, one of the Lady Gens’ captains, also thought they played well and hung tough against Sandwich.

Pidutti added the Lady Gens got better as the 2018 season went on.

“Everyone worked hard this whole season,” she said. “You could see the improvement with everyone.”

The General Amherst Lady Gens girls soccer team gathers for a group photo after their game May 15 in LaSalle.

The team loses three players to graduation but Pidutti was optimistic for next year, stating she is looking forward to it.

“I feel most of the team coming back is going to help us have a much better season,” she added.

Pidutti said they will also be losing their coach as Sweet and his family are moving back to England.

For additional photos from the May 15 game, view our Facebook album.

Bulldogs win one, lose one last week

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys soccer team split a pair of games over the past week.

The Bulldogs dropped to 3-2 on the WECSSAA Tier 2 boys soccer season after a 2-0 loss Monday afternoon in Belle River. It was the first road game of the season for General Amherst, after playing their first four games at the Libro Centre. Devin Ergun and Paul Pillon scored for the Nobles.

The week started for the Bulldogs with the final regular season home game, a 1-0 win over Sandwich in a spirited affair at the Libro Centre.

The competitive game saw Donald LaChance score the only goal of the game, which came in the second half. Griffin Muzzin picked up the win in net for General Amherst.

After that game, played last Wednesday afternoon, Bulldogs head coach Gavin Blunt said it was “a much better result” than the previous Wednesday’s game, a 2-0 loss to L’Essor.

Donald LaChance (left) battles for the ball against Sandwich last Wednesday afternoon.

“(Sandwich) was a good team but we came out today and played hard,” said Blunt.

The Bulldogs executed offensively and played well defensively, also putting forth a better effort than they did against L’Essor.

“We worked a lot harder today,” said Blunt.

“The effort was there today,” assistant coach Spencer Petrozzi added.

Petrozzi believed they may have been overconfident heading into the L’Essor game but a good week of practise got them focused for Sandwich.

Kieron Sweet (left) kicks the ball towards the Sandwich goal during last Wednesday’s 1-0 General Amherst win.

Blunt believes it was an accomplishment for the Bulldogs to beat a top team like Sandwich, though there was some bad blood between the coaches late in the game as Blunt said Amherst was accused of rough play.

“I was fine with our aggressiveness,” said Blunt, with Petrozzi adding “we played within the rules.”

The final regular season game is scheduled for Wednesday in Essex at 4 p.m.

Lady Gens eliminated from WECSSAA “AA” playoffs in semi-finals

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens got to the WECSSAA “AA” playoff semi-finals but could advance no further.

The Lady Gens hosted the Sandwich Sabres last Tuesday night and won 40-31 to advance to the semi-finals Thursday night at Kennedy. In that Thursday night semi-finals, a second quarter surge by the Clippers doomed the Lady Gens and led to Kennedy defeating General Amherst 50-27.

The Lady Gens led 11-6 late in the first quarter but a pair of late three-pointers put Kennedy up 12-11 at the end of the eight-minute quarter. Those three-pointers were part of a 15-0 run the Clippers went on and that 15-0 run was part of an overall 24-2 run that closed the first half and gave Kennedy a 30-13 lead.

General Amherst’s Taja Holmes (22) lays in two of her nine points during last Thursday night’s
WECSSAA “AA” semi-final game against the Kennedy Clippers.

The Lady Gens played better in the second half but weren’t able to recover from the second quarter.

“I told them before the game that you can’t let them get on a run,” General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio said.

The last 30 seconds of the first quarter was the turning point of the game, he believed. The second quarter was a bad quarter and having a bad quarter per game was a problem this season for Amherst.

“In the second quarter, we just sucked. There’s no other way to say it,” he said.

The Lady Gens reverted to poor habits they were doing earlier in the season, including passes that would not connect. Silvaggio, who was coaching against his son Stephen in the Kennedy game, said his son told him that Kennedy wasn’t doing anything special in the second quarter but it was turnovers by Amherst that helped swing the tide towards the Clippers.

Lexi Dodds scored 12 points against Kennedy while Taja Holmes scored nine points.

