Set to graduate in June from Vankleek Hill Collegiate, James Lauzon is already looking to continue his football career, having committed to join the team at le CÉGEP de l’Outaouais in Gatineau, where the teen will also pursue a technical degree in mechanical engineering.
Lauzon, who recently turned 18, was a member of the Glengarry Gaels high school football team, a collaboration between VCI and Glengarry District High School, in Alexandria.
He’s also previously played for the Cornwall OFC Wildcats in games across the province, as an offensive lineman.
As for his contribution to the gridiron game at the CÉGEP level, he says, “I’ll most likely be playing offensive guard, but that could change before the season starts. I’ll definitely play on the offensive line, but I don’t necessarily know where.”
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Lauzon is working part-time and training for fall football.
Regarding the Outaouais Griffons, the O-lineman tells me that he hasn’t been given a specific home training plan, rather they are “encouraging us to create/find and follow our own workout routine.”
Even if the OFC Wildcats due play this summer, Lauzon likely won’t be joining them, something he says he’s disappointed about, adding, “I just need to make as much money as I can and be in the best shape” for the upcoming CÉGEP season.
At a Wednesday evening dinner in Alexandria, the Glengarry Gaels football club celebrated the 2019 fall high school season and its top individual athletes.
The November 20 evening saw Spencer Fitzpatrick named the team’s most valuable player, while Logan Keurentjes was honoured as the offensive MVP. Jesse Taylor Rawlings, who wasn’t able to attend, was recognized with the award for defensive MVP.
Nathaniel Noel received the honour as lineman of the year, and Alexander Urquhart was named the recipient of the Gaels Heart Award.
The Glengarry Gaels high school football team is run by community volunteers, fielding players from GDHS and VCI. The team competes in the SDGAA league. This season, the Gaels had a record of 1 win (La Citadelle) and 3 losses (Holy Trinity and St. Joseph’s twice).
Glorious weather, unseasonably mild for late October, and a raucous assembly of students welcomed the Glengarry Gaels to the gridiron for their Tuesday noon start, the high school football season finale hosting the unbeaten St. Joseph’s Panthers, from Cornwall. It was expected to be a tough test, with the Gaels facing a strong opponent, whilst battling a short roster. The kids did what they could to encourage their Gaels, but the challenge was too great, as the boys succumbed to the Panthers 36-4 to end the SDGAA season with a record of 1 win and 3 losses.
St. Joseph’s capitalized on its opening drive, marching the field for a touchdown and a convert to take a 7-0 lead. The Gaels responded, moving the ball, but settled for a single point rouge on a missed field goal.
Early in the second quarter, the Panthers again struck for a converted TD. St. Joseph’s soon added another, increasing their lead to 21-1.
The Glengarry boys got a second-quarter drive going, featuring plays that included a reverse to Tyler Golarz and a pass from quarterback Ethan Attridge to Jared MacLeod – both for first downs. The drive stalled, capped off by a 36-yard field goal from Logan Keurentjes.
Later in the period, the Panthers settled for a rouge when a field goal attempt missed, with 32 seconds remaining in the half. The quarter ended with Golarz making a beauty catch in traffic at the buzzer.
A muffed snap set up St. Joe’s with great field position early in the third quarter for another quick touchdown, as the Panthers stretched their advantage to 29-4.
Glengarry’s offence continued to get some ball movement, including a 15-yard catch by Alex Urquhart and a run by MacLeod – again both for first downs. However, the Gaels weren’t able to threaten to score, as fatigue and injuries settled in, with some players forced to play out of position to fill in for others.
The Panthers added a final major and conversion to round out the scoring.
Looking back on the day, Keurentjes, whose high school football career came to an end with the conclusion of the contest, reflected, “It was a great game. I had to play as hard as I could because it was the last game I’ll ever play.”
St. Joseph’s, meanwhile, will be hosting the SD&G championship game on November 8. the semifinal is slated for November 1, when Holy Trinity will take on La Citadelle.
The Glengarry Gaels team is a co-operative effort between GDHS and VCI. By league rules, the Gaels have been barred from playoff eligibility in recent seasons, regardless of their record.
This has been a somewhat turbulent high school football season, with two teams, Tagwi and CCVS, dropping out during the campaign. There was also a one-week hiatus for UCDSB schools due to workplace job action.
Playing on the Vankleek Hill gridiron Thursday, the Glengarry Gaels varsity football team was humbled by the Holy Trinity Falcons 32-8, dropping to a record of 1 and 2 on the season. Both losses, in fact, have come against HT.
The Gaels got on the scoreboard first with a punt single off the foot of Logan Keurentjes, and the game stayed relatively close until the second half.
Head coach Brian Dunham tells me that fatigue was definitely a factor as the game wore on, with the Gaels hampered by a smaller roster of 21 compared to 38 for the Falcons.
Glengarry also got into some penalty trouble, which certainly didn’t help their cause.
The Gaels touchdown came off a pick-six scored by Keurentjes, who also followed up by successfully kicked the convert. That came despite his limited playing time due to injury. He tells me, though, he will be ready to go for the team’s last game of the season, next week.
