Tecumseh Vista Academy

Bulldogs capture WECSSAA Tier 3 football title with thrilling victory

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team finished atop the WECSSAA Tier 3 division thanks to a 21-16 win Friday night.

The Bulldogs finished the season a perfect 7-0 after defeating the Tecumseh Vista Academy Vortex, the latter team also entering the game undefeated. The game, played in Tecumseh, saw the Bulldogs arrive late due to a busing issue but when they arrived, they were more than ready to go.

General Amherst scored on their first two possessions, the first set up by a bad snap on a Tecumseh Vista Academy punt attempt which allowed the Bulldogs to start the drive on the Vortex 23 yard line. That drive was capped with a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback Emmitt Rosati.

The second drive, also in the first quarter, was finished by running back Levi Reaume, who found the end zone from one yard out. That drive began after the Bulldogs defense stuffed the Vortex on a third down play and caused the ball to be turned over on downs.

General Amherst’s Levi Reaume celebrates after a first quarter touchdown Friday night at Tecumseh Vista
Academy.

After a four-yard touchdown run by Tecumseh Vista Academy in the second quarter made it a 14-7 game, the Bulldogs restored their 14-point advantage thanks to Rosati’s second touchdown of the night, this one being a one-yard quarterback sneak into the end zone.

Preston Muzzin converted all three Bulldog touchdowns.

Tecumseh Vista Academy tried to come back and put up nine points in the third quarter. The first two points came via a safety as General Amherst committed a holding penalty in their own end zone. Shortly after that, Vista got a two-yard touchdown run of their own to make it 21-16.

Though the home team could get no closer, they did make it interesting. After Vista’s offense and General Amherst penalties moved the ball deep into the Bulldogs’ territory with just under four minutes to play in the game, the Bulldogs were able to recover a fumble to stall Tecumseh’s drive. Big runs by Reaume not only moved the ball the other direction, but also helped to run out the clock and clinch the win and the division title for General Amherst.

“It’s a terrific feeling,” Reaume said after the game.

Reaume noted they rebounded after a tough 0-6 season in 2017 to a perfect season this year.

Brayden LeClerc breaks tackles of Tecumseh Vista Academy defenders after making a catch.

“It goes to show what happens when we work hard, focus and are dedicated,” he said.

The Bulldogs wanted to make sure they finished the job, he indicated, and Reaume also pointed out that it was the last drive of their high school careers for the senior players.

“This is what you are going to remember,” he said. “You are not going to remember 6-1.”

Defensive co-ordinator Joel Charron also pointed out it was a great win for the Bulldogs, especially for those players who suffered through last season.

“It’s a great win for them,” said Charron. “It’s great for the players. I’m really happy for the kids.”

Charron was pleased with how the defense played and noted they ran the ball well on offense as well.

General Amherst quarterback Emmitt Rosati gets hit as he throws during the Nov. 2 win over Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Head coach John Rudak, sopping wet after the game after having the bucket of ice water dumped on him in celebration, said the team dubbed the game the “Dave Scott Bowl,” in memory of the legendary General Amherst coach who died in Sept. 2017.

“It turned out really well. I hope he was watching,” said Rudak.

The strong start resonated on the Bulldogs’ bench, as Rudak noted the players were feeling good about themselves. However, he knew that Tecumseh Vista Academy “had a lot left” and that showed in the second half. Rudak said the Bulldogs seemingly tried to lose the game at some points with the number of penalties they took but the turnover late helped salvage the win.

This year’s Bulldogs senior team was a combination of senior and junior players and Rudak hopes to restore both junior and senior teams as early as next season. That will help make the football program more sustainable at General Amherst.

“Hopefully the enthusiasm of winning brings more players out,” he said. “That’s our objective – to play at a high level.”

The General Amherst Bulldogs celebrate after a 21-16 win
Friday at Tecumseh Vista Academy (above). The win gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 record and the division title.

Whether there will be one or two teams will be known next August, Rudak added, stating he can field a senior team if there are at least 25 players.

This year’s team saw fewer missed practices by the players, he added, as only work and school commitments kept them away.

Rudak also thanked his coaching staff for their work this past season, stating it was the largest staff he has ever had as a coach.

“I value all of their insight,” said Rudak.

For more photos from the football game between General Amherst and Tecumseh Vista Academy, please visit our Facebook album.

