With spring upon us and local sports fields drying up, the area’s football clubs would normally be running full steam ahead, preparing for their 2020 outdoor gridiron competitions.
However, as we all know, this is not a normal year.
Football, like all sports, remains in limbo due to the COVID-19 isolation requirements. The Cornwall Wildcats are doing their best to remain connected to players during this time, recently launching video workouts via the club’s Facebook page.
The 2020 outdoor season for the Glengarry Soccer League remains in limbo, though all are hoping it will be possible to play.
Officially, all in-person activities through to the end of May have been cancelled or postponed. Typically, GSL matches would begin in the latter stages of that month.
The action is in line with the GSL’s sanctioning body, Ontario Soccer. Here is the official announcement from the league:
Online registration for the 2020 outdoor season, without payment at this point, continues online via the Glengarry Soccer League’s website. As well, online training for officials or coaches is available.
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.
As with all sports locally, lacrosse leagues are currently on hold, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Locally, this applies to the Cornwall Minor Lacrosse Association, which runs a spring house league program, as well as to the junior ‘C’ Cornwall Celtics and the junior ‘B’ Akwesasne Indians.
Typically regular-season play would begin around mid-April, and the hope is that the respective leagues will see 2020 action at some point, but that all remains paused for the time being.
Officially, all in-person activities are suspended through to April 5.
Owing to COVID-19 concerns and related closures, the Cornwall Speedway has announced that it will delay the revealing of its 2020 schedule until May 1, with the plan for summer racing to begin on May 17.
On Monday, the Glengarry Soccer League announced the official end to the winter indoor season, cancelling remaining matches and playoffs, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last action took place on March 12, with the season put on hiatus the next day.
With the end to 2019-20 play, Alexandria FC finishes atop the table in the senior men’s division, with 33 points. The Barflies check in second, five points back. McCrimmon ends third (22), followed by the Young Gunners (15), and Glen Sandfield (14).
In senior women’s play, Glen Nevis finished with a perfect record on 16 matches, for 48 points. Alexandria was second (33), followed by Glen Sandfield (20), Vankleek Hill (16), and Dalhart (1).
The U18 boys top team was Brazil (yellow), with 37 points. Rounding out the standings were Canada (red, 26), England (grey, 22), Netherlands (orange, 15), Spain (blue, 13), and Ireland (green, 10).
Canada (red) topped the U18 girls division, notching 31 points from 14 matches. Ireland (green) took second (21), followed by the Netherlands (orange, 13), and Spain (blue, 13).
England (grey) was first in the U13 coed division, taking 33 points. Italy (yellow, 28) followed. Rounding out the standings were the Netherlands (orange, 20), Canada (burgundy, 13), and Ireland (green, 7).
Canada (red), with 35 points, topped the U11 coed group. Following were England (grey, 29), Ireland (green, 16), USA (blue, 15), Spain (yellow, 14), the Netherlands (orange, 10).
Ontario Soccer, in consultation with Canada Soccer, continues to monitor the most recent developments with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the emerging public health crisis.
As the Glengarry Soccer League is registered and sanctioned under Ontario Soccer, we follow the guidelines put forth by Ontario Soccer, who speak with medical experts and comply with government mandates.
At this time, the end of the indoor season has officially been cancelled. We will continue with registration for the Outdoor 2020 season. A decision on how the outdoor season will be altered is not being made just yet. We will continue with registration and begin making teams as we normally do at the end of March / beginning of April. We understand this is a challenging time for many families. If you require financial assistance to register your children for soccer due to COVID-19, please reach out to us via e-mail.
Glengarry Soccer League notice
The league’s referee training plans continue. The entry-level course (age 14 and older), has moved to online certification, while the training of officials for small-sided matches remains on the calendar as scheduled, on Friday, May 1 (5 to 7:30 p.m.) OR Saturday, May 2 (10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
GSL statement: “We appreciate your patience while the GSL navigates this challenging time. We understand the uncertainty of everything can be overwhelming, but we are taking things one week at a time for now. The safety of our players, coaches, referees, volunteers, and spectators is important to us and we will continue to comply with the decisions set forth by Ontario Soccer and adjust our season as needed to keep our community safe.”
The Glengarry League also traditionally fields teams in the ERSL, the region’s competitive soccer league, under the banner Glengarry Hearts. Typically, the season begins in late May, with clubs holding tryouts and practices in the months preceding. At this point, everything is on hold.
Char-Lan Minor Soccer, which plays in Williamstown, is continuing with its registration and planning for the summer 2020 season. Updates can be found in their Facebook group. Registration information can be found here, on South Glengarry’s website.
The Seaway Valley Blazers teams, which compete in the ERSL, are also on hold, in line with direction from Ontario Soccer.
Due to COVID-19 concerns and a Hockey Canada directive to cease all hockey-related activities, as well as an order by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to close community and recreation facilities, the Alexandria Glens of the CCHL2 have deferred their board meeting, scheduled for March 25.
At this time of uncertainty in the sports world and otherwise, a new date for the meeting has not been set.
Alexandria’s Kieran Craig is back home with his family now, as COVID-19 concerns have forced a pause in the QMJHL season.
The 19-year-old forward is in his second campaign with the Gatineau Olympiques. At the stoppage in play, Craig had 48 points (22 goals, 26 assists) in 64 games. Among his tallies, he’s notched 6 game-winning goals.
While he’s having a great season, his team is mired in the basement of the Western Conference, on a record of 22 wins, 37 regulation time losses, and 5 overtime defeats. The Olympiques had four regular-season games remaining in their schedule.
Avec les chances très minimes de revoir la saison de la LHJMQ recommencer.. Partisans des @LesOlympiques, qui est votre joueur de l'année?
On the season disruption, Craig tells me, “we are pretty much staying home and trying to be safe. What I’ve been told is that the team will update us as soon as they have heard something regarding our season.”
Gatineau’s last game, on March 8, went into the books as a 5-4 shootout win over Blainville-Boisbriand. Craig contributed 2 assists and notched the shootout winner.
The official notice of suspension of league play came down March 12 from the Canadian Hockey League, the body that oversees major junior hockey in Canada.
“The Canadian Hockey League and its three regional leagues, the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Western Hockey League, take the health and safety of our players, fans, volunteers, staff, and general public very seriously. CHL President Dan MacKenzie with Commissioners David Branch, Gilles Courteau, and Ron Robison have been monitoring the situation in regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) including what local, provincial, and federal health agencies have recommended. Following consultation with medical professionals and meetings today among the CHL Executive Council, and regional league Board of Governors, the CHL announces that the balance of the 2019-20 season and all hockey activity shall be paused immediately until further notice.”
For only the second time since 1973, the Raisin River Canoe Race has been cancelled. The 2020 edition was nixed due to COVID-19 precautions, following the recommendations of health officials.
The annual rite of spring, hosted by the Raisin Region Conservation Authority, typically takes place in April each year, when the spring water flow in the river is at its peak. This year, it had been slated for April 19. The 30 km run from St. Andrews West downstream to Williamstown traditionally sees well over 100 canoes and kayaks involved, with participants coming from across the region. Some paddlers come for the competition, striving for fast times and medals, while the majority are looking to complete the course without getting too wet and cold. Spills are common, especially at points where there are challenging rocks in the river and rapids. As well, the dam in Martintown is a special part of the race, with many paddlers opting to attempt to shoot it successfully, much to the delight of throngs of spectators who gather there to take in the action.
The last (and only other) cancellation, in 2010, was due to very low water conditions.