The WCSSAA Girls Slo Pitch tournament begins Monday June 11 at RIM Park in Waterloo. The top eight teams from league play will start pool play at 9am with the top two teams from each pool playing in the semi finals at 2:30pm. The Championship game will be Wedensday June 13 at Peter Hallman ball diamonds beginning at 3pm. Click here for a complete schedule.
The WCSSAA Boys Slo Pitch tournament begins tomorrow June 7 at RIM Park in Waterloo. The top eight teams from league play will start pool play at 9am with the top two teams from each pool playing in the semi finals at 2:30pm. The Championship game will be Tuesday June 12 at Peter Hallman ball diamonds beginning at 3pm. Click here for a complete schedule.
Bluevale and Southwood finished the regular season undefeated. The game between them ended in a tie so Bluevale took the number 1 seed based on their lower goals against during the season. The quarter finals are Thursday October 12 at Woodside Park in Kitchener. The match ups are CHCI vs BCI, FHCI vs SSS, EDSS vs WCI and KCI vs SJAM.
The standings for all sports are now posted. As they are received from the convenors they will be updated.
All schedules for fall sports are now posted in print format. During the next few days the web versions of the schedules will be available.
With the end of the school year almost here, high school sports are drawing to a close for the year, and OFSAA championships are wrapping up.
The WCI Vikings boys’ rugby team made it all the way to the OFSAA quarterfinals the other week where they, unfortunately, lost 10-3.
The 2016 WCSSAA soccer champions, the Grand River girls’ soccer team won bronze at OFSAA this year, making it a memorable end to coach Brian Millar’s final coaching season.
This past weekend in Windsor were the 2016 OFSAA track and field championships. There was some tough competition, but even competing against schools from all across Ontario, WRDSB students held their own with dozens of the region’s students placing in the top five in a wide array of events.
Huron Heights had an incredible few days in Windsor, particularly grade ten student Tyra Boug. Competing in three track events as well as the junior girls’ 4x100m relay, she took home two gold medals and a silver. Tyra placed first in both the junior girls’ 200m dash and the junior girls’ 80m hurdles, and she finished in second place for the junior girls’ 300m hurdles. The Huskies junior girls’ relay team with runners Tyra Boug, Denisa Ratiu, Zoe Janakovic, and Lauren Frey, finished in fifth place.
Preston’s Isaac Mapp had an incredible end to the season at OFSAA as well. Isaac won silver in both the junior men’s long jump and junior men’s triple jump. Also from Preston, Caleb Main finished second for the 2000m open steeplechase, taking home a silver medal.
Cameron Heights students also made their mark in Windsor with plenty of top five finishes all around. Kenny Siharath placed first in senior men’s long jump and first in senior men’s triple jump, as well as being part of the bronze medal relay team. Tamara Grahovac came in second for junior girls’ long jump. Tomi Bamigbade finished second in the junior girls’ 80m hurdles. Andrew Shepherd won silver in the senior boys’ 3000m race.
Mackenzie Morgan and Emily Smith (KCI) both took home fourth place in their events, Mackenzie in the junior girls’ 800m and Emily in midget girls’ high jump. Emily also placed eighth in the midget girls’ pole vault competition.
Jacob Hespeler’s Seth Robertson finished fourth in the midget men’s 100m hurdles. Fellow JHSS student Thomas Weigl broke the WCSSAA record for senior men’s pole vault earlier this year and proceeded to win gold at OFSAA. Connor Sniatenchuk from Waterloo-Oxford came in third for midget boys’ pole vault.
From Glenview Park, Walter Le came in second for midget men’s triple jump, while Shahmir Khan, also from GPSS, won Bronze in junior men’s long jump.
It has been an amazing final season of the school year for high school athletics. Congratulations to all OFSAA qualifiers, competitors and champions!
By Gabby Crowley
It’s been another amazing year for Grand River legend Brian Millar after coaching yet another OFSAA qualifying boys’ hockey team and a final WCSSAA champions girls’ soccer team in his final year before retirement.
Having taught and coached at Grand River for 34 years, Mr Millar is also the school’s athletic director. He has now coached over a thousand high school games and holds sixteen WCSSAA titles in both hockey and soccer.
In March of this year, he led the Grand River Renegades boys’ hockey team to his tenth OFSAA appearance and has taken home two bronze medals in the past, as well. Just this past month, the GRCI girls’ soccer team won the WCSSAA championships and qualified for OFSAA in June.
Having coached soccer, hockey and cross country, Millar says that he has many great coaching memories, but does not have a particular favourite moment or a sport to coach, although hockey does rank high at the top of the list.
“I do enjoy coaching hockey during a game more since I can be more of an influence as a coach when the game is being played. The majority of soccer coaching is done in practice. You can have some influence during the game but not as quickly as in hockey.”
After so many years of coaching, there are many things to miss. “I suppose the biggest thing will be engaging with students. Rather than just getting to know the students in the classroom or gym its great to coach and be around the students on the ice rink, field or cross country trails. Celebrating their successes and being there in defeat.”
After successful final seasons for both boys’ hockey and girls’ soccer, both teams winning the WCSSAA finals and moving on to OFSAA, Millar will retire at the end of June, but says that he plans to come back to help coach for Grand River teams in the future.
By Gabby Crowley
The KCI girls’ rugby team have had another amazing season. After becoming WCSSAA champs and OFSAA qualifiers last year, they took home the WCSSAA title against this year after defeating Waterloo-Oxford 29-5 in the finals.
The Raiders lost a few of their best players last year, including Adrienne Bowra and Leah McBain, who returned to help coach this season, but this year’s co-captains Olivia Mickie and Erin Markle haven’t let the team fall.
