Tag Archives: Cornwall

It’s official: there will be no 2020 CFL season

On the heels of an announcement that our federal government would not provide an interest-free loan to the Canadian Football League in order to pave the way to an abbreviated 2020 season to be held in Winnipeg, the CFL today officially announced there will be no games this year and that they will now focus on 2021.

The cancellation of yet another league’s football season adds to the list this year, as one-by-one associations have cancelled play due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Locally, as previously reported on this website, we have seen the cancellation of spring youth football, the province-wide OFC league, and NCAFA (fall tackle football). Nationally, university football has pre-emptively been cancelled in three of four associations (Ontario, West, and Atlantic).

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“The Canadian Football League is shifting its focus to 2021 and beyond after deciding not to play a shortened season this Fall.”

CFL announcement, 17 August 2020

The CFL’s commissioner, Randy Ambrosie, was quoted in the league’s announcement, saying, “Our league governors decided today it is in the best long-term interests of the CFL to concentrate on the future. We are absolutely committed to 2021, to the future of our league, and the pursuit of our vision of a bigger, stronger, more global CFL.”

The CFL’s key point of revenue generation is ticket sales, so that means fans in the seats, something that isn’t in the cards for this year. The league had been exploring a plan to play all games in Winnipeg, without fans in attendance, and was looking for some help from the federal government, in the form of a loan to do so. Word came out over the weekend that the loan application had been rejected.

Eastern Ontario’s entry in the CFL, the Ottawa RedBlacks, announced on Twitter, “Our sights are now set on the 2021 Season. Nous regardons maintenant vers la saison 2021.”

On a positive note, there are plans locally for some football, though, as the Cornwall Wildcats have put together a fall flag football program for youth.

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Char-Lan skaters return to the ice in Cornwall

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed their season, members of the Char-Lan Skating Club returned to the ice, skating at Cornwall’s multi-sport complex.

The StarSkaters group, following health protocols, including physical distancing, worked out for their first session since mid-March.

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Members of the Char-Lan Skating Club return to the ice, skating at Cornwall’s multi-sport complex. (submitted photo)

The club is aiming to see its regular program back in Williamstown, starting September 21, at the Char-Lan Rec. Centre.

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Flag football for youth to be offered by Cornwall Wildcats

Following the announcement of the cancellation of the NCAFA (fall youth tackle football) season, the Cornwall Wildcats Football Club has put together a plan to offer flag football in the Seaway City.

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Game format will be seven-on-seven, with the action to take place in September and October, though practices are slated to start later this month.

In the announcement, the Wildcats note that the sport’s governing body, Football Ontario, has moved into phase three of its return to play plan. This allows for club-level training and flag football. In other words, teams can compete in-house, but not against other football club.

The Wildcats stress that registration is limited in number, due to Football Ontario restrictions. registration will be closed once maximum numbers are reached at each level.

The Wildcats plan to form teams at the conclusion of the registration period, together with a practice and game schedule, with the aim for a six to eight-game season, with one practice session per week.

Age groups are mosquito (DOB 2009, 2010, 2011), peewee (DOB 2007, 2008), bantam (DOB 2005, 2006), and midget (DOB 2002, 2003, 2004). For further details, including a link to register, please see this webpage.

For more background on the status of football this year, please see this past post.

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Joey Ladouceur sets track record at Cornwall Motor Speedway

During a practice session on the clay oval at the Cornwall Motor Speedway on Sunday, Alexandria race car driver Joey Ladouceur set a new track record in the 358-Modified class, completing the circuit in 12.640 seconds.

Joey Ladouceur
Joey Ladouceur racing his family’s #23 car at the Cornwall Motor Speedway. (submitted photo)

Ladouceur tells me, “The track record was set during practice in the Modified division, driving our family-owned #23 Mr Radiator Auto Service Dirt Modified (Cornwall’s premier division) car. The chassis is a Bicknell chassis (built in St. Catharine’s ,Ontario), and the engine is one that my dad, Laurent [a Glengarry Sport Hall of Fame inductee], built. Most of the other competitors have engines that they buy from professional engine builders that cost $25,000 – $30,000, so it was nice to have something that we built ourselves beat all the professionally-built engines.”