The quarterfinal game against Sandwich saw Dani Brindley score 11 points while Brooklyn Prescott had ten points. Dodds and Holmes had eight and seven points respectively. Ramie Tytgat had five points.

“We played an excellent first half,” Silvaggio said after the Sandwich game. “In the second half, we didn’t have that extra step. Sandwich switched defenses and we didn’t run our offense.”

Brooklyn Prescott drives to the basket during the second half of the Nov. 2 playoff game at Kennedy.

The Lady Gens’ defensive intensity was better in the first half of the Sandwich game, Silvaggio added.

A positive sign from this season was a lot of players that received a lot of playing time, about six in total, will return next year.

“There are quite a few kids that improved a lot,” said Silvaggio.

The team will likely have more players to choose from next year and Silvaggio hopes for more consistency out of them.

“If we can get 32 minutes out of them, I think we’ll be good,” he said.

Silvaggio urged the players to work in the offseason at improving their games otherwise improvement will be stunted.

“If they are not going to put in the work in the offseason, we’re not going to get any better,” he believed.

This year’s Lady Gens were a respectful and good group to coach, he added.

Dani Brindley lunges after a loose ball during the fourth quarter of last Thursday’s WECSSAA semi-final game at Kennedy.

“I’d like to thank them for that,” said Silvaggio. “They were enjoyable for us to coach.”

Silvaggio, joined on the sidelines this season by Don Parks and Nicole Rusenstrom, believed that playing in WECSSAA Tier 1 was productive. They went 1-7 in the regular season but the caliber of play helped develop the players and should prove beneficial in the long run, he indicated.

“I am happy we played in Tier 1 this year, because even though we didn’t win many games, we were competitive in every game but one,” he said. “It also forced us to play at a quicker pace and we got to play a higher caliber of basketball, which will help us for the next couple of years. There was a big difference in the caliber of ball between the tiers.”

Jr. Bulldogs show heart in season-ending loss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs junior football team may not have won a game this season, but the coaches still saw progress this season.

The Bulldogs lost to the Sandwich Sabres 34-10 last Tuesday afternoon at Centennial Park to finish the 2017 WECSSAA junior football season 0-6. The Sabres did all of their scoring in the first half and led 34-3. General Amherst took some pride in winning the second half, as they outscored Sandwich 7-0.

Austin Farmer (22, left) outruns a pair of Sandwich defenders during a run in the second half Oct. 31 at Centennial Park.

The Sabres started quick with a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. After recovering the ensuing onside kick, Sandwich scored again on a 32-yard touchdown pass to go up 14-0.

The Sabres scored three touchdowns in the second quarter thanks to a 39-yard run, a 13-yard run and a 22-yard pass with a fourth touchdown called back on a penalty. The Sabres also had another major called back due to a penalty in the third quarter.

Will Jones booted a 30-yard field goal for the Bulldogs in the second quarter with Anthony McCarthy scoring from a yard out in the fourth quarter. The latter touchdown was set up thanks to strong running from Austin Farmer on that drive.

Preston Muzzin (84) makes a catch in the first half of General Amherst’s Oct. 31 game versus Sandwich. The Sabres won 34-10.

Quarterback Emmitt Rosati missed the game due to his lingering ankle injury.

“We started a lot of Grade 9’s to give them experience,” said General Amherst head coach Dino Rosati. “They did well.”

The Bulldogs knew they were out of the playoffs, Rosati added, as they had to win the previous week’s game versus Catholic Central to have a shot. Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, Rosati said Amherst still played hard.

“They played right until the end,” he said.

Members of the senior team helped with the coaching, he added, with Emmitt also helping to coach as he called the plays on offense.

General Amherst quarterback Nolan Crain (82) throws a pass during General Amherst’s loss to the Sandwich Sabres Oct. 31 at Centennial Park.

Rosati said about 12-14 players are eligible to return next season. The junior Bulldogs featured a lot of Grade 9 players that were new to football this season.

“I think we learned a lot,” said Rosati. “We had a good number of inexperienced Grade 9’s.”

With a year of football under their belts, Rosati said the Bulldogs have a “good chance to be successful” next season.