SWOSSAA

Palumbo wins gold at SWOSSAA tennis tournament

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A General Amherst High School student has captured gold at the recent SWOSSAA tennis tournament.

Matteo Palumbo captured the gold medal after winning all three of his matches at the regional tennis tournament in Chatham. He won his matches 8-2, 8-4 and then 8-4 again in the finals.

Palumbo said he worked hard over the summer and that has paid off for him now as he is now representing his school.

“It was a little challenging but I was able to play pretty well,” said Palumbo, of the recent SWOSSAA tournament as it was played in sometimes windy conditions.

There is a gap between now and OFSAA, as the provincial tournament doesn’t occur until June.

“I’ve got a couple of months outside to play before OFSAA,,” he said, adding he will also play indoors with his coach Nancy Loeffler-Caro.

Matteo Palumbo won gold at the recent SWOSSAA tennis tournament in Chatham. (Submitted photo)

Palumbo said he started playing tennis when he was young at a court across from his house. He estimates he was about eight-years-old when he first started playing.

“I’d just go out and hit against a wall and play against my dad,” the Grade 11 student stated. “I didn’t play a lot competitively until I got to high school.”

Palumbo said he likes the fact that “it’s all on you” in tennis.

“I like the workout,” he added. “You are always moving. You’ve got a lot of court to cover.”

Quickness is the name of the game for Palumbo.

“I’m not the most powerful guy around but I can place the ball and play strategically,” said Palumbo.

Palumbo believes he will be seeing some of the same players he has seen in previous competitions when he goes to OFSAA, he knows it will be a tough test regardless of who he plays.

“It’s going to be a lot of good tennis and there will be some really good tennis players,” he said.

In addition to thanking Loeffler-Caro, Palumbo also expressed his thanks to the tennis team’s teacher representative Stephanie Melcher.

General Amherst features two badminton champions

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A pair of General Amherst badminton players won SWOSSAA titles at the junior level and helped their team win junior gold at the same level.

Lexi Dodds, a Grade 9 student, and Matteo Palumbo, a Grade 10 student, won SWOSSAA singles titles at a recent competition held at Academie Ste.-Cecile to go with the WECSSAA achievements.

Palumbo said he was against twelve players in a double-elimination tournament. He had to overcome a loss but came back through the “losers’ bracket” and was still able to win gold including beating the competitor he lost to twice. He thanked coaches Nancy Loeffler-Caro and Craig Lohnes for their efforts.

“Nancy helped me throughout the season and Mr. Lohnes came to all the tournaments to help coach,” said Palumbo.

Noting his father got him started in the sport in Grade 1, Palumbo said he “fell in love with the game” from then on.

“It’s all about strategy, what shots you want to hit,” he said. “It’s a very strategic game.”

“For me at SWOSSAA, it was basically the same competitors from WECSSAA,” added Dodds.

Coaches Craig Lohnes (left) and Nancy Loeffler-Caro (right) stand
with SWOSSAA champions Matteo Palumbo and Lexi Dodds. (Submitted photo)

Dodds said SWOSSAA was tough because she was playing against other competitors that knew her strengths and weaknesses. She said she made it to the finals, lost the first set, but managed to win the rest to claim the title.

“Especially because I’m in Grade 9, it’s a big accomplishment,” said Dodds. “I never thought I was going to make it this far.”

Dodds agreed with Palumbo that it is a strategic game.

“I like how it’s a mental game and you don’t have to be the most athletic person to win,” she said.

Palumbo stated he practices Sunday nights with Loeffler-Caro during badminton seasons as well as with the school team while Dodds said she practices mainly with the school team.

“We ended up tying for the team championship with just two players,” he added.

As they are both juniors, neither have an OFSAA tournament to advance to as that is only available at the senior level.

 

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.”

Four Amherst track athletes qualify for OFSAA Western Regionals

 

The SWOSSAA track and field meet was held last week with athletes from General Amherst High School having four qualify for the OFSAA Western Regionals. Those that qualified for regionals have an asterisk by their name.

Abbey Gibb* (2nd in Junior Girls Long Jump and Triple Jump)
Sydney Gosselin (7th in Junior Girls Javelin)
Ethan Hamelin* (4th in Midget Boys 300 m hurdles and 7th in triple jump)
Nia Holmes* (4th in Senior Girls 110m hurdles, 7th in 400 m hurdles)
Taja Holmes (6th in junior girls 80 m hurdles)
Marisa Levy (12th in midget girls 800m)
Owen Martin* (3rd in midget boys 1500m, 4th in 3000m)
Mya Palumbo (7th in junior girls 3000m)
Tyler Rowles (6th in midget boys 3000m)
James Shaw (7th in senior boys 110m hurdles)

 

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.