On the conditions for the August 9 racing, the veteran drivers says, “After a brief rain delay, and some prepping of the moist clay by the speedway track crew, the track conditions were perfect for a track record (there’s a lot of traction when the clay transitions from slippery to tacky/sticky. After that is begins to harden and slowly transitions to hard clay, kinda like polishing cement, which leads to a decline in traction and slower lap times.”

To see a video of Ladouceur on the track, follow this link to his Facebook post.

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Parsons finally gets to visit his OHL draft club in Kitchener

With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, some aspects of hockey life have gone on, while others have stopped or been changed. For a young goaltender from Embrun, the situation over the past few months delayed his visit to his OHL draft club until this week.

The 15-year-old Jackson Parsons, who was picked in the 2020 OHL draft in the third round, 53rd overall, by the Kitchener Rangers. The top junior league in the province held its draft virtually this year, so this recent visit to the team’s home was Parsons’ first opportunity to see their facilities and meet in-person with staff.

Jackson Parsons
Goaltender Jackson Parsons visited the Kitchener Rangers OHL hockey club in person for the first time recently. (Rangers OHL photo)

Since being drafted, he’s connected remotely with coaches. He’s also participated in Hockey Canada sessions online.

The teen backstop spent the 2019-20 season with the U18 Cornwall Colts and the CCHL2 Char-Lan Rebels. For background, see this previously posted story about Parsons.

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Junior A hockey league conducts virtual AGM as part of plans to return to play

The Central Canada Hockey League (junior ‘A’) held its Annual General Meeting on June 29, the first time it had been done via video conferencing, for the 12 clubs of the Eastern Ontario loop.

“While uncertainty remains, the return to play protocols developed by Hockey Eastern Ontario through our four local health units and the Canadian Junior Hockey League have allowed us to prepare for the upcoming weeks and months.

The CCHL will conduct its scheduled meeting on July 15, and at that time will confirm the start date and schedule length based on the most current information of the day.

We look forward to hitting the ice for training camp and our annual showcase when it is safe for players, officials and spectators to do so.

CCHL announcement following the 2020 Annual General Meeting

The 2019-20 came to an abrupt end in March, with the playoffs set to begin, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandated Hockey Canada shutdown.

The Hawkesbury Hawks (36-24-2-0) were scheduled to play the Smiths Falls Bear (33.24-3-2) in their opening-round playoff series, while the Cornwall Colts (21-35-1-5) didn’t qualify for post-season action.

The Hawks are hoping to open training camp later this month, in Ottawa. The club is also slated to host the 2021 Fred Page Cup (Eastern Canadian Championship), in May.

As for the Colts, information isn’t currently available.

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Sounds of silence: plug pulled on all GSL outdoor soccer for 2020

The latest announcement from the Glengarry Soccer League officially ended any prospect of a summer season of the beautiful game in the county, as the GSL has pulled the plug on play in all adult divisions.

The GSL had previously cancelled the minor (youth) season for summer 2020, but there was hope of some sort of adult season, perhaps later in the summer or early fall.

That prospect was ended with this June 22 announcement: “Unfortunately, there will be no GSL soccer this outdoor season. The GSL has made the difficult decision to cancel ALL divisions. This includes Senior, Tier 2, and Hearts (in addition to the previously cancelled minor division).”

The addition of the Hearts to the cancellation list refers to the competitive Glengarry Hearts minor teams that the county fields each year to compete in the East Region Soccer League. The ERSL has not cancelled its season, which, in a normal year, would have begun in mid-May and run through August, occasionally into September.

A GSL representative told me that the county league was waiting on word from the ERSL and/or the EODSA (the Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association, which is the region’s governing body for the sport), but none came, so the GSL acted, officially silencing soccer balls in Glengarry.

