Local competitive sports have been in short supply of late, but the Cornwall Wildcats are working to change that, offering a youth flag football program. The midget level kicked off last Friday at Joe St. Denis Field, with other levels to begin play in the week ahead.
Levels of play in the league, with all matches in Cornwall, are mosquito (DOB 2009, 2010, 2011), peewee (DOB 2007, 2008), bantam (DOB 2005, 2006), and midget (DOB 2002, 2003, 2004).
The flag football program follows the cancellation of contact football leagues in the region due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of the Wildcats, this meant there would be no NCAFA youth tackle football this fall.
The World Junior A Hockey Challenge tournament was scheduled to be held in December but has now been cancelled as part of Hockey Canada’s suspension of events booked for fall 2020.
It would have been the 15th annual edition of the international hockey tournament that features tier 2 junior ‘A’ teams from hockey-dominant countries. Traditionally, Canada has two entries, and local players have featured on past squads.
The 2020 event had been scheduled for December 13-19 with games to be played at the Cornwall Civic Complex.
According to the Hockey Canada release, organizers will be looking to reschedule the event to December 2021.
Other cancelled tournaments are the national women’s under-18 championship, set for November in B.C., and the para hockey cup, booked for December in Nova Scotia.
From the announcement, “Hockey Canada’s priority remains the health and safety of all participants and the general public. We believe the decision to cancel these events is the safest decision given the ongoing uncertainty of the [COVID-19] pandemic at the local level, as well as the international implications associated with these events.”
Alexandria’s Ben Lowe retained his title as club champion, following his win over the weekend in the Glengarry Golf and Country Club’s two-day tournament, organized by Jean-Marc Titley.
On rounds of 72 and 74, Lowe prevailed over the field at the August 23-23 event, to win the A flight and, with it, the 2020 club championship. The Bishop’s University student-athlete was one stroke off his result from last year, when he carded a two-day score of 145.
Lowe tells me that he has “been playing quite a bit” of golf over the summer, competing in a few area tournament, “but still haven’t been able to practice as much as I’ve liked.”
He’s a familiar face at the Alexandria golf course, as he also works there.
The 20-year-old Glengarrian is scheduled to head back to university over the Labour Day weekend, and from what has been announced so far, the university golf season is still a go this fall in the province of Quebec, “fingers crossed.” It’s the lone jurisdiction in Canada to still have fall sports on the schedule, as associations in Ontario, western Canada, and the Atlantic region have pre-emptively cancelled all sports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All national championships have also been nixed.
Nate MacMillan was the A Flight runner-up at the club championship tournament, shooting a two-day total of 154.
Marc Sauve won the B Flight (164), with Marc Rolland placing second (172)
Gilles Leroux topped the C Flight (182).
In the senior group, Denis Barsalo won, recording a 157, while Bill Shields placed second, with a 161.
It may be summer, but some hockey players returned to the ice this month, including members of the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ organization, which has been holding development sessions as league play remains uncertain.
Under current Hockey Canada guidelines and health authority restrictions, Eastern Ontario’s ‘AAA’ hockey league is allowing clubs to conduct “conditioning and development sessions throughout August [to conclude] with an invitation to 17-22 players per age group to form a bubble starting in September.”
According to the plan for the Eastern Ontario Wild club, “This bubble will then continue development until such time as HEO (and other authorities having jurisdiction) allow five-on-five traditional programming. The range of 17-22 participants is based on the maximum allowable on-ice participants in the various facilities in HEO territory. The E.O. Wild does not have the capacity to develop more players per level due to facility restrictions and availability of ice in the region.”
The objective of the bubble program will be to focus on continued development of players this fall until such time as regular game play is permitted.
The Wild ices teams at the major bantam (now officially being called U15), minor bantam (U14), and major peewee (U13). Coaches, respectively, are Carl Robillard, Chris Martin, and Dave Byrne. The club draws players from Cornwall, Akwesasne, Glengarry, Prescott-Russell, Cumberland, and Russell.
Moving forward, the club aims to hold, once traditional programming is permitted to resume, “a coordinated tryout open to all players, including those not part of the player E.O. Wild bubbles, to create our rostered teams.”
Fresh off last weekend’s 2020-21 season training camp in Hawkesbury, the Hawks have announced the signing of a new goaltender.
The club inked 20-year-old Kirkland native Thomas Gale, who was recently named NCDC goaltender of the year for the 2019-20 season. The backstop is also an NCAA Division 1 commit, slated to play at Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts) starting with the 2021-22 season.
With the Boston Jr. Bruins last winter, the netminder posted a 2.38 goals-against average on 41 games.
The Hawks also recently announced an addition to their coaching crew, as Dominic Lamarche joined the club in the capacity of an assistant coach.
A local businessman, Lamarche has been coaching for the past seven years and formerly played in the CCHL. He’s a Hawks alumnus.
Rick Dorval returns as head coach and general manager.
On his signing of goaltender Gale, Dorval says, “I’ve been tracking Tommy for two years now. The way he reads puck coming off the opponent’s sticks [and] the way he plays the puck are beyond his years. Furthermore, his compete level will bring some leadership to this group. The opportunity to bring in a goalie with this experience and ability for the Fred Page Cup is going to be a big push for our program.”
