North Glengarry announces reopening plans for arenas, recreation facilities, programs

The Township of North Glengarry is planning to gradually reopen sports and recreation facilities and resume recreation programming, beginning for most this month

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The arena at the Glengarry Sports Palace will be the first of the townships two rinks to see ice and usage. The target date to begin ice rentals is October 7.

As for the ice at the Maxville rink, that is being delayed until “ice demands increase… In the interim of the ice reopening at the Maxville & District Sports Complex, staff will be preparing activity spaces and enhanced programming on the arena floor for use by the public.”

The dome in Alexandria partially reopened on August 24 (track and tennis/pickleball courts). “At the present time users are required to arrive dressed for their activity and to bring their own personal equipment due to COVID-19 guidelines.”

Reservations can be made by e-mail to programcoordinator@northglengarry.ca

Parks continue to remain open, with green spaces and play equipment available for use.

Community halls across township are now open for rental, to a maximum of 50 attendees. For more information, send an e-mail to recreation@northglengarry.ca

Recreation programming, too, is gradually returning, starting with yoga at the Glengarry Sports Palace, set to begin October 5.

“During this gradual reopening period, the township will be working with individuals and various sports organizations that use these facilities to ensure that the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s guidelines are being followed. The goal is to allow the public to have access to the township’s facilities in a controlled and safe manner. The township is confident that residents will abide by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the sports organizations’ directives; however, if violations are observed by staff, these may result in the closure of the facility for the day or for longer.

The safety of our residents is of the utmost importance for the Township. Play safe!

Township of North Glengarry media release

Complete information on facilities can be found on the township’s website here. Details on programs can be found here.

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Junior B Glens seek billet families, announce player signings

Would you have space to house a member of the Alexandria Glens junior ‘B’ hockey team for the 2020-21 season? If so, the team would like to hear from you, and you will be compensated for “opening up your home to our players.”

To express your interest or for further information, please contact the team’s general manager, Derick Viau, at info@alexandriaglens.com or via the Glens’ Facebook page.

As head coach Carl Robillard puts it, “Please support our community team and become an away-from-home family for these young athletes looking for an opportunity to develop and play the sport they love while working towards online school.”

On the player front, Viau recently announced two further signings.

Keyshawn Francis
Keyshawn Francis (submitted photos)

Gatineau’s Keyshawn Francis played with the LHPS École Mont-Bleu last season, notching 14 points in 21 games. The 18-year-old is a forward.

Another forward signed is Alexandre Saül. Hailing from Montreal, he skated for the USHS North Yarmouth Academy last winter. The 18-year-old checks in at 6 ft. 3 in., 190 lb. Last year, he scored 11 points in 33 games at the US prep school.

Looking ahead, the Glens have joined the Char-Lan Rebels in a golf tournament, set for September 12, in Lancaster.

The 2020-21 team camp is scheduled to run September 18-20, in Hawkesbury. “Attending a Main Camp is the first step in becoming a Glens player and competing in the EOJHL. Our coaching and scouting staff use these camps to evaluate new talent that will compete to join our team for the upcoming season and to build new relationships with future prospects.”

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Spink twins commit to German pro hockey season

The 27-year-old Spink twins, Tyson and Tylor, have committed to playing the 2020-21 professional hockey season in Germany, as members of the Schwenninger Wild Wings, of the DEL (German elite league).

Last season, the men skated in Finland with the Ässät team. The season was stopped in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Spinks travelled back to Glengarry, following its subsequent cancellation.

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The Spinks bid adieu to Finland at the end of the 2019-20 season. (submitted photo)

Tyson, a 5 ft. 10 in., 185 lb. forward, notched 35 points in 50 games with Ässät, while Tylor, a centreman, counted 32 points in 52 matches.

Previously they both played in Sweden for two years, and prior to that skated in the ECHL and AHL, following stellar NCAA careers at Colgate University.

Their new club, from Schwenningen am Neckar in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, has a storied history, founded in 1904, is an original member of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). The Wild Wings play in the Helios Arena, which has a capacity of 6,193, and the club’s colours are blue and white.

Niklas Sundblad, head coach of the Wild Wings, got familiar with the Spinks when he was involved with their Swedish team, Örebro.

He describes the hockey twins as “well-educated guys who are passionate about what they do. As twins, they have a kind of natural chemistry that they also bring on the ice. Coupled with their speed, they are an important addition to our team.” (translated from the German original)

To read the full story about the Spinks joining the Wild Wings, please see this webpage (in German).

