Tag Archives: Williamstown

Junior B Rebels announce player signings as training camp gets going

The Char-Lan Rebels of the EOJHL opened training camp recently in Finch, with ice unavailable at the team’s home rink in Williamstown. Meanwhile, off the ice, the club was busy signing players for the upcoming (hopefully) season.

A local teen, Andrew Dixon, has committed to the Rebs for the 2020-21 campaign. The 18-year-old forward is a product of the Seaway Valley Rapids ‘AA’ program and was a strong contributor to the squad at Char-Lan High School.

Another signing was Brant Woodside. The 20-year-old has been attending the University of Ottawa the past two years, following stints with the CCHL Cornwall Colts and the U18 Colts. During the 2016-17 season, he captured the HEO championship with his Colts squad.

Woodside was drafted into the CCHL in 2015, 32nd overall by Cumberland Grads.

Char-Lan dropped the puck on its 2020-21 training camp on September 10 in Finch before moving on to sessions in Cornwall. The team is scheduled to hit the ice in Williamstown this week. For more, see this previous Rebels story.

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Junior B Char-Lan Rebels set camp start for Thursday, announce captain

The 2020 training camp for the Char-Lan Rebels of the EOJHL is scheduled to begin on September 10, on the ice at the Finch arena.

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Prospective players are invited to pre-register online here.

The team invites “All 16- to 20-year-old players … to come try out.”

The opening training camp session is slated for Thursday, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Finch. Workout number two is booked for Cornwall’s multi-sport complex, on September 17 (6:30 to 8 p.m.). Training will continue three days later, also in Cornwall (1 to 2:30 p.m.), with two further sessions planned for the Rebels’ home rink in Williamstown, on September 22 and 26 (times to be confirmed).

Jeff Carter serves as the team’s head coach.

On the player front, the club announced that Joseph Samson has committed to returning for the upcoming season and will serve as Char-Lan captain. He led last year’s squad, scoring 26 goals and 31 assists.

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Photo collage highlighting Char-Lan Rebels captain Joseph Samson. (Rebels photos)

On Saturday (September 12) the Rebels are joining with county cousins the Alexandria Glens for a golf tournament to be held at Lancaster’s Heritage Golf Club. For details, please see this previous story.

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Char-Lan skaters return to the ice in Cornwall

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed their season, members of the Char-Lan Skating Club returned to the ice, skating at Cornwall’s multi-sport complex.

The StarSkaters group, following health protocols, including physical distancing, worked out for their first session since mid-March.

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Members of the Char-Lan Skating Club return to the ice, skating at Cornwall’s multi-sport complex. (submitted photo)

The club is aiming to see its regular program back in Williamstown, starting September 21, at the Char-Lan Rec. Centre.

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Char-Lan Rebels highlight memorable 1988-89 squad

The 1988-89 edition of the Char-Lan Rebels was a stellar group, highlighted by Kevin Poapst, who led in scoring for a third straight year, with 65 goals and 39 assists.

Competing in the then Eastern Ontario Junior ‘B’ Hockey League, the Rebels were in their heyday, having won their first (and only) league championship banner to cap off the 1985-86 season.

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The Char-Lan Rebels junior ‘B’ hockey team from the 1988-89 season. (submitted photo)

The current club recently shared this photo on social media, as hockey returned to Canada in the form of the restart of the NHL season, with the 2020 playoffs underway in Toronto and Edmonton.

The Rebs, and the rest of the teams in the EOJHL (formerly the CCHL2) are hopeful they will have a season this fall, pending the further loosening of provincial health restrictions.

In case you missed it, Char-Lan’s junior ‘B’ hockey team ended the 2019-20 season by naming its season award winners virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s the story posted at the time.

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Lancaster Curling club bids adieu to long-time member

Coleman MacDonald, a long-time member of the Lancaster and District Curling Club, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on June 15.

Coleman MacDonald

The 85-year-old Williamstown resident was predeceased by his wife Joan P. The couple were active at the curling club. Among their contributions over the years, they established the Glengarry Cup, an annual curling challenge with rinks from each of the county’s clubs competing in a friendly rivalry for county curling supremacy.

