With the spring high school schedule shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Glengarry District High School was forced to find an alternate way to celebrate its athletes this year, creating a video celebration.
Typically at the end of each school year, student-athletes and their classmates gather together with coaches and teachers for the presentation of awards and trophies. However, this year, that wasn’t possible, as everything was shut down back in March.
Members of the Glengarry District High School Gaels cross-country running team, under the auspices of coach Glen Campbell, have been able to get in some informal, off-season training, in preparation for the fall season.
Campbell assembled training routines for the athletes who are taking it upon themselves to work on their fitness and long-distance running skills.
In high school’s the sport of cross-country running is typically begins shortly after the start of academic year in September, continuing through October. In addition to training at the school, athletes typically run in several optional meets in the fall, in preparation for the SD&G championship meet.
The hope is, this year, that cross-country will be one of the sports still on when/if a regular high school schedule resumes in September.
This year’s spring season of community youth tackle football has been officially cancelled, as a result of health precautions in the fight with the COVID-19 virus.
The Cornwall Wildcats and Glengarry Gaels football clubs broke the news to their players and families, via social media.
Gaels club president Ian Parent stated, “Our spring program was due to start in the next few weeks, but the Ontario Football Alliance has suspended all activities for the month of May, forcing us to cancel our season.”
The club will be processing refunds in the coming weeks for anyone who had previously registered and paid.
Parent added in his announcement, “We will keep you informed of all further developments and are hopeful to be able to field our Varsity [high school] team in the fall. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for possible club events and fundraising activities.”
The Glengarry organization, based at GDHS in Alexandria, typically fields a spring team at each level, providing gridiron football for boys and girls aged 7 through 15.
The announcement from the Cornwall Wildcats: “Our Seaway Valley Spring House League was due to start playing games in early May. Registration numbers have been strong, but the Ontario Football Alliance, which is the governing body of football in Ontario, has suspended all football activities in May. THIS NOW FORCES US TO CANCEL THE 2020 SPRING SEASON.”
“We are hopeful for a 2020 NCAFA season. Traditionally try-outs begin in late July, with the season starting third week of August. We will continue to look to Football Canada and Ontario Football Alliance for guidance on start dates.”
Cornwall Wildcats announcement
The Wildcats recommend that athletes “continue to be active and to stay in shape,” adding, “We will be back on the field at some point and we want to be ready! Thank you to CROSSFIT CORNWALL and coach KYLE LABELLE for his great workouts on social media.”
All high school Ontario-wide championships scheduled for this spring under the auspices of OFSAA have been cancelled, as the organization announced today.
Our region typically has athletes competing at the provincial track and field championships, and often we have a team or two battling in soccer as well, but this year that won’t happen.
The Glengarry Gaels boys soccer team won OFSAA gold in 2019, triumphing at the tournament held in Ancaster, while the girls from Le Relais captured silver, also in Ancaster.
Gaels boys team head coach Glen Campbell told me in February that he had 13 team members back this year from last season’s provincial championship squad. The boys had been conducting informal sessions during lunch breaks prior to the March Break and ensuing shutdown of schools due to COVID-19.
With the cancellation of the provincial competitions this year, Glengarry will have to wait another season to try to defend its title.
In the March 31 announcement from the OFSAA president, Nick Rowe stated, “As we continue to cope in these challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with great disappointment that we announce Tuesday the cancellation of the remaining 2020 spring OFSAA championships and festivals.
“On behalf of the OFSAA Executive Council and all of our staff, we are thankful for the commitment and passion of all student-athletes, coaches, convenors, and volunteer host organizing committees to this point in the school year. Volunteers are the driving force in the planning efforts and execution of these events. A sincere thank you to each and every one of the volunteers across the province.
“As we endure this uncertain coronavirus health crisis, OFSAA will continue to follow the direction of public health experts and government agencies.
“We eagerly look forward to when we can safely get back to the classroom and when sport returns to our school communities.
“Stay safe and healthy.”
This year’s boys ‘A’ soccer tournament was scheduled to be held in London, while the girls event was slated for Perth. Track and field was booked for Toronto.
At this stage, there is no confirmation on when or if high school sports will resume locally.
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.
Football Canada, the nation’s oversight body for the gridiron game, yesterday issued a recommendation to leagues and clubs across the country to consider “suspension of practice or play until further notice.”
The Cornwall Wildcats had begun pre-season training camp for the OFC provincial team under new head coach Alex Labonte. As well, the club was running speed and agility training, along with NCAFA teams pre-season practices. All of these activities are suspended, effective March 13.
Labonte adds, “It’s a temporary stop, hopefully.” At the OFC level, players are being encouraged to work out on their own. The head coach is also looking at holding meetings online, via FaceTime.
