Tag Archives: high school

Winter preparations at Summerstown Trails include new XC ski racing course for HS students

A new program offering is planned for this winter at the Summerstown Trails, as the facility is launching the Summerstown Coyote Nordiq Club, a cross-country ski program for high school students who wish to train for XC ski racing.

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FOTST graphic


The program’s cost is set at $62, and rental equipment (if needed, limited availability) is available for an additional $50 for the season.

Dryland training is scheduled to begin November 14, so interested teens should register early.

You can access more information and sign up here.

Support the Trails

Programming in the Summerstown Forest and maintenance of the trails are provided by volunteers from the Friends of the Summerstown Trails. The group is looking for your support to be able to continue to provide these services.

The current membership year runs from November 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021.

Membership options include individual, couple, and family, and there is also an opportunity to become a patron of the trails. Details can be found on the FOTST website here.

Amongst the recent activities that volunteers have completed in the annual trails cleanup, which this year saw 32 individuals brave -4℃ conditions to prepare the 20 km of trails for a winter season of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat bikes.

map
map of Summerstown Trails (FOTST)
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OFSAA officially nixes winter sports championships

Following on the heels of last month’s cancellation of national winter sports championships for university teams by U-Sports, provincial championships for high schools, under the auspices of OFSAA, have also been cancelled for the upcoming season, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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OFSAA statement, November 5

Back in August, the provincial governing body announced the cancellation of fall sports championships.

With the ongoing (and escalating) state of the COVID-19 pandemic, the further cancellation of 2020-21 winter championships comes as no surprise.

Schools, operating in a modified environment this fall, have not offered any competitive sports. This is expected to continue through the winter, though no official announcement has yet been made.

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Celebrated coach, teacher returns to Le Relais as vice-principal

Dominic Decoeur is back where it all began, as the coach and educator has returned to work at Alexandria’s École secondaire catholique Le Relais as the high school’s vice-principal for the 2020-21 school year.

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Staff of École secondaire catholique Le Relais ready for students, fall 2020, with Dominic Decoeur front and centre. (Le Relais photo)
Dominik Decoeur
Dominic Decoeur (Le Relais photo)

The Cornwall resident began his teaching career in Alexandria, where he became well-known for his leadership of the school’s boys hockey program.

Translated from French, Decoeur posted on the school’s Facebook page, “It is with great pleasure and great pride that I return to Le Relais after having had the opportunity to teach here from 2007 to 2018. I wish to continue to forge collaborative links with students, parents, and the Glengarry community.”

On the coaching side, he led Les Rapides to a string of successes on the ice, highlighted by numerous provincial medals from the Tournoi Franco Ontarien, an annual competition amongst teams from Ontario’s French-language high schools.

In 2018, he left the Alexandria school for a post at Cornwall’s La Citadelle, where he served the past two years as vice-principal.

On his return to Le Relais, Decoeur tells me, “Really happy … It’ll make me grow.”

“Un mot de notre direction adjointe.
C’est avec grand plaisir et beaucoup de fierté que je reviens au Relais après avoir eu l’opportunité d’enseigner ici de 2007 à 2018. Je souhaite continuer à tisser des liens de collaboration avec les élèves, les parents et la communauté de Glengarry. Avec toute l’équipe du Relais, notre rôle demeure de tenter d’être partenaire de l’élève dans sa construction identitaire, miser sur les processus qui le mèneront à être un apprenant pour la vie, et développer des compétences essentielles pour relever les défis de sa génération. Au plaisir de créer un partenariat avec vous chers Rapides et à demain!”

Dominic Decoeur original statement on Facebook (in French)
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EOSSAA officially cancels fall 2020 sports championships

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.

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EOSSAA fall 2020 cancellation announcement

Traditionally, the fall schedule of high school sports championships includes cross-country running, girls basketball, boys volleyball, football, and golf.

I have more background, including details on the earlier provincial announcement, in this post.

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.”

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Chance of high school sports this fall continues to dim

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.

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Excerpt from August 2020 Ford government return-to-schooling plan.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has released more specific guidelines, which apply to sports and recreation in our communities and schools, the full details of which can be read here.

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.

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OFSAA announcement, 12 August 2020.

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.