On the signing, Tylor is quoted as saying, “It’s always good when you come to a new place and meet familiar faces. We know what Sunny [Niklas Sundblad] expects from us, and he knows what to expect from us. We will have the same attitude again, work hard, but still go on the ice with a smile and try to improve ourselves and with it the team.”

Tyson tells me that he and his brother plan to travel to Germany in mid-September to join their new team.

In an abbreviated 2019-20 season, the Wild Wings had a record of 14-32-3-3 through 52 games.

The Spinks are sons of Kathy and Kenton, of South Glengarry.

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GSL hoping for 2020-21 indoor season

This week, the Glengarry Soccer League announced that it is planning for a 2020-21 indoor season, the kick off sometime this fall.

Last winter’s indoor campaign came to an abrupt halt in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially a suspension, the season’s remaining action, including playoffs, was eventually cancelled. Subsequently, the GSL was forced to cancel summer outdoor minor soccer, summer outdoor adult soccer, and regional youth competitive soccer (Hearts teams).

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GSL announcement on Facebook

As of posting this story, the league’s website had not been updated, still displaying information to register for the now-cancelled summer outdoor season.

The GSL has been limited by health and safety guidelines imposed by the league’s sanctioning body, the Ontario Soccer Association.

Under the OSA outline, as of September 17, leagues are now permitted play within a region (We are part of the east region, EODSA), with modified games (e.g. no throw-ins, limited handling of the ball) and training. In the case of indoor soccer, per government guidelines, a maximum of 50 people can be in the facility at any one time.

For the full, updated OSA guidelines, please see this link.

As the GSL notes, Stay Tuned!

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Junior B Char-Lan Rebels set camp start for Thursday, announce captain

The 2020 training camp for the Char-Lan Rebels of the EOJHL is scheduled to begin on September 10, on the ice at the Finch arena.

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Prospective players are invited to pre-register online here.

The team invites “All 16- to 20-year-old players … to come try out.”

The opening training camp session is slated for Thursday, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Finch. Workout number two is booked for Cornwall’s multi-sport complex, on September 17 (6:30 to 8 p.m.). Training will continue three days later, also in Cornwall (1 to 2:30 p.m.), with two further sessions planned for the Rebels’ home rink in Williamstown, on September 22 and 26 (times to be confirmed).

Jeff Carter serves as the team’s head coach.

On the player front, the club announced that Joseph Samson has committed to returning for the upcoming season and will serve as Char-Lan captain. He led last year’s squad, scoring 26 goals and 31 assists.

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Photo collage highlighting Char-Lan Rebels captain Joseph Samson. (Rebels photos)

On Saturday (September 12) the Rebels are joining with county cousins the Alexandria Glens for a golf tournament to be held at Lancaster’s Heritage Golf Club. For details, please see this previous story.

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Celebrated coach, teacher returns to Le Relais as vice-principal

Dominic Decoeur is back where it all began, as the coach and educator has returned to work at Alexandria’s École secondaire catholique Le Relais as the high school’s vice-principal for the 2020-21 school year.

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Staff of École secondaire catholique Le Relais ready for students, fall 2020, with Dominic Decoeur front and centre. (Le Relais photo)
Dominik Decoeur
Dominic Decoeur (Le Relais photo)

The Cornwall resident began his teaching career in Alexandria, where he became well-known for his leadership of the school’s boys hockey program.

Translated from French, Decoeur posted on the school’s Facebook page, “It is with great pleasure and great pride that I return to Le Relais after having had the opportunity to teach here from 2007 to 2018. I wish to continue to forge collaborative links with students, parents, and the Glengarry community.”

On the coaching side, he led Les Rapides to a string of successes on the ice, highlighted by numerous provincial medals from the Tournoi Franco Ontarien, an annual competition amongst teams from Ontario’s French-language high schools.

In 2018, he left the Alexandria school for a post at Cornwall’s La Citadelle, where he served the past two years as vice-principal.

On his return to Le Relais, Decoeur tells me, “Really happy … It’ll make me grow.”

“Un mot de notre direction adjointe.
C’est avec grand plaisir et beaucoup de fierté que je reviens au Relais après avoir eu l’opportunité d’enseigner ici de 2007 à 2018. Je souhaite continuer à tisser des liens de collaboration avec les élèves, les parents et la communauté de Glengarry. Avec toute l’équipe du Relais, notre rôle demeure de tenter d’être partenaire de l’élève dans sa construction identitaire, miser sur les processus qui le mèneront à être un apprenant pour la vie, et développer des compétences essentielles pour relever les défis de sa génération. Au plaisir de créer un partenariat avec vous chers Rapides et à demain!”

