As part of the school’s year-end awards, École secondaire catholique Le Relais honoured two special athletes: Eric Cumberbatch and Jimmy Berry.
Cumberland, who is graduating this month and set to attend the Unversity of Ottawa this fall where he has been recruited as a member of the football team, received Le Relais’ Excellence in Sports Senior Award. The multi-sport athlete excelled in track (qualifying for OFSAA three years in a row), basketball, and volleyball.
The Excellence in Sports Junior Award went to grade 10 student-athlete Berry, who is a strong member of Les Rapides teams in soccer, basketball, volleyball, and track.
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.
Prior to the shutdown, the region’s junior ‘A’ league held its annual bantam protect draft.
Hawkesbury’s first pick came fourth in the first round, as the Hawks chose Brad Horner, a defenceman from Vankleek Hill. He played last season with the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ major bantam hockey team.
Other members of the Hawks 2020 draft class were Marc-Olivier McCarthy (forward, Glen Robertson), Yanick Blanchard (forward, Embrun), Derek Larocque (forward, Alexandria), Lucas Peever (forward, St. Albert), Mathieu Levesque (defenceman, Hawkesbury), Antoine Dorion (forward, Orleans), Jake Pulkinghorn (defenceman, Ottawa), Justin Flamini (defenceman, Cumberland), and Jayson McIntyre (forward, Orleans).
Of note, two of the draft selections are students at Alexandria’s École secondaire catholique Le Relais. Another student from the school was picked by the Cornwall Colts.
The Hawks ended the 2019-20 season second in the Yzerman Division, with a record of 36 wins, 24 regulation losses, and 2 overtime defeats, for 74 points. The squad was slated to open the CCHL playoffs against the third-place team from the Robinson Division, the Smiths Falls Bears (33-24-5, for 71 points). Interestingly, the teams had identical regular-season powerplay and penalty kill percentages, at 18.3 and 86 percent, respectively.
On the cancellation of the playoffs, Alexandria’s Felix Sauve, a rookie defenceman with the Hawks, admitted to me, “It sucks! We had a lot of key pieces this year which could have brought us far in the long run. It’s hard to say goodbye to some of the boys since you don’t know when you will meet or cross paths again.” However, the teen acknowledged, “The safety of everyone is the number 1 priority, so it was the right move.”
Sauve saw action in 52 games, notching 1 goal and 5 assists, along with 32 penalty minutes.
He was among several local athletes who were mainstays on the roster this season, including forwards Mathieu Sabourin and Jeremy Quesnel.
Hawk Luke Grainger was honoured with a league award as the 2019-20 Top Graduating Player. The skater from Beaconsfield led the CCHL in scoring with 82 points (34 goals, 48 assists) in 56 games. He’s committed to playing NCAA hockey next season at Western Michigan University for next season.
In the league’s announcement, head coach Rick Dorval was quoted as saying, “Luke’s development with and without the puck has been tremendous. He is one of the most electrifying players in this league and is always a threat to opponents. He can move as fast east-west as north-south. We will miss him next year but wish him the best of luck at WMU.”
Aside from Grainger, the Hawks bid adieu to Matt Gasuik, Azzaro Tinling, Sebastien Paquette, Shane McGrath, and Zach Johnson.
2020 Summer Camp
Registration for the Hawkesbury Hawks summer camp is now open. The event is scheduled for June 19 to 21, but is subject to change due to Hockey Canada mandates around the COVID-19 situation.
The camp will be held in Gloucester, at the Richcraft Sensplex. Entry is $250, and players will each have approximately 4.5 hours of ice time spread over three games.
The tumultuous 2019-20 high school year recently saw sports league participation curtailed by the French Catholic board (Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien) affecting student-athletes at Alexandria’s Le Relais and Cornwall’s La Citadelle.
Among the sports underway at École secondaire catholique Le Relais was boys basketball, under coach Eric Crête. When the season came to an end, les Rapides had a 2-2 record for senior and were 1-3 for junior.
Le Relais is a member of the Prescott-Russell athletics association which proceeded to cancel all league sports.
La Citadelle is a member of the SD&G association which continued to play, though there were schedule modifications. Les Patriotes were forced to cancel all of their teams, though, and pull out of league action.
The SDGAA has regularly modified schedules to respond to strike days and bus cancellations, as all regular seasons were completed. Some sports, such as boys basketball and girls volleyball, have also finished their league playoffs.
EOSSAA, the overseeing high school sports body for Eastern Ontario, has modified its schedule for competitions, and current dates are subject to change.
For Le Relais, one of the biggest sports is their boys hockey team and participation at the annual Tournoi Franco Ontarien. This year, that’s all on hold as well, pending successful teacher union contract negotiations with the provincial government.
There have also been schedule and event changes at the OFSAA level.
All winter sports, through provincial championships, are slated to wrap up by early next month, before the scheduled March Break.