It’s been tough for the squad to get back on the ice this summer, due to the COVID-19 situation. The club’s development camp was scrapped, while training camp was delayed until last weekend, operating under current Hockey Canada and health authority restrictions.
While teams across the region’s junior ‘A’ league have been busy with behind-the-scenes preparations and training camps, there remains uncertainty as to when/if the puck will actually drop on the 2020-21 campaign. At last check, the CCHL was looking at an October start, delaying its opening by a month. Currently, Hockey Canada guidelines and health authority regulations bar any inter-club play.
Following on the heels of an announcement by OFSAA that cancelled all provincial high school sports championships for fall 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the region’s sports body announced the cancellation of all EOSSAA event for fall 2020 as well.
Traditionally, the fall schedule of high school sports championships includes cross-country running, girls basketball, boys volleyball, football, and golf.
As for the possibility of any form of sports at schools this fall, I am told that inter-board events definitely will not be happening. There is a possibility of some activities within a board, but it is more likely that sports will only take place in a limited form within individual schools.
The UCDSB, for example, in its return-to-school document states, “Inter-school sports will not be occurring at this time. Schools may, however, offer co-curricular (such as some intramural sports activities), if cohorting requirements can be maintained and physical distancing is possible. Areas that are used must be able to be cleaned between cohorts.”
The region’s English Catholic board, the CDSBEO, notes in its document, “Sports continue to be on hold until the Ministry of Education, in consultation with public health authorities, indicate that it is safe for sports to resume.” However, the board adds that it recognizes sports to be an “integral part of the school experience for many students” and will aim to “resume sports and extracurricular activities that can safely continue based on input from the Ministry of Education and local public medical officers of health.”
The county’s junior ‘B’ hockey clubs, traditional rivals on the ice, have joined forces for a golf tournament, to be held September 12, at Lancaster’s Heritage Golf Club.
The ‘Battle of Glengarry’ on the links is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. through noon. Entry of $100 per player includes golf, use of a cart, and lunch. Registration is available online here.
The event is open to players, alumni, and supporters. I am told that organizers are aiming to field 13 foursomes, with scoring combined in some way to highlight the Glens-versus-Rebels friendly rivalry.
Char-Lan Rebels training camp
The 2020 Rebels training camp will be held in early September, with date/location yet to be confirmed. Head coach and general manager Jeff Carter invites prospective players aged 16 through 20 to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-360-0711.
Alexandria Glens camp, announcer
Training camp for the Alexandria Glens is scheduled to be held in Alexandria, beginning Friday, September 18. Prospects for the 52nd annual edition of the Glens are asked to register online in advance.
In other team news, the Glens have announced the addition of a play-by-play commentator for the team’s home broadcasts via the Hockey TV platform. Liam Arkinson joins the organization in this capacity, having formerly served in this role with the Ottawa West Golden Knights.
The Alexandria-based Glengarry Pipers haven’t let the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic stop preparations for an inaugural campaign in the Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League (senior ‘A’), with player signings and on-ice workout sessions continuing through the summer, as the club looks forward to camp in September and competition to begin in October.
Today, the team announced a trade with Cornwall’s club, the Prowlers.
Amongst other recent news, the team signed 6 ft. 4 in. forward Michael Zollo. The 34-year-old from LaSalle, Quebec, spent last season in la belle province’s senior league, the LHSAAAQ.
Last month, the Pipers, led by general manager Jamie Lavigne, signed Marc-Antoine Pilon, who is billed as a “smooth-skating defenceman who sees the ice well and can put up decent numbers.” Pilon is 28 and played last season with the Waterloo Maroons, which compete in a Montreal-area senior league.
The team has also announced a number of familiar local names who are slated to be part of the Pipers for the 2020-21 season. Among them are Brad Gabbour, Kole Beaton, Liam Vipond, Austin Ladouceur, Erik Just, and Ryan Allen. Others on the roster include Ethan Scott, Neil Chabot, Mario Duquette, Julien Machabee, and Will Simpson.
That was followed by the EOSHL draft, where the Pipers picked Miguel Poissant, Jakob Brunette, and Kevin Howson.
In addition to the Glengarry Pipers, the region’s senior ‘A’ hockey league also features the Maxville Mustangs (formerly the Millionaires), the defending-champion Cornwall Prowlers, the West Carleton Rivermen (last season’s top regular-season team), the Deseronto Bulldogs, the Frontenac Phantoms (another new entrant), and the Smiths Falls Rideaus (also new for the 2020-21 season).
Traditionally at the time of year in the county, we would be getting ready to celebrate the latest crop of inductees to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Game, but alas, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that isn’t happening.
The five inductees – Barb Benton, Glen Campbell, Heather MacLeod, Michael Robertson, and Corey Van Loon – from this year will officially be recognized at a celebration next year, scheduled for August 18, 2021, in Maxville.
I am told that there will be no additional inductees next year, as there are no plans to make the 2021 event a double bill.
The hall typically publishes biographies of each of the inductees in the lead-up to the event, and these articles are scheduled to be revealed the the public next spring.