Dominic Decoeur original statement on Facebook (in French)
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Men’s flag football league offers fun and fitness

A men’s flag football league has taken flight in Cornwall, with games played Wednesday evenings and Sunday on a field at Optimist Park.

flag football action
Eric Bowman, the Cornwall Volkswagen QB, eludes the Planet Fitness pursuit, as he scrambles for positive yardage. (Costa Zarifi photo)

In a match played August 30 between Cornwall Volkswagen and Planet Fitness, the latter prevailed 42-22. Amongst the athletes helping Team Blue, Alex Zarifi recorded a pair of touchdowns, while Eric Bowman threw for two. Bowman also ran in a major and snagged an interception.

Thanks to Costa Zarifi for recording these two videos of the action. The one above shows an interception thrown by Bowman, while the movie below has Bowman on a QB run.

Heading into play tonight (September 8), Planet Fitness sits in second place, with 10 points, trailing Crossfit Cornwall (12). Cornwall Volkswagen has 2 points, for sixth spot. Rounding out the standings are third-place Jas-Mar (8 points), Campeau Insurance (6), Rookez (4), and Hyundai (0).

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CCHL aims for October 1 return to play

The region’s junior ‘A’ hockey league is aiming to begin its 2020-21 season on October 1, pending approval of its return-to-play plan by local health authorities.

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In a media statement issued September 4, the commissioner of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Kevin Abrams, announced that his league, using the Hockey Eastern Ontario return-to-play plan as a guide, has been working with “four regional health units and ten municipalities through our twelve member teams” to formulate a path forward for hockey to resume.

The plan includes “modified play in pre-season” to begin October 1 for all teams, including the Hawkesbury Hawks and Cornwall Colts.

“In these uniquely challenging times, I must thank our member teams, the players and parents participating in the current programs, as well as the HEO RTP Task Team, the HEO Board and Staff, and the 4 local health units and facilities in the 10 municipalities that are home to the CCHL, for their support and patience as we work through these unprecedented times together.”

Kevin Abrams, commissioner of the CCHL

The 2019-20 CCHL season was abruptly halted in March, following instructions from Hockey Canada to suspend play due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league had just begun its playoffs, which included the Hawks, the second-place team from the Yzerman Division. The Colts didn’t qualify for the post-season, ending the campaign fifth in the division.

In preparation for the hoped puck drop on a new season, teams are spending this month engaged in training, skills development, and evaluation. Upon approval of the CCHL plan for the pre-season, Abrams will “submit a similar proposal for the commencement of the CCHL regular season in the ensuing weeks.”

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Maxville’s senior hockey league team announces signings, golf tourney

It may be to off-season for hockey, but there is plenty teams must do off the ice to get ready for a new campaign. Case in point is the Maxville Mustangs of the Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League (senior ‘A’) which has been signing players and preparing for its find-raising golf tournament.

On the signing front, the team recently announced the inking of Philippe Pelletier Leblanc and Dominik Blain Dupuis.

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Maxville Mustangs graphic

Pelletier Leblanc, a forward, hails from Gatineau. Last season, he skated with the Maniwaki Forestiers of the LHSAO, notching 39 points in 21 games. He’s noted as a “fast and skilful forward.” The 23-year-old’s hockey career includes stints in the QMJHL, U-Sports, and even overseas in France.

Maxville Mustangs graphic
Maxville Mustangs graphic

Another forward, Blain Dupuis also calls Gatineau home and was a member of the Forestiers for the 2019-20 campaign. His point total last year was 31 in 21 games played. Prior to his time in the LHSAO, the 22-year-old skated in the QMJHL (Halifax and Gatineau) and the QJAAAHL (Gatineau). He’s billed as “a quick player with a good vision.”

Golf tournament September 12 to support the fire department

On September 12, the Maxville Mustangs will hold a charity golf tournament, with half of the proceeds from the event going to the North Glengarry Fire Department – Station 3.

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Alexandria Curling Club requests input on return-to-play plans

As other local clubs have, the Alexandria Curling Club is looking for input from members on return-to-play plans for the coming season.

The club has an online survey available here.

The survey includes questions about what would encourage you to return to curling this year and what protocols should be in place to mitigate risks associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Club executive intend to use the feedback to facilitate their planning. Further to that, the club’s annual general meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 13, with limited in-person seating available (by prior arrangement with president Duncan Ferguson). The meeting will also be available for online participation.

For more information, please see their Facebook page here.

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