Meanwhile, Ontario Soccer and the EODSA has announced that clubs can begin phase 1 of the Return to Play plan.

Ontario Soccer notice
Ontario Soccer graphic

According to Ontario Soccer plan, phase 1 allows for a return to modified training. Restrictions include no contact and no league, exhibition, festival, or tournament matches.

Ontario Soccer notes that the organization “will determine timelines for each Phase in alignment with the Province of Ontario provincial health authorities involving government orders, restrictions, and guidelines.”

The ERSL has been working on a contingency plan to salvage a 2020 season, which now will not include any Glengarry Hearts teams. According to the current outline, “If we are not in Phase 3 of Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guidelines on or before July 31, 2020, the ERSL will cancel the 2020 outdoor season.”

The hope is that a 9-week season could start August 2, providing 10 to 12 games per team, and running through early October. This is what the ERSL bills as “our most extensive delay,” one of a number of scenarios within their contingency plan. Under this situation, divisions would be assigned two game days per week, Cup and Shield events would be cancelled, and there would be no two-week break in the schedule.

The Cornwall-based Seaway Valley Soccer Club also cancelled its 2020 outdoor season for house teams and the Coyotes (tournament play).

The Seaway Valley Blazers ERSL teams, which play out of Cornwall, are still registered to play in the region’s competitive league, should its season proceed at some point. Currently, the club is set to field boys teams at the U10, U11, U12, U13, U14, U15 (two squads), U16, U17, and U18 levels. On the girls side, expected teams are U10, U11, U12, U13, U14, U16, and U18 (two squads).

Training for Match Officials

Registration for online training of match officials continues through to July 3. Clinics are expected to be run in August, assuming sufficient numbers sign up.

The GSL’s minor referee-in-chief, Matthew Houlzet, notes, “All learning is completed online and will certify you to referee and line games for U12 and older.”

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Cyclist to pedal 250 km perimeter of SDG in fundraiser

Joe McNamara plans to take to his bike on June 20, cycling 250 km to complete a perimeter ride of Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, raising funds for charity.

Joe McNamara
Joe McNamara challenges local cyclists to join his fund-raising effort this month

The ride will support the Rotary Club of Cornwall and local food banks, and you can get on board in one of two ways: by sponsoring McNamara or by participating in a virtual ride of your own.

He plans to set off on his journey at 5:45 a.m., aiming to complete the course by sundown, around 8:50 p.m. on what is the longest day of the year, our summer solstice.

You can support McNamara by donating here.

Cyclists who’d like to register to join in a virtual ride on June 20 will receive a special patch, stick, and certificate in recognition of their achievement. A portion of the entry collected will be donated to the Rotary Club of Cornwall Sunrise Foundation and distributed evenly to local food banks.

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South Glengarry officially shutters all rec facilities, programs through the summer

It’s official: sports and recreation facilities, along with all programming, will be shuttered through the end of the summer in the township of South Glengarry.

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The closure means that all township-organized sports leagues, summer camps, and recreation programs are cancelled through to September 1. As well, facilities are closed and will not be accepting bookings.

The township’s notice indicated they had received 1000 registrations to date for various programs.

From the announcement…

“Township staff relied on guidance from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), which ensures municipalities are meeting, or exceeding, the orders issued by the Province of Ontario. The Township’s summer camp and programs, as originally planned, would not presently meet COVID-19 prevention and control measures for physical distancing requirements, participant ratios, and access to facilities,” explained Rick Ladouceur, director of recreation and facilities with the Township of South Glengarry.

May 28, 2020 statement from the Township of South Glengarry

Refunds will be issued to those who had already paid for programming.

The township notes that while organized programming has been cancelled, outdoor facilities are open and available for use, with some restrictions.

Trails, tennis courts, soccer fields, and ball diamonds are open, though residents are reminded to follow physical distancing guidelines set by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the Ford government.

Closed in the township are the splash pad in Williamstown, play structures, picnic areas, and all indoor facilities.