“Coleman was born at home, on the family farm – one of the few remaining bi-centennial farms in Glengarry. He milked cows with his brother, Mickey, until 2002, and continued to work the land until his passing. Coleman is known for having some of the best yielding crops in the area and was among the first to plant soybeans. Coleman made a lasting impression on those in the agricultural world, especially the young people who worked on the farm. Although he died at the house next to the farm where he was raised, Coleman was fortunate to have travelled throughout his life. He had a passion for curling and took every opportunity to sing its praises to those unfamiliar to the game. For this, he was inducted to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame. He was proud to tell others of his Scottish heritage and his Glengarry roots. He will be remembered for the sparkle in his eye, the stories and jokes he told, and for his ability to make people smile.”

Except from Coleman MacDonald’s obituary published by Munro & Morris

Mr. MacDonald was inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 when he was recognized for his 52nd consecutive season of curling.

Coleman MacDonald
The Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame’s painting honouring the induction of Coleman MacDonald in 2015.

In his induction biography, Coleman was recognized for his numerous accomplishments in curling: receiving the 40-year pin (in 2012) for participation in the Moose Bonspiel hosted annually by the Alexandria Curling Club where he won all-star skip in 1986, receiving the 20-year pin for participation in the Monctonian Bonspiel which at its peak hosted over 70 teams from eastern Canada and the United States, skipping his Lancaster team at the prestigious Lord Elgin Bonspiel in Montreal a spiel that once hosted over 80 teams, and winning the 11th Annual Moose Bonspiel in 1975 playing third.

Over the years, he also won numerous awards and trophies at various local clubs, including those in Glengarry, Vankleek Hill, Hawkesbury, Brownsburg, and Morrisburg.

In 1997, the Lancaster and District Curling Club granted Mr. MacDonald a lifetime membership, in recognition to his contribution, which included 29 years serving on the executive board.

In his hall of fame induction, Coleman was described as a “popular skip and an excellent ambassador for the sport he’s so passionate about.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of Coleman MacDonald’s life has been postponed, to be held at some point in the future. A mass of Christian burial was scheduled yesterday, for family and close friends, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Williamstown.

Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, Friends of the Ruins, The Bishop’s House St. Raphael’s, or to the Lancaster Curling Club would be appreciated by the family.

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Char-Lan Crusaders recognized with online sports awards ceremony

Char-Lan District High School’s physical education director, Chantal Armstrong, announced the 2019-20 recipients of Crusaders athletics awards via an online ceremony.

Grace Laplante was named the school’s female athlete of the year, while the male award will be shared between Nicholas Oeggerli and Andrew Dixon.

Honoured as senior athletic participants of the year were Duncan McRae and Katherine Thompson.

The most promising grade 9 athletes named were Lila Mines, Grace Rouleau, Daniel Desroches, and Chad Watson.

Char-Lan Lettermen: Logan French and Lilah Mines (grade 9), Connor Spence and Hannah Lamarche (grade 10), Seamus O’Connell and Jorja McLeod (grade 11), and Jake Vanderburg and Jordan Andrews (grade 12).

Individual sports awards: Jordan Andrews (curling sportsmanship, senior girls basketball sportsmanship), Cameron Belisle (novice boys volleyball MVP), Jack Cayer (senior boys volleyball MVP, senior boys basketball MVP), Quinton Claude (junior boys basketball sportsmanship), Andrew Dixon (golf, boys hockey MVP), Robin Donnelly (tennis MVP), Grace Eamer (curling MVP, junior girls basketball sportsmanship), Cole Fournier (tennis sportsmanship), Kaye Fraser (novice girls basketball MVP, novice girls volleyball sportsmanship), Maggie Hope (junior girls basketball MVP, junior girls volleyball MVP), Grace Laplante (tennis MVP, senior girls volleyball sportsmanship, girls hockey sportsmanship), Josh Leduc (junior boys basketball MVP), Kayden MacCrimmon (junior boys basketball sportsmanship), Fiona MacDonald (senior girls volleyball MVP), Duncan McRae (senior boys basketball sportsmanship), Rory McCuaig (novice boys volleyball sportsmanship), Kiaryn McDonald (novice girls basketball sportsmanship), Frances McDonell (junior girls basketball MVP, junior girls volleyball MVP), Nicholas Oeggerli (senior boys volleyball sportsmanship, senior boys basketball MVP, boys hockey sportsmanship), Tessa Ramsey (junior girls volleyball sportsmanship, girls hockey MVP), Bryanna Rombough (novice girls volleyball MVP), Katherine Thomson (senior girls basketball MVP), Chad Watson (junior boys basketball MVP).

With the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering the school from mid-March, other sports, including soccer and track and field were not played this year, so no awards were presented.