The girls also have some great coaches, a group of five incredible women who have all played or are currently playing university rugby: Amy Bambury, Jennifer Armatage, Jill Steckley Leis, Chloe Graves, and Leah McBain.
Amy Bambury, an English teacher at KCI and the head coach of the Laurier Golden Hawks women’s rugby team, is the head coach of the KCI girls’ team. She played university rugby at Trent and has brought the KCI girls rugby program to its status of fame.
Jill Steckley Leis is a phys-ed and science teacher at KCI and has been coaching the girls’ rugby team alongside Bambury for years now. Always cheering on the girls from the sidelines, she keeps the girls working hard and winning their way to the WCSSAA finals.
Chloe Graves plays for the Laurier Golden Hawks, now a fourth-year student. In 2013 and 2015 she won the OUA women’s rugby first team All-Star game award, and in 2013 and 2014 she was the recipient of the Golden Hawk award of excellence.
Jennifer Armatage has coached for McMaster in the past as well as Laurier for eight years. She began as the assistant coach in 2003 before becoming the head coach in 2005. She was awarded coach of the year with OUA in 2005 and 2009. In 2011 she began coaching at the high school level, starting at Forest Heights before transferring to KCI this fall.
Leah McBain, a recent KCI graduate, has just finished her first year at Laurier where she plays rugby for Bambury. Last year she helped lead the KCI girls to a WCSSAA championship, 2nd place at CWOSSA and qualifying for OFSAA.
I talked to this year’s co-captain Olivia Mickie about her four years playing for the KCI girls’ rugby team, what it’s like to play for five incredible female coaches and how it feels to be done her final high school rugby season.
In regards to last week’s CWOSSA finals, she admitted it was difficult to watch from the sidelines. Having come out of a recent practice with a concussion, she was unable to play alongside her teammates for her final game as a KCI Raider.
“It’s really sad,” she said in regards to her final season. “This was by far my favourite year, because of the coaches and also achieving my goal to really be a leader for the team.”
Although the high school season is over, it does not necessarily mean the end of her rugby days, though she says she isn’t sure if she will play rugby in university next year. “I’m still trying to decide. I wouldn’t get to play first year, obviously, and I doubt I would get to play my position.”
Olivia is a forward for the KCI raiders but says that she would likely have to play wing in university instead. However, she claims that even if she does not play for her university team next year, she would love to come back and help coach the KCI team in the spring as Leah McBain did this year.
When asked what made her want to play rugby back in grade nine, she laughed and said, “I was so excited for spring sports!”
It was the year of work to rule in high schools and winter sports were cut short. By the time the strike was over, spring athletics were ready to start and it was decision time. “I was debating soccer and rugby. Most of my friends played soccer, but it was really Bam who convinced me to play. I played volleyball for her in the winter, but because of the strike we never got to finish the season. It was great to play for her again.”
Though there are separate leagues for boys and girls’ rugby, KCI is one of the only girls’ teams to be coached exclusively by women, all of whom have university-level experience in rugby. “I’ve been coached by both men and women for basketball,” Olivia said, “but with this group of women, I feel closer to them. It’s such a good group of girls and coaches and it just makes us all so much closer.”
With five coaches you’re bound to have an interesting mix of personalities, as well. “Oh yeah,” she agreed. “Chloe is so sassy, and Leah always tries to make us call her ‘Coach Leah’ even then we’re only a year apart. Armatage doesn’t hold back, which is tough but great. She and Bam aren’t afraid to tell you what you need to hear.”
The Raiders have had yet another incredible season. With several senior students leaving at the end of this school year for university, it will be interesting to see where the team goes next, but they are definitely in safe hands with Bambury, Steckley Leis, Armatage, McBain and Graves.
By Gabby Crowley
Preston is losing two incredible football coaches this year. Earlier this year, Jim Crone, the coach of the senior boys’ football team retired. Now at the end of June, John Skovsgaard will finish coaching his final season before retiring as well.
Mr Skovsgaard has been teaching at Preston High School since 1993. He has been the head coach of the Jr. Boys’ football team since 1996 and also coaches boys’ rugby.
When asked if he had a favourite coaching memory he said, “My favourite memory would have to be winning the WCSSAA Jr. Football Championship in 2012. Our team has been to the Finals five times since I became Head Coach in 1996, and 2012 is the only one we have been able to win. Others were very close and each were very good teams but that one was special, especially since Coach Rob Boug, who has been together with me the entire time at PHS, was coaching with me on the sidelines that day.”
Mr Skovsgaard has also been an assistant coach for the hockey team for the past two years, as well. He claims that he will miss the comradery with both the athletes and the coaches, saying, “It is a great feeling to be part of a team!”
By Gabby Crowley
After a fantastic end to a final season, the Huron Heights head volleyball coach, Don Bieronski, will be retiring at the end of the current school year after 26 years of teaching and coaching at the high school level.
Before teaching and coaching high school students, he coached all-star baseball for the City of Kitchener for 8 years. After starting out his teaching career at Preston High School, Mr Bieronski moved to Huron Heights in 2007 where he has taught and coached since.
“I love coaching because I get to see the ‘other side’ of my students,” Bieronski said. “They get to behave as themselves, which you seldom get to see in a classroom setting. I get a great deal of satisfaction seeing their skill level improve and I get to be a part of their success, no matter how small that achievement might be.”
This past volleyball season, the Huron Heights Junior Girls’ Volleyball team took home the WCSSAA 2016 title and qualified for CWOSSA. He also coaches girls’ hockey, football and badminton and had served as the CWOSSA convenor for junior and senior badminton, as well as the WCSSAA football convenor, for several years.
Mr Bieronski will be leaving for retirement at the end of the school year, but he and his incredible teaching, coaching and contributions to school athletics will not be forgotten.
By Gabby Crowley