Lady Gens rebound after season opening volleyball loss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

After a season opening defeat at the hands of a strong Kingsville Cavalier team last Tuesday, the General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls volleyball team rebounded well two days later.

The Lady Gens lost 25-13, 25-10 and 25-8 in Kingsville but then swept the visiting Massey Mustangs 25-19, 25-22 and 25-15 in a match played at General Amherst High School to even their WECSSAA Tier 1 record at 1-1.

General Amherst’s Vanessa Pidutti spikes the ball during last Thursday evening’s senior girls volleyball match against Massey.

“We played much better today,” General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller said after Thursday’s match. “We played to our ability level. We played a much better defensive effort. We moved on defense and then we were more fluid on offence.”

Miller said the first game against Kingsville was tough as the Cavaliers return the bulk of their players from a team that went to OFSAA last season.

“We struggled and they jumped right on us and made us pay,” said Miller. “They gave us a serious kick in the butt.”
The Lady Gens rebounded well against a team in Massey that they thought going in they could beat if they played well.

Miller said they need Vanessa Pidutti and Emery Lucier, the latter a Grade 9 player, to be good outside hitters. They were able to be that against the Mustangs.

General Amherst went up against the Massey Mustangs last Thursday evening. Payton Laing hits the ball back across the net.

“(Thursday), they kind of dominated the game offensively. They didn’t make many errors and got a bunch of hits. They played the way they need to play if we want to get a bunch of wins.”

The Lady Gens’ success in Tier 2 last year moved them back up into the top tier this season but Miller said the program continues to develop. General Amherst hosts OFSAA next year and while they want to do well this season, the Lady Gens also have an eye for the future.

“We’re building for next year and beyond,” said Miller.

Lucier believed the Lady Gens played well Thursday, adding they “got better as the match went on.”

Emery Lucier spikes the ball over the outstretched arms of a Massey defender.

The Kingsville game was a difficult one, she stated, as she thought the team let the fact they were playing Kingsville get into their heads and drain their confidence before the match even started. She said she has been welcomed to the team as a Grade 9 player and enjoys the level of competition in senior girls volleyball.

“It’s harder but it’s going to challenge me and the team to play better,” she said.

Lucier added the focus is this season.

“I want to win,” she said.

The Lady Gens were at St. Joseph Tuesday after this issue went to press but have a 7 p.m. home game Thursday against Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Sr. Bulldogs blanked in final game of regular season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs hung in there against Tecumseh Vista Academy but then the dam burst.

The winless Bulldogs were in Tecumseh last Thursday for WECSSAA Tier 2 senior football action and were matched up against not only an undefeated Vortex team, but a team that hadn’t allowed a point all season either. The end result didn’t change anything as Tecumseh Vista Academy blanked the Bulldogs 43-0.

The Bulldogs played well in the first half, including having a long first half drive that took a lot of time on the clock but didn’t result in any points. The game was scoreless until two minutes and 30 seconds was left on the clock in the half when the Vortex scored on a nine-yard touchdown run. They would add two more touchdowns before the first half was out, one on a 43-yard touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Dan Mailloux and the other on an 11-yard touchdown run by Mailloux. One of the converts was missed meaning Tecumseh Vista Academy had a 20-0 halftime lead.

Bulldogs’ running back Ethan Lavigne (14) tries to evade a pair of Tecumseh Vista Academy players during Oct. 26 game action.

Mailloux added a five-yard touchdown run and a one-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to bring his team’s advantage to 34-0 after three quarters. Amherst conceded a safety in the fourth quarter to make it a 36-0 game with Mailloux connecting on a 20-yard touchdown pass in the game’s final moments to round out the scoring.

“I thought we came out extremely strong,” said General Amherst head coach John Rudak. “We moved the ball on offense and were good on defense.”

Rudak said they had a good opportunity to go into halftime only trailing 7-0 but “bad things happened” and the Vortex were able to get another two scores that half.

General Amherst quarterback Spencer Hawkins throws a pass despite a Vortex defender diving for his legs during Oct. 26 action. Tecumseh Vista Academy won 43-0.

“The floodgates opened up,” said Rudak.

Rudak praised the efforts of many of his graduating players, roughly nine in all, but added some members of this year’s senior football team didn’t show the commitment needed for the team to be successful.