Taxpayers shouldn’t be expecting a positive impact to the township’s budget, though.

As Lachlan McDonald, South Glengarry’s treasurer and general manager of corporate services, explains to me that “we have deployed a lot of those resources to maintenance items, and with halls/facilities closed it is the optimal time to re-fresh – coat of paint, plaster holes, etc. The interesting thing, when thinking about soccer, is that despite no soccer/parks, we are still keeping the grass cut.”

As well, full staff continue to work, though have been “deployed somewhat differently.”

Budget-wise, the recreation and facilities line went from $1,428,030 in 2019 to $1,759,800 for 2020. McDonald adds, “I’m hoping some of the efficiencies found during these times of austerity will have an afterglow in budget 2021 and onward.”

North Glengarry and Cornwall

In Cornwall, recreation programs remain suspended. As for facilities, the city has closed the aquatic centre, the multi-sport complex, the civic complex, the BMX track in Guindon Park, play structures, picnic areas, the outdoor gym, splash pads, and outdoor pools.

Meanwhile, outdoor recreational facilities, such as fields, ball diamonds, the skatepark, and tennis courts, are “open for low-contact, single-competitor sports. No team play is permitted. Clubhouses and change rooms remain closed.”

Some of the the city’s public washrooms at recreational areas are open, though.

Also open are Marina 200, boat launches, and trails.

North Glengarry continues to follow recommendations from the Ontario government, mayor Jamie MacDonald tells me. The township hasn’t made any decisions regarding the summer, as of yet, though.

As the North Glengarry website notes, “At this time playground equipment and bathrooms remain closed until further notice. Users are asked to respect Public Health safety recommendations while using any park installations.”

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Minor soccer officially cancelled by the GSL

It’s now official: there will be no minor soccer season this year in the Glengarry Soccer League, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sport’s governing body had been extending no-play orders month-by-month, with the latest restricting activity through the end of June.

At the time of that announcement on May 11, the GSL stated that it would convene its board and committee members to explore options. Yesterday, the league announced there would be no minor soccer for the 2020 season.

“The Glengarry Soccer League has made the difficult decision to cancel the Outdoor 2020 season for the MINOR division. An email will be sent out to all participants with information regarding refunds. At this time, a decision has not been made for the Senior and Tier 2 divisions.”

GSL announcement, May 24

Matthew Houlzet, who serves at the GSL referee assignor and GSL minor referee-in-chief and works as a soccer official himself, tells me that the league is still hoping that there will be adult soccer in some form, though the schedule will have to be adjusted and/or compressed.

Typically, senior soccer begins in the latter stages of May, concluding in August. At best, this year, play could begin in July, unless Ontario Soccer extends the prohibition on play through that month.

The GSL will be looking at various schedule options that could see play (if it happens at all) extend into the fall, perhaps as late as October.

The only certainty at this point is that there will be no youth matches in the Glengarry Soccer League this summer.

In terms of other area leagues, today the Cornwall-based Seaway Valley Soccer Club announced the cancellation of its house league and Coyotes (semi-competitive, all-star program) seasons.

“Due in part to the closure of facilities, the uncertainty of distancing orders surrounding recreational programming, the amount of time it would take to properly organize a recreational soccer program, SVSC must in the best interest of all, unfortunately, cancel its House League and Coyotes programs for spring/summer 2020. It should be noted that this decision did not come lightly, but the safety for all is the most important to the club and we appreciate the patience from parents, players, coaches, and officials.

Should the situation change with current conditions of COVID-19, SVSC will be looking at other options to provide possible soccer training activities once it is deemed safe to do so.”

Seaway Valley Soccer Club statement, May 25

At this time, the East Region Soccer League, the top competitive youth loop in this area, continues to explore options for a 2020 season. The GSL via Glengarry Hearts and the SVSC through its Cornwall Blazers teams participate in this league.

The ERSL has not cancelled play for this summer, but has suspended all in-person activities per direction from Ontario Soccer. Updates on modifications to rules and potential play can be followed on their website here.

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