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Char-Lan Skating Club celebrates athletes with remote awards

In a normal season, the Char-Lan Skating Club’s winter on the ice at Williamstown’s arena would culminate with a showcase of performance and on-ice awards presented to the top skaters.

But this is not a normal year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tail end of the club’s season was scrapped, along with the showcase.

With no prospect of being able to get the group together anytime soon in light of ongoing restrictions, the club remotely announced its award winners for the 2019-20 season.

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By way of a video, the club bid adieu to the 2020 graduating class.

And finally, the Char-Lan Skating Club recognized two of its young program assistants. These skaters are club members who assist the coaches in training of other skaters throughout the winter.

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skating award
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Great Raisin River Footrace goes virtual for 2020

Back in April, with concern over the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, organizers of the 2020 edition of the Great Raisin River Footrace took the unprecedented step of halting registrations for the run, scheduled for August. This week, the group went a step further, cancelling the in-person race and switching to a virtual format instead, as a number of other runs across the region have done.

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The 2020 Footrace is the 42nd edition of the run in Williamstown, and again this year, it is being organized by Beyond 21, with Jane McLaren telling me, “We really want to maintain the tradition of this race, but with the COVID-19 cancellations of most events … well, it has been a challenge. So we are going virtual!”

She adds, “The race continues to be a fundraiser in support of The Hub for Beyond 21 Foundation (we provide services for adults with developmental disabilities in S. D. & G.). For more information on the work of Beyond 21, please see their website.

As for the now modified Footrace, participants can walk or run either an 11 km or 5 km distance on August 7, 8, or 9, and then upload their times to the results tracking site.

Registration is ongoing online here.

For your entry, you will receive a custom running buff (first 125 registrants who complete either the 5K or 11K), a handmade race medallion created by Beyond 21 participants (for the first 60 registrants in the 11K only), a virtual race bib, and “bragging rights to say you were a part of history – the only time the Great Raisin River Footrace has run a virtual edition.”

Organizers plan to host a pick up day in Cornwall for buffs and medallions. Those out of town or unable to attend will receive their buffs and medallions by mail. Pick-up and mailing will take place a few weeks after the race weekend.

Organizers not this year there will be no age group / division prizes due to the race being virtual.

More general information on the Great Raisin River Footrace can be found on their Facebook page.

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2020 edition of Williamstown Fair cancelled due to COVID-19

As the stream of COVID-19-related cancellations has mounted this year, it seemed inevitable that the county’s second-largest summer event (after the Glengarry Highland Games) would be disrupted, and this week the news became official: there will be no Williamstown Fair in 2020, at least not this summer.

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The official statement began, “With great regret, the St. Lawrence Valley Agricultural Society, organizer of Canada’s oldest annual fair, announces the postponement of the traditional 209th edition of the Williamstown Fair (August 7-8-9, 2020) due to the ongoing pandemic.”

The Maxville Fair, scheduled for late June, was cancelled back in April (see my story about this here), and the Glengarry Highland Games, the county’s biggest summer celebration, was nixed last month (story here).

Despite the slight relaxing of government and health regulations recently, conditions remain as such that the holding of large events this summer simply won’t be possible.

“In light of directives from the government and public health officials, we have taken this difficult decision. Our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of our volunteers, community partners, and fairgoers, and we thank the public for their understanding and support.”

Michael Seguin, president of the St. Lawrence Valley Agricultural Society

The Williamstown Fair is Glengarry County’s annual celebration of agriculture and more, with a number of sports events featured over the course of the three-day gathering. Among these over the years have been competitions of tug of war, Highland Games, beach volleyball, and farmer olympics. The Great Raisin River Footrace has also been associated with the Fair each summer, too, though a few years back its route was adjusted to remain on the south side of the river, using the Sir John Johnson Manor House as its base.

On the 2020 Fair, at this point, organizers are deeming the action a “postponement.” The statement notes that “the Fair Board is committed to celebrating the community and its agricultural heritage and will be looking at ways of holding an alternative fair later this year.”

“Generations of dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to organize this beloved annual event and the current situation is only one of the many challenges the Fair has faced since its inception in 1812.”

St. Lawrence Valley Agricultural Society

At this time, a final decision on holding the Great Raisin River Footrace has not yet been made. The organizers, Beyond 21, have stated that an official announcement will come in early June.

On April 5, the committee announced, “With the continued uncertainty of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to suspend registration for the 2020 Great Raisin River Footrace.” However, the race was and has not been cancelled, at least not yet. Officially, the run is slated for Sunday, August 9. This year will mark its 42nd edition.

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