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OFSAA showcases high school athletes continuing to train in challenging times

The province’s high school sports governing body, OFSAA, recently released a video showcasing athletes and how they have continued to train during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools (and school sports) have been shuttered since mid-March, with a glimmer of hope for resumption of some sort this fall, according to the Ford government’s plan to reopen schools in September.

Here’s the OFSAA video…

For its part, OFSAA has also formed a Return To Sport Committee.

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Flashback: images from Alexandria high school sports

Recently, Bernie McCormick posted a couple of sports photos on a Facebook group highlighting sports from years gone by in Alexandria.

The Alexandria Ontario in Pictures group post included these images from GDHS football and basketball.

Glengarry football flashback
Bernie McCormick shares this image of Alexandria high school quarterback Bruce Poleet, left, and coach Stanley Fraser. The photograph is from the mid 1960s.
flashback
Blast from the past: a junior boys basketball team from GDHS, shared by Bernie McCormick.
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Holy Trinity athletes celebrated with video awards ceremony

Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School presented its annual athletic awards via online videos this year, owing to the shutdown of traditional school operations for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Falcons coach Mindy Gibbs tells me that she created videos to recognize the individual award recipients and highlight the successful teams, notably senior girls and boys basketball squads.

Here are the major awards.

And here are the other sports honours.

Holy Trinity also celebrated retiring football coach and teacher Jeff McAllister, who capped off a 27-year career with his stretch as a member of the Falcons family.

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Tagwi recognizes top Warriors athletes from 2019-20 school year

Despite not being able to present awards at a school assembly, the Tagwi Warriors have continued the tradition of recognizing their best athletes of the season, announcing awards this year remotely, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amongst the Warriors’ big honours, the OFSAA Colin Hood Awards were presented to Makenna Brownlee (female student), Schuyler Schellenberg (male student), and Marc Mainville (coach).

Top Academics and Athletics recognition went to Heath Patterson (male) and Ellie Adams (female). The 2019-20 Top Senior Athlete honours went to Rylan Iwachniuk and Emiley Norman, while Top Junior Athlete kudos were presented to Zack Speck-Meek and Kiera Speck-Meek.

Individual sports awards: Ellie Adams (senior girls basketball MVP), Landon Brownlee (junior boys basketball Spirit of Tagwi Award), Makenna Brownlee (senior girls basketball MVP, varsity girls hockey MVP), Brooklyn Canham (junior girls volleyball MVP), Giovanni Cecchinato (senior boys volleyball MVP), Grace Folk (senior girls volleyball MVP), Morgan Gallinger (senior girls basketball MVP), Skyler Grabs (midget boys volleyball Spirit of Tagwi Award), William Holmes (varsity boys hockey Spirit of Tagwi Award), Rylan Iwachniuk (senior boys basketball MVP), IreLynn MacKillican (junior girls basketball Spirit of Tagwi Award), Caitlyn McIntosh (cross-country running Spirit of Tagwi Award), Megan McMahon (senior girls volleyball Spirit of Tagwi Award), Gavin Nowry (curling MVP), Heath Patterson (junior boys volleyball MVP), Andy Paul (cross-country running Spirit of Tagwi Award), Ryan Pawlowsky (varsity boys hockey MVP), Hunter Pilon (senior boys basketball Spirit of Tagwi Award), Schuyler Schellenberg (senior boys volleyball Spirit of Tagwi Award), Kiera Speck-Meek (junior girls basketball MVP), Zack Speck-Meek (junior boys basketball MVP), Charly Stinson (senior girls basketball MVP), Landen Sweet (midget boys volleyball MVP), Maiavia Ware (junior girls volleyball Spirit of Tagwi Award), Cullan Wheeler (junior boys volleyball Spirit of Tagwi Award), Lorne Wheeler (junior boys volleyball Spirit of Tagwi Award), Sierra Woodside (varsity girls hockey Spirit of Tagwi Award).

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EOSSAA cancels spring sports calendar

Following on the heels of OFSAA’s cancellation of all provincial spring tournaments, the regional body for high school sports, EOSSAA, has done the same.

announcement

The announcement simply makes official what seemed inevitable, given the COVID-19 pandemic and near shutdown of the province, including the closure of all schools until at least early May.

To read my story on the OFSAA announcement, please see this post.

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