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.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to loom over us, the Ontario government recently announced its plan for students to return to schools in September, with a brief mention of sports and recreation activities.
However, specifically on schools, OFSAA, the province’s governing body for high school athletics, has announced there will be no Ontario championships this fall. Traditionally, the slate would include golf, cross-country running, football, girls basketball, and boys volleyball.
Regarding EOSSAA, the regional body for high school sports, no official announcement has been made, though I have been told that they will “follow OFSAA’s direction.”
Locally, the SDGAA and PRSSAA have not made official statements either. Marc Poirier, head of athletics at Holy Trinity (which competes in the SD&G league) and Éric Crête, a coach at Le Relais (Prescott-Russell league), tell me they have not heard of any local planning.
I’m told that it’s possible individual boards may allow some sort of sports/recreation, in line with government direction, which suggests activities can only take place within a school (i.e. n inter-school competition), whilst maintaining physically distancing and enhanced cleaning. Whether boards and schools decide to take on the risk remains to be seen.
Across the country, university sports have been cancelled in three of four leagues (Only Quebec still has plans for competition). In Ontario, college sports this fall have also been cancelled.
While the boys competed at the separate Ontario championships, Glengarry’s mixed and girls rinks battled at EOSSAA, in Pembroke and Eganville.
The mixed team of Virginia Vander Byl (lead), Rowan McPherson (second), Abbey Lowe (third), and Matthew Bill (skip), coached by Lindsey Howes (coach), automatically qualified for EOSSAA, as there was no competition at the SD&G bonspiel. At the regional event, the Gaels nabbed bronze, in a four-team pool.
They started round-robin play at the Eganville Curling Club against Holy Cross Catholic School from Kemptville. GD got off to a slow start but came back in the 4th end to score a single, making the score 5-1. The Gaels stole a point in the 5th end, while Holy Cross took 3 in the 6th. The teams shook hands at this point, on a final 8-2 score.
Glengarry’s second game set the Gaels against St. Mary’s Catholic School from Brockville. This game had some great shots. GD opened the match with a 3. St. Mary’s scored 1 in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd to tighten things up, but the Gaels responded with singles in the 4th and the 5th. St. Mary’s came back to score 2 in the 6th and 3 in the 7th to end the game with the win, 8-4.
In the third round-robin game, Glengarry tangled with Opeongo DHS from Douglas. It was a tough game, where the Gaels conceded after 6 ends, with a final score of 10-1.
Back in Eganville, Glengarry faced Holy Cross again, this time for the bronze medal. It was a back-and-forth game. HC opened with a single. Then GD scored 2 in the second and 1 in the 3rd. HC came back with 4 in the 4th end and 1 in the 5th. Glengarry scored 3 in the 6th to tie the game 6-6. HC was forced to 1 in the 7th, so GD had the hammer for the final end. With a nice draw to the 4-foot, the Gaels scored two for the bronze medal. The final score was 8-7.
Meanwhile, the girls, who were undefeated at the SD&G championships held in Cornwall and Morrisburg, competed at EOSSAA, which had two pools of four teams each.
Glengarry opened round-robin action at the Pembroke CC playing Opeongo High School from Douglas. The girls played a great game. GD scored 2 in the first end and a single in the second end. In the third end, OHS scored 1. In the 4th, the Gaels picked up 2 more, going on to add a single in 5th and 3 more in the 6th as the squad extended the lead to 9-1. OHS took 2 in the 7th, and GD finished off the game with 2 more points, winning 11-3.
In their second game, Glengarry’s girls tangled with South Grenville DHS from Prescott. This was a closer contest. GD scored a single in the first, and SG took singles in the 2nd and 3rd. The Gaels came back with 2 points in the 4th, while Prescott nabbed 3 in the 5th. GD rebounded to score 4 in the 6th, and SG took 1 in the 7th. The score was 7-6 for GD coming home with hammer. The Gaels clinched the victory, scoring 2 in the final end to win 9-6.
Their third round-robin game saw the Gaels play Notre Dame Catholic High School from Carleton Place, in Eganville. This was a back-and-forth game. GD made some great shots to tie the game in the 8th end (7-7) and force an extra end. Notre Dame came through to score one with the hammer to hand Glengarry its first loss.
In their semifinal, GD struggled to find their weight and readjust to conditions back in Pembroke. The Gaels lost to North Dundas, in a rematch of the SDG final, with a final score of 8-2 after 6 ends.
Still on the ice in Pembroke to close out the bonspiel, the Gaels had a rematch with Notre Dame. GD opened the scoring with a single. ND scored 2 in the 2nd to take the lead, but Glengarry replied with 2 in 3rd. ND got a single in the 4th to tie the game 3-3. GD scored one in the 5th to take a brief lead until the ND skip made a beautiful tap on her last shot in the 6th to score 5 points. GD scored a single in the 7th to bring the score to 8-5.
Glengarry ended its run with a fourth-place EOSSAA result.