The Glengarry Gaels football club hadn’t yet begun its spring activities, president Ian Parent noted in an online post. The focus currently is on player registration for the spring outdoor tackle season.
Heritage high school, in Cornwall, hosted the SDGAA playoffs for girls volleyball teams earlier this week, with the junior and senior teams from Glengarry District High School finishing as runners-up in their respective divisions.
The senior championship match saw the host Dragons sweep the Gaels, on scores of 25-12, and 25-7.
In quarter-final play to begin the day, Tagwi topped St. Lawrence (25-10, 25-19) and Char-Lan got past North Dundas (25-20, 25-19) .
The Crusaders bowed out to Heritage in their semifinal, on a straight-sets decision (25-6, 25-11), and the Glengarry ousted the Warriors (26-24, 25-11).
On the junior side of the ledger, North Dundas claimed the championship over the Gaels, winning in straight sets, 25-22 and 25-15. It was the only junior match of the day to end in a straight-sets decision.
Quarter-final action saw Glengarry beat Tagwi (25-22, 19-25, 15-13), while Char-Lan got past the Saints (25-8, 20-25, 15-5).
The Devils earned their spot in the title tilt with a semifinal win over the Crusaders (25-27, 27-25, 15-12). The Gaels prevailed in the other semi against Heritage (23-25, 25-18, 15-12).
EOSSAA at the senior ‘A’ level is scheduled for February 27 in Brockville, while the junior tournament has been moved to March 3, also in Brockville. Both events are slated to be hosted by St. Mary Catholic High School.
Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School is scheduled to host the SD&G boys ‘A’ playoffs on February 18, including senior and junior Falcons teams. Joining the party will be both squads from Glengarry District High School.
HT’s seniors completed the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record in league play. St. Lawrence finished second at 9-1. L’Heritage ended up third, and the Gaels, at 6-4, grabbed the final playoff spot. Last week’s win over Tagwi pushed the Warriors to fifth, and out of the playoffs, at 4-6.
On the junior side, the Falcons topped the table with a 7-1 record, as the Saints placed second, at 5-3. The Dragons were third, followed by GDHS, which needed the win last week over Tagwi, to get into the playoffs.
Playoff game schedule
9:30 a.m. junior semifinal – Holy Trinity vs Glengarry
11 a.m. junior semifinal – St. Lawrence vs Heritage
12:30 p.m. senior semifinal – Holy Trinity vs Glengarry
2 p.m. senior semifinal – St. Lawrence vs Heritage
3:30 p.m. junior championship
5 p.m. senior championship
The senior champion will qualify for EOSSAA, set for February 26-27 in Perth, while the junior victor advances to EOSSAA at St. Lawrence in Cornwall, on February 25.
Competing in Chatham last week at the Ontario School Curling Championships, the boys rink representing Glengarry District High School garnered bronze, the team’s lone loss coming in the semifinal.
On Saturday morning, the Gaels squared off against Carleton Place High School. Coach Lindsey Howes reports that “it was a very close game and it came down to the last end.” The Glengarry boys were set up to score 1 without the hammer. “On our last shot, the guard was a little shy of where we needed it, and the CP skip capitalized for the win by stealing 3. As you can imagine this was a tough loss.” The final was 7-6.
The defeat sent GDHS on to play a team with home-ice advantage, Ursuline College School, for the bronze medal. Again this one was close. Gaels skip Addison Hay, with the help of precise line calling from third Braeden Hay and intense sweeping from Camden Van Loon and Caleb Raymond, made two beautiful shots in the last end for the 6-5 win.
The Gaels opened the competition with a 5-3 round-robin victory over Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate. The next morning, This morning, GD played St. John’s College from Brantford, prevailing 9-4, as the opposing team conceded after 6 ends.
In the afternoon, the Gaels tangled with Haliburton Highlands SS. After two blank ends, Haliburton stole 1 in the third. The fourth was another blank. GD scored 1 in the fifth and then stole 1 in the sixth to take the lead, but their opponents scored a single in the seventh to tie.
In the eighth end, the Haliburton skip made a beautiful draw to the button almost completely buried under a centre line guard. Glengarry’s skip responded, though, able to tap out the Haliburton stone to sit one for the win, 3-2.
“We played some really close games which helped us gain some great experience playing in high-pressure situations. My team really came together to win the bronze medal, making the long trip to Chatham worthwhile,” says skip Addison Hay.
The GD team was further honoured when two of their team members won positions on the all-star team. These awards are based on player stats during round-robin play. Addison Hay earned the spot of skip on the second all-star team and Braeden Hay was chosen as third on the first all-star team.
The GDHS rink would like to extend thanks to all the organizers, the Chatham Granite Club, and a special thanks to Denis and Jackie Bray who hosted the boys in their home during the tournament.