That match is booked for Tuesday, October 29, in Alexandria, where the St. Joseph’s Panthers will provide the opposition. Opening kickoff is set for noon.
On the heels of the folding of Tagwi’s football team, last week, the CCVS Raiders announced that they too were pulling the plug on their season, leaving just four teams to play on in the SD&G high school league.
It’s been a turbulent fall football season, with postponed games for one reason and another, along with a week of no practices or games due to UCDSB prohibition for their schools (during the CUPE workplace job action). Tagwi ended up not playing a single game, postponing three times, before finally throwing in the towel. The Raiders did manage to get one game in, a 35-0 loss to Holy Trinity.
All this left league convenor Mitch Zappitelli with some juggling to do to give players on the remaining teams some meaningful action to finish off the season.
St. Joseph’s is guaranteed to host the SD&G championship game, which has been scheduled for November 8, at 1 p.m. The opponent will be determined in the November 1 semifinal, between La Citadelle and Holy Trinity. Location and time to be determined.
The Glengarry Gaels, as a combined team between GDHS and VCI are barred from playoff participation. The squad, which has a 1-1 record thus far, will play two more regular season contests. On October 24, the Gaels will play in Vankleek Hill, hosting Holy Trinity, and on October 29, they will take to the gridiron in Alexandria versus St. Joseph’s. Both are noon starts.
Thursday evening high school football at Joe St. Denis Field in Cornwall saw the Holy Trinity Falcons move to 2-0 on the season, with a 13-0 victory over the Glengarry Gaels in a game that was shortened by a thunderstorm.
Despite the loss, which saw the Gaels drop to 1-1, Glengarry head coach Brian Dunham had praise for his boys in what he deemed “a very good game.” The Falcons were held to an unconverted touchdown in the first half and a converted major in the second half.
Meanwhile, Glengarry’s offence had ball movement and field advantage, particularly in the first 30 minutes of play, but was unable to capitalize, hampered by a limited air game, which coach Dunham says the team hasn’t had opportunity to practise. Injuries were also a factor, as the Gaels lost Austin Main in the first half, while Jared MacLeod played hurt, dealing with neck and knee problems.
As Dunham puts it, given the number of bodies available and the fact that HT blew out their opponent the previous week, “I am incredibly proud of the [Gaels’] performance.”
One of the challenges the team has faced this year has been recruitment, despite the program being a combined effort of two schools, GDHS and VCI. Dunham tells me that he hears from potential players, many of whom have been successful in other sports, that it’s a tough sell to expect them to pay $180 for five games only to be left out of league playoffs.
In recent seasons, the Gaels have been barred from playoff action by a league vote due to the team being a combined program. However, in years previous, this wasn’t an issue for the other teams. It’s important to note that EOSSAA/OFSAA rules prohibit schools from cooperating in offering combined sports teams for student-athletes. However, leagues can specifically approve local exemptions only.
Glengarry organizers have told me that the only way for the Gaels to be able to field a football team is for the two schools to work together, owing to the small populations each has. By contrast, most other football-playing schools have numbers equal to or larger than the combined total of GDHS and VCI.
Also last Thursday evening, St. Joseph’s pounded La Citadelle 41-0. It was the first action of the season for the Panthers, as the Patriotes dropped to 0-2.
There was a gridiron game scheduled for earlier in the day, but it was preemptively postponed due to weather. The contest between Tagwi (0-0) and CCVS (0-1) will be rescheduled to sometime later in October.
The Glengarry Gaels high school football team kicked off the season with a 21-7 victory in Cornwall on Thursday, with all of its points scored in the first half.
Set up by quarterback Ethan Attridge, the Gaels drove the field against les Patriotes. Jared MacLeod pounded it across the goal line from the one for the touchdown, and Logan Keurentjes kicked the convert to put Glengarry ahead 7-0.
On an ensuing offensive series, Keurentjes busted a long run for 57 yards, taking the rock to the house, but the PAT was no good.
MacLeod added another major later in the second quarter. Keurentjes snagged a bad snap on the attemped convert kick, running it in for two points, making the lead 21-0, and that would be the score at halftime.
La Citadelle finally got on the board in the fourth quarter, but that was all the Gaels would allow, in the 21-7 season-opening victory.
Next up for Glengarry is a week-two date with Holy Trinity, under the lights Thursday evening at Joe St. Denis Field in Cornwall, starting at 5:30 p.m.
The Glengarry Gaels once again this season are a combined club featuring players from GDHS and VCI. New this year, though, practices are being held at VCI, in Vankleek Hill. Of the Gaels’ two “home” games, the first, on October 4 versus CCVS, is slated to be played in Alexandria, while the October 24 date with St. Joseph’s is scheduled to for the VCI gridiron.
Week one SDGAA league action wraps up with two games today. CCVS is booked to play at Holy Trinity (11 a.m. start), and Tagwi is scheduled to visit St. Joseph’s (1:30 p.m.).