Today in Napanee, girls hockey teams from St. Joseph’s CSS and Tagwi SS are skating at the 2020 EOSSAA tournament.
The two squads battled last week in the SD&G championship game, played March 4 in Long Sault, where the Panthers prevailed 7-2. As champion, St. Joseph’s earned an automatic entry for EOSSAA, while Tagwi qualified as a wildcard.
Both semifinals were shut-out wins, as St. Joseph’s blanked Char-Lan 6-0, while Tagwi topped Holy Trinity 2-0.
The boys hockey team from St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School, as the 2020 SDGAA champion, is skating today in Arnprior at EOSSAA.
The Panthers won the SD&G high school league playoff title last week in Long Sault, beating the Char-Lan Crusaders 3-1 in the final.
St. Joe’s and Char-Lan entered the March 3 tournament tied in regular-season record and points, but the Panthers got the top seed on a tie-breaking formula.
Following a scoreless first period in the championship game, the Panthers opened the scoring in the second stanza, when, with 5:26 left in the frame, Kale Lauzon found the back of the net, set up by Joshua Esfold and Ben Houle.
Char-Lan drew even in the third period, with 4:49 left on the clock, as Danny Flaro scored, assisted by Curtis St. Onge.
The Crusaders managed to survive a penalty, only to have St. Joseph’s score moments later, taking the lead for good. Adam Winter was the marksmen, taking the feed from Nolan Shane. The Panthers iced it in the dying seconds with an insurance tally from Shane.
Char-Lan advanced to the championship contest following a 6-2 semifinal win over Tagwi. Donovan Francis and St. Onge each scored twice for the winning side. The other Crusaders tallies came from Thomas Pasco and Seamus O’Connell. Assists went to Flaro (2), O’Connell, Francis, and Pasco. Warriors scoring were Nathan Gallinger and Matt Doyon, with assists from Liam Ault and Ben McAlear.
In the other semi, St. Joseph’s dispatched Catholic rival Holy Trinity 3-0.
The Panthers are seeded fourth at the six-team, one-day EOSSAA tournament.
Last week at the EOSSAA senior boys ‘A’ basketball tournament in Perth, the Holy Trinity Falcons reached the semifinals, before bowing out of the competition.
The Falcons, who were 1-1 in round-robin play, met the 2-0 Rideau DHS Lions in one of the day-two semis. HT led at the end of each of the first three quarters, but succumbed in the fourth, falling 55-53.
Ryan Stephens paced the Holy Trinity offence, scoring 13 points, including a trio of tres.
The 2019-20 HT Falcons had a league record of 12-0, en route to claiming the SD&G ‘A’ championship and qualifying for EOSSAA as the top seed.
The SD&G-champion Falcons team members are Sebastian Ignola-Menard, Ethan Da Silva, Umar Khan, Ethan Gilmour, Noah Raymond, Mishal Iqbal, Kaelin Larine, Mubarak Iqbal, Jacob Morin, Brandon Lauzon, Zack Belanger, Ryan Stephens, Aiden Crispen, and Alex Dovas.
Perth and Rideau both qualify for OFSAA, set for March 9-11 in North Bay.
Glengarry District High School has qualified two curling teams to compete at EOSSAA, which is scheduled for March 4 and 5 in Pembroke.
The Gaels girls rink garnered SD&G gold in Morrisburg on Tuesday. After qualifying for the day of play from round-one results the previous week in Cornwall, the girls started their playoff action with a game against St. Joseph’s CSS, winning to advance to the championship match.
North Dundas DHS provided the opposition, in what coach Lindsey Howes described as “a really great, back-and-forth game.”
Glengarry prevailed with a “nice heavy draw, tap to sit on the button.” The final score was 7-4 for GDHS, sealing the championship for the Gaels.
Joining the girls team at EOSSAA will be Glengarry’s mixed rink of Abbey Lowe, Rowan McPherson, Virginia Vander Byl, and Matthew Bill. The quartet automatically qualified for the regional bonspiel, as there were no SD&G opponents.
As for the boys rink of Addison Hay (skip), Braeden Hay (third), Camden Van Loon (second), and Caleb Raymond (lead), they opted to compete in the separate Ontario School Curling Championships, advancing to the provincial event in Chatham where they garnered bronze. Please see this previous story for all the details.
This morning in Perth, the top-ranked Holy Trinity Falcons senior boys basketball team dropped a tightly-contests EOSSAA ‘A’ semifinal 55-52 to the Rideau Lions, dropping HT to the consolation final, where they will square off with league rival St. Lawrence.
Today in Pembroke at the EOSSAA ‘AA’ senior girls volleyball tournament, the SD&G champion CCVS Raiders struggled against their round-robin opponents, bowing out of the event with a pair of match losses.
Playing Kingston CVI in the opener, the Raiders fell in straight sets, on scores of 25-9 and 25-13.
The second match, versus Thousand Islands SS (Brockville), went three sets before the Pirates sealed CCVS’ fate. Scores were 25-20, 17-25, and 15-3.