Bulldogs drop to 1-5 after high scoring loss against Holy Names



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs found their offense just prior to the holiday break but their opponents had more.

The Bulldogs dropped a 7-5 decision to the Holy Names Knights Dec. 20 at South Windsor Arena. The two teams started out of the gate quickly, scoring seven of the 12 goals in the opening period of the game as the Bulldogs led 4-3 heading to the second period.

“It looked like it was going to be a shootout,” said General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett. “The scoring stopped in the third period.”

After tough one-goal losses at their tournament in Windsor earlier in the week, Garrett was happy to see the offense find the net albeit in a losing effort. He believes the young team is on the right track and could make some noise in the 2019 portion of their WECSSAA schedule.

The General Amherst Bulldogs celebrate one of their five goals scored against Holy Names. The Bulldogs lost 7-5.

“I feel the guys are right on the cusp of coming together,” said Garrett.

The Bulldogs scored nine goals in their first five games and managed five against Holy Names, so the General Amherst coach sees that as a good sign.

Garrett said he “front loaded” the schedule with games against the larger schools and hopes the Bulldogs will get on a roll in the second half of the schedule against teams closer to their size and ability.
“Momentum means a lot,” he said.

Garrett added he is excited for the second half of the season and hopes they can get on a run heading to the playoffs.

General Amherst is now off for the Christmas break and resumes play with a pair of home games early in 2019. They host the Kingsville Cavaliers Jan. 8 and the Essex Red Raiders Jan. 10, both at 2:30 p.m. at the Libro Centre.

Lady Gens pick up two more wins on the volleyball court



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens picked up a pair of wins on the volleyball court last week.

The Lady Gens improved to 6-0 on the WECSSAA Tier 1 senior girls volleyball season, winning both matches on their home court. After General Amherst opened the week with a 25-22 25-18 and 25-14 win over the St. Anne Saints last Tuesday, they returned to their home court Thursday where they knocked off the visiting Essex Red Raiders 18-25, 25-22 and 25-18.

Teammates Vanessa Pidutti and Brynlee Ammonite knew they were in a tough game with the Red Raiders.

“I think the last two (sets) were definitely better than the first one,” said Pidutti, as the Lady Gens had to rally to win the last two sets to win the match.

Emery Lucier plays the ball during a WECSSAA senior girls volleyball match at General Amherst High School. The Lady Gens won the match two sets to one.

The Lady Gens made fewer errors in the latter two sets though Pidutti credited Essex as being a good team that hustled on the court.

“We know the next time we play them, we’ll have to bring our ‘A’ game,” said Ammonite.

The Lady Gens were slow and not talking in the first set, Pidutti noted, but stated the communication improved in sets two and three. Pidutti added they would get upset in the first game whenever they made a bad play.

“We wouldn’t let go of our errors,” said Ammonite.

Pidutti and Ammonite believed they played well in the recent Black & Gold Volleyball Classic, which General Amherst hosted and won, but Ammonite believed they still have to be more consistent with their serves.

“It’s the communication we really have to work on,” added Pidutti.

The Lady Gens do not play again until Jan. 10 when the Holy Names Knights come to town.

Emma MacVoy spikes the ball over the net during General Amherst’s win over the visiting Essex Red Raiders.

“The break will give us a rest,” said Pidutti.

Ammonite said they will come out of the break with hard practices to get them ready to go.

“We’re looking forward to next year as we’re hosting OFSAA,” stated Pidutti.

Despite the fact the Lady Gens get an automatic berth as the host team, both Ammonite and Pidutti stated they want to be there as WECSSAA and SWOSSAA “AA” champions.

“We’re trying to work towards earning it,” said Pidutti.

For more photos from the match against Essex, please click here for the link to the photo album.

Bulldogs pick up first win of 2018-19 WECSSAA boys hockey season



By Ron Giofu


The start of the 2018-19 WECSSAA boys hockey season has been tough for General Amherst High School but they picked up their first win last week.

The Bulldogs blanked the visiting Tecumseh Vista Academy Vortex 4-0 at the Libro Centre last Thursday afternoon. Team captain Max Jones scored goals in the first and third periods while Aiden Bastien and Drake McGowan also picked up goals for the Bulldogs in the winning effort.

Goalie Jacob Lister picked up the shutout for the Bulldogs, who are now 1-4 on the season.

General Amherst’s Brandon Salvati flips the puck into the Tecumseh Vista Academy’s zone during his team’s 4-0 win. The victory improved the Bulldogs’ record to 1-4.

“We needed it. It’s nice to have a win,” said General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett.

Garrett noted they have been playing games minus some key players early on and they had a tough schedule to boot. Tecumseh Vista Academy entered the game winless, so the Bulldogs knew they had a shot at winning last week’s game.

“It’s nice to see Max Jones get on the scoreboard twice,” said Garrett.

The Bulldogs entered the final week before the Christmas break with a tournament hosted by Brennan and a league game this Thursday afternoon against the Holy Names Knights. Garrett, who praised the work of his Grade 9 and 10 players after the win over the Vortex, said they hope to go into the break with momentum.

Lister, who returned to the Bulldogs’ lineup after missing multiple games due to illness, said his teammates kept the shots down in front of him and played well.