The senior boys basketball team from Alexandria’s École secondaire catholique Le Relais opened its 2019-20 PRSSAA season with a 2-2 record before the Christmas break.
Coach Éric Crête tells me that the squad scored wins versus Embrun and Russell, while losses came against Casselman and St. Thomas-Aquinas.
Leading the way offensively is #14 Xavier Gendreau, who is averaging 20 points per game.
The junior edition of les Rapides is 1-3, with the team’s lone win at the expense of Embrun. Losses were to Russell, Casselman, and St. Thomas-Aquinas.
Coach Crête says that 10th grader Jimmy Berry and 9th grader Zeph Lajoie are leading the way scoring-wise. He adds that the record isn’t a bad showing for an inexperienced team of players who collectively had 10 games of experience at the start of the season.
The county’s Cumberbatch twins, Eric and Patrick, have signed letters of intent to join the Gee-Gees football team at the University of Ottawa for the 2020 season, following their graduation from Alexandria’s École secondaire catholique Le Relais next June.
Familiar faces on local football fields, the boys grew up playing the gridiron game for the Glengarry Gaels, then the Cornwall Wildcats, most recently with the Seaway City’s OFC team. The Cumberbatch boys have also suited up for clubs in the national capital region, including the Orleans Raftsmen, which competes in Quebec’s midget league.
Alex Labonte, a member of the Ottawa Gee-Gees coaching staff, was instrumental in the signing, which officially took place at the high school on November 14.
Labonte coached the Cumberbatch twins, who both play the defensive back position, with the Wildcats, describing them as athletic, interchangeable, and exhibiting a similar style of play.
He encouraged senior Gee-Gees coaches to attend Wildcats games to scout the boys, and in time offers were extended to Eric and Patrick.
A signing ceremony in front of the student body included the twins, their parents, Labonte, and other Ottawa coaches.
The Cumberbatch boys have already begun training with the Gee-Gees, travelling weekly, with another recruit from Vankleek Hill, to Ottawa for sessions with the team’s strength and conditioning coach.
The expectation is that they will again play OFC Cornwall Wildcats football in the spring before attending the U-Sports Ottawa Gee-Gees main camp which is scheduled to begin the second week of August.
Yes, you’re seeing double! #GGnation is proud to welcome twins Eric and Patrick Cumberbatch to our program!
Ottawa Gee-Gees football club, on Instagram
As Labonte puts it, the Cumberbatch boys have all the tools to take their play to the next level.
What a three days of hockey it was for the girls hockey team from École secondaire catholique Le Relais, as les Rapides skated over their opponents en route to scoring gold at the Tournoi Franco Ontarien.
The pinnacle came on November 7 in Casselman, where Le Relais prevailed 2-0 over Sturgeon Falls to capture gold. Amélie Brunet was named player of the game, but by all accounts, the victory was the result of some solid teamwork.
For many girls, it was a first experience in hockey … all along, no one was ever discouraged. [They] kept their heads up and we were determined to win gold and we certainly did!
Lauryn Craig, grade 10
Through the previous two days of round-robin play, les Rapides were dominant, maximizing their Franco points in each game as the girls went unbeaten. Playing in St. Isidore, they amassed a +28 goal differential, allowing just two goals against, whilst scoring 30 over four games.
Lauryn Craig and Chloéanne Seguin were named Rapides players of the tournament.
Even with a huge gap in age (grade 7-12), our goal as a team was to always work hard and do our very best, and we all did!
Chloéanne Seguin, grade 12
For more details on round-robin results, please see these previous posts:
Les Rapides will skate for Franco Ontarien hockey gold in Casselman today, November 7, at 9 a.m., facing off against ESC Franco Cité.
The girls hockey team from Le Relais has had quite the run over the previous two days of the tournament in St. Isidore, running the table unbeaten, and amassing a +28 goal differential. Les Rapides have allowed just two goals against, whilst scoring 30.
Day two of the competition opened with the last of three round-robin games where Le Relais blanked ESP Alliance 10-0 and nabbed the maximum 15 Franco points.
Later, in the semifinal against the same team, Les Rapides prevailed 9-0 to earn the right to play for gold on Thursday.
It was a great opening day of play for the high school girls hockey team from Le Relais today in St. Isidore, as Les Rapides skated to a pair of convincing victories and captured 30 points under the Franco scoring system.
Playing against Champlain this morning, Le Relais scored a 5-0 win, on the strength of goals from Myriam Boisvenue (2), Chloeanne Seguin (2), and Lauryn Craig. Assists were credited to Boisvenue, Seguin, Craig, and Chloé Levert.
The Franco hockey scoring system allots points, to a maximum of 15 per game, for the win in the game, periods won, and for limiting the number of penalties taken.
In game two, Les Rapides got past Franco Cité 6-2. Coach Marc Seguin says…
Chloé Levert joueuse du match… sa première expérience au hockey!
(Levert was named player of the game. This tournament is her first hockey experience.)
The girls are scheduled to continue round-robin action on Wednesday, with games at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.