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.
There is still time for high school students to enter an essay contest being supported by the NHL’s Drew Doughty, with the deadline set for March 31 and a prize of $10,000 up for grabs.
The contest is being run by the company Scholars Education, which provides tutoring services. In partnering with Doughty for this essay contest, the company’s goal is “to help a deserving student further their education.” The NHL’ers role is a “commitment to helping Canadian students achieve academic success in light of recent school closures nationwide.”
From the announcement, “The scholarship is available to students in high school to attend a Canadian college or university. To apply, students must construct an essay (approximately 1,500 words) explaining how they have overcome adversity and explore the connection to a positive response to the world’s current situation. Eligible submissions will be judged by the Scholars Advisory Board which is made up of Canadian university professors with the winner chosen by Doughty himself. The $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student who shows exemplary writing skills.”
The deadline for applications for the scholarship is March 31, 2020. Students are invited to submit their essay application via e-mail to email@example.com with the subject line Essay Contest Submission.
The 2020 edition of the Bishop Cup rivalry hockey game between the Holy Trinity Falcons and St. Joseph’s Panthers is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11, in Cornwall.
HT is coming off a league season that saw the team finish fourth, on a 4-3-1 record, qualifying for the SDGAA playoffs, where the Falcons dropped their semifinal 3-0 to the Panthers.
Meanwhile, St. Joseph’s (7-1-0) won the SD&G championship, qualifying for EOSSAA. At the March 10 tournament in Arnprior, the Panthers skated to a tie and a loss in round-robin play, failing to reach the championship game.
More details on the Bishop Cup can be found on the Facebook event page here. The game is held in support of the St. Vincent de Paul Society (Cornwall). Admission is $2.
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.
The Long Sault arena is set to host SDGAA high school girls and boys hockey playoff tournaments this week.
On Tuesday, March 3, the girls will take to the ice, starting at 8 a.m. St. Joseph’s, the top seed, will play Char-Lan in the first semifinal. That will be followed, at 9:30 a.m., by the second semi, featuring Tagwi and Holy Trinity. The championship game is booked for noon.
The SD&G champ qualifies for EOSSAA, which is booked for March 10 in Napanee.
On Wednesday, the top four boys teams from the regular season will battle in SD&G playoffs. Catholic rivals St. Joseph’s and Holy Trinity get the opening semifinal at 8 a.m., while Char-Lan and Tagwi will play in the second semi at 9:30 a.m.
The boys championship game is scheduled for a noon start. The winner earns a trip to EOSSAA, booked for March 10 in Renfrew.
Final regular-season standings (boys teams)
The Panthers won the tiebreaker over the Crusaders, based on league playing regulations head-to-head rule. The Falcons won the tiebreaker over the Spartans, based on the point percentage of earned points / total possible points.