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.
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.
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.
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.