“It always feels nice to come back with a shutout,” said Lister.

The win “brought new energy” into the Bulldogs’ dressing room, the netminder added.

General Amherst captain Max Jones splits two Tecumseh Vista Academy defenders during the third period of the Bulldogs’ 4-0 win Dec. 13. Jones scored twice in the game.

“We finally got the monkey off of our backs,” he said, adding they hope to take some momentum into the second half of the regular season.

The other game of the week for General Amherst was a 3-1 loss to the L’Essor Aigles last Tuesday in a game played at Tecumseh Arena. Bastien scored the lone goal that day for the Bulldogs.

This Thursday’s game against Holy Names is at 3:30 p.m. at South Windsor Arena. They come back from the Christmas break with a three-game homestand, the first being a Jan. 8 game versus the Kingsville Cavaliers.

Bulldogs drop to 0-4 after two home court losses last week



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs are 0-4 on the WECSSAA Tier 2 senior boys basketball season, but it’s not for lack of effort.

The Bulldogs most recent game was a 55-37 defeat at the hands of the visiting Essex Red Raiders last Thursday night. Ty Queen led the Bulldogs in scoring with ten points with Riley Sesto scoring seven. Matthew Wismer and Lucas Caradonna each had five points.

General Amherst kept the game close as they trailed by only two points, 19-17, at the half. However, Essex erupted with 22 points in the third quarter, many coming from beyond the three-point line, to pull away.

“They battled,” said General Amherst head coach Frank Palumbo, of his team.

General Amherst’s Riley Sesto puts up a shot as Essex’s Brent Davison defends. Essex won 55-37.

General Amherst lost by about 40 points to the talented Essex squad at a tournament, Palumbo added, so he did see improvement in the Bulldogs.

“We played hard defensively,” he said. “In order to stay in the game, we had to box out all the time. As soon as we missed one, they made us pay. (Essex) is a good team.”

The Bulldogs have only eight players on this year’s senior boys team and one was unavailable against the Red Raiders. Palumbo said they practice with the junior team and do their best despite being short on players.

“They are committed,” stated Palumbo. “They didn’t give up. They work hard.”

This year’s Bulldogs are made up of all Grade 11 players, except one, and he is in Grade 10. Palumbo said their goal was to make the playoffs and they are managing to stay in most games thus far despite a tough early season schedule.

General Amherst is committed to getting better and Palumbo said they have shown a lot of heart thus far.

The Bulldogs other game last week was a 63-49 loss to Westview Freedom Academy last Tuesday at General Amherst. Sesto had 17 points in that game with Caradonna adding 13 and Matteo Palumbo seven.

The lone game for General Amherst this week was in Leamington against the Lions Tuesday, after the printedition of the River Town Times went to press. They will then be off for the Christmas holidays with their first game in 2019 being at home Jan. 15 versus Cardinal Carter.

Lady Gens win two matches after capturing tournament



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens had a bit of a letdown after winning the Black & Gold Volleyball Classic they hosted but are still 4-0 on the 2018-19 WECSSAA Tier 1 senior girls volleyball season.

The Lady Gens captured the tournament the weekend of Dec. 7-8, including wins over Holy Names and Sandwich in the semi-final and final respectively, and returned to WECSSAA league play last Tuesday against the Massey Mustangs. The Lady Gens had some difficulty with the Mustangs, edging them in the first two sets 28-26 and 25-23 before dropping the third set 25-17.

The General Amherst Lady Gens hosted the Black & Gold Volleyball Classic recently and ended up winning the tournament, defeating Sandwich in the final. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Dodds)

Emma MacVoy thought the Lady Gens played pretty well but believed that her team made some errors as well.

“I thought we worked hard and got the job done,” she said. “We won the sets we had to win.”

MacVoy said the girls have had a good start to the season and “have come a long way since juniors” but the match versus Massey was a tough one.

“I think we had a good game and (Massey) came out of nowhere,” she said. “We definitely had to work hard to win the match.”

Head coach Jeff Miller was less impressed with his team’s effort.

“We should have lost all three games,” said Miller. “We were very fortunate to come out with a win. We just struggled with ball control all game.”

Assistant coach Mary Ewer pointed out the back-and-forth nature of the game, noting one instance where the Lady Gens were up 10-3 at one point in the second set before Massey rallied and took a 15-12 lead. Ewer said it is tough to play the first match after winning a tournament with Miller stating he was not confident heading into the match.

General Amherst would return to their winning ways two nights later at Kennedy. The Lady Gens would sweep the Clippers in three straight sets, winning 25-17, 25-23 and 25-10.

Emma MacVoy (2, centre) spikes the ball between two Massey defenders during the Lady Gens’ win Dec. 11.

The Lady Gens returned to their home court this week. A match versus the St. Anne Saints was played Tuesday evening after the print issue of the RTT went to press. The Essex Red Raiders then come to Amherstburg for a match with General Amherst Thursday at 4 p.m.

Both matches are viewed as good tests for the Lady Gens.

“That will be a good way to finish off 2018,” said Ewer.

The Lady Gens will then go into their Christmas break before resuming the WECSSAA Tier 1 schedule Jan. 10 at home against Holy Names.