“What caused us not to be successful is a lack of dedication from half of the team,” he said.

The senior Bulldogs had difficulty getting their entire team to practices this season and that showed in games. Rudak said junior players they called up “saved us” and was thankful the team made it through the six game season without having to fold.

“It was definitely very trying,” he said of the 2017 season.

Sr. Bulldogs open season with 41-0 loss to Riverside

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team is struggling to keep the number of players up and some of those players they do have suited up for the first time in a game last Thursday.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, it showed in the results.

General Amherst was on the short end of a 41-0 decision to the Riverside Rebels in a game played at Tecumseh Vista Academy. The teams were scoreless through one quarter though Riverside had a touchdown called back on a penalty.

General Amherst running back Levi Reaume (left, 21) heads upfield during last Thursday’s game against Riverside.

The Rebels put up three touchdowns in the second quarter thanks to a three-yard run, a 45-yard punt return and an 18-yard pass, the latter being on the final play of the half.

General Amherst’s best chance to score came in the third quarter when they got to the Riverside four-yard line. However, a third-and-goal play ended with a sack.

Riverside tacked on three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter through a 24-yard-pass, a 60-yard punt return and a one-yard run.

The low numbers and inexperience of the players wasn’t lost on Amherst head coach John Rudak.

“That’s definitely the headline,” said Rudak.

Rudak pointed out that the Rebels recently combined their senior and junior football teams, meaning they won’t play at the junior level this season, adding that he gave consideration to doing the same thing at General Amherst. When he put a challenge out to the players about bolstering the team’s numbers, about 28 showed up for practice and Rudak shelved the plan to combine the teams at that point.

General Amherst quarterback Spencer Hawkins (3) throws a pass last Thursday afternoon against the Riverside Rebels.

“That gave our team false hope because eight guys quit shortly thereafter,” said Rudak. “The best part of that is (the remaining players) don’t seem to care. They still love playing football.”

There is still a concern about the ability to finish the season as if more players quit or if some get injured, it could deplete the team’s roster too much. Rudak was encouraged that the new players now have a game under their belts.

“Their learning curve is going to be very good,” he said. “They can only get better.”

Rudak said they are still welcoming new players and if anyone wants to join either the senior or junior teams, they can attend practices at Centennial Park after school.

The Bulldogs’ next game is Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Libro Centre against Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Jr. Bulldogs season concludes with playoff loss at Tecumseh Vista Academy

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The season is over for the General Amherst Bulldogs junior football team but they went down swinging.

The Bulldogs lost a 28-20 decision to Tecumseh Vista Academy last Tuesday afternoon. Justin Guy had a rushing touchdown in the first half, said coach Dino Rosati, with quarterback Emmitt Rosati tossing 10 and 47-yard touchdown passes to Calvin Cribley and Cole Chittle.

General Amherst's Brayden LeClerc (left) avoids a tackler during the Nov, 8 game at Tecumseh Vista Academy.

General Amherst’s Brayden LeClerc (left) avoids a tackler during the Nov, 8 game at Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Dino Rosati said the team fought hard but miscues caught up to them.

“It was a tough loss,” said Rosati. “We made mistakes early on, we got behind, but we never gave up.”

The early mistakes caused the Bulldogs to have to move away from the way they wanted to call plays, Rosati added.

“When you are chasing, you tend to take more chances and get out our game plan,” he said.

Brayden LeClerc heads upfield during second half action against Tecumseh Vista Academy Nov. 1.

Brayden LeClerc heads upfield during second half action against Tecumseh Vista Academy Nov. 8.

The junior football team got better as the season went on, he believed.

“All in all, I thought it was a successful season. We got experience and we learned a lot,” said Rosati. “By the end of the season, we became a real football team. They were very coachable kids.”

Roughly half of the team is eligible to return next season, he added.

The General Amherst Bulldogs junior football team gather for a group photo following their 28-20 loss at Tecumseh Vista Academy Nov. 8

The General Amherst Bulldogs junior football team gather for a group photo following their 28-20 loss at Tecumseh Vista Academy Nov. 8

“We have a strong core. We could have a strong team next year,” said Rosati.

Rosati coached the team with John Tregaskiss with Dave Scott also providing some assistance. Bulldogs senior football coach John Rudak also assisted the team the last two games of the season following the conclusion of his team’s schedule.