High School rugby season has got off to a roaring start in North Durham, with several positive results in the first week of the campaign.
The Port Perry High School Senior Girls team has dominated the competition, with the Rebels posting a pair of shutout wins.
After downing Eastdale (Oshawa) 55-0 on April 20, Port Perry routed O'Neill (Oshawa) 70-0 on Monday, April 25. The Rebels are back in action at home on Monday, May 9, when they take on Clarington Central.
The Rebels' Junior Girls team has also impressed early in the year, with a 66-0 win over J. Clarke Richardson (Ajax) and a 43-5 victory against O'Neill.
The Uxbridge Tigers Senior Girls team also picked up an impressive win in their LOSSA season opener, drubbing Pine Ridge (Pickering) 37-12 on Monday afternoon.
On Thursday, April 28, the Tigers host Courtice at 2 p.m., the first half of a dubleheader also including the Junior side, which shutout St. Mary 54-0 in their first game of the season.
The Tigers Senior Boys kicked off their campaign with a 44-10 win against Dunbarton (Pickering). Meanwhile, the Junior Boys picked up a 31-10 win over Dunbarton.
The Senior Boys side from Port Perry started their season this week against O'Neill, after The Standard's press time. But, the Juniors earned a hard fought 22-19 win over Wilson (Whitby) in their opener last week.
Stayed tuned to The Standard for High School rugby updates throughout the season.
Follow The Standard’s Sports beat Reporter Darryl Knight on Twitter @darrylknight.
PORT PERRY: Nick Loyst and Neil Roberts, both from Port Perry, have played on the same lacrosse teams for more than a decade. One of their proudest moments in the sport came this past weekend while competing with the Green Gaels Alumni Team at the 23rd annual Aleš Hrebeský Memorial tournament in Prague.
For Roberts, 23, it was his third time competing in the tournament which hosts more than 20 teams from around the world while it was the first time for Loyst, 24. After four straight wins for the Green Gaels in the tournament, all in resounding fashion, both Roberts and Loyst were selected for the All Star team.
They were part of the North American team which took on the Europeans in a fun, but still competitive game on the Friday night of the tournament. The event also featured several skills competitions between the two teams during period breaks.
For the third straight year, Roberts started in net in the All Star game and played the first quarter, not allowing a goal, before the next goalie switched in for the second quarter to allow all four goalies a chance to play.
Loyst, a solid defenceman, more than held his own in the All Star game and throughout the entire tournament. Following the game one of his counterparts on the European team requested they switch jerseys, resulting in awkward photos after the tournament.
Both Roberts and Loyst played Junior B lacrosse with the Green Gaels team out of Clarington. This team is made up of alumni of the Green Gaels as well as other talented lacrosse players including former National Lacrosse League player Gavin Prout.
The team lost a close semi-final game to the local team, and fan favourite, the Custodes, and then played the Finnish team for the bronze medal. They won that game 7/0, Roberts' second shutout of the tournament.
The tournament is named for a former Custodes player and very promising lacrosse player, Aleš Hrebeský, who was killed by a drunk driver in 1993. His family was in attendance at the tournament which honours his memory.
UXBRIDGE: In defiance of the obstacles laid in front of 17-year-old Uxbridge local and philanthropist Hayden Prince; the Shooting 4 Mental Health airsoft event was an enormous success. Hayden surpassed his set goal of $2,500.
The Military Simulation overnight AirSoft campaign was held on Saturday, April 16 to raise money for two local organizations that help those that struggle with mental illness.
The money raised will be split between the Cam Hick’s Foundation, and Durham Mental Health. “The real winner was mental health, with both Cam’s Kids and Durham Mental Health (kid’s line) benefitting from the $2,600 raised,” said Hayden’s father and biggest supporter, Roger Prince.
Teams from as far away as London, Ontario took to the battlefield at Uxbridge Shooting Sports for 22-hours of non-stop action aided by pyrotechnics, helicopter landings, and numerous raids. All for a noble cause.
To check out some pictures and video from the event, go to: www.shooting4mentalhealth.com and feel free to donate while on the website to lift the veil of stigma surrounding mental health.
The Cam Hicks Foundation is focused on providing support to youth struggling with anxiety, helping them to cope effectively in order to reach their full potential.
Durham Mental Health provides those struggling with mental illness a variety of support programs.
ROB DRAL The Standard
UXBRIDGE: An update on the proposed plans to add additional facilities to The Fields of Uxbridge was recently released.
According to a press release from the township, “the long term vision of the township is to consolidate some recreational facilities at the site north of town as part of the Fields of Uxbridge Master Plan.”
Uxbridge Council will also re-examine the zoning of some of the aging existing recreational facilities to determine whether the may be sold to help fund new replacement facilities.
This comes after it was brought to the attention of council last week that the Arena Baseball Diamond was no longer suitable for league play.
Colleen Baskin, the new Communication Officer with the Town of Uxbridge told The Standard this is all part of a master plan... literally. “10 years ago, Council brought forward the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and this is the culmination of that.”
In addition to a new baseball diamond, the Uxpool aquatic facility will be sold and replaced by a new aquatic complex at The Fields of Uxbridge when infrastructure funding becomes available.
Uxbridge Mayor, O’Connor would like the public to know that there will be community involvement and would like the community to understand why re-zoning is taking place.
“This is about maximizing the potential of our resources to help us achieve our long-term goals,” said Mayor O’Connor. “By looking forward to the future needs of our community we can plan the re-zoning now and collect community feedback along the way.”
The page has turned on another season of Uxbridge Bruins hockey following the team's annual awards ceremony.
The Bruins recognized their season at the Uxbridge Legion on the evening of Friday, April 22, with staff, volunteers, guests, players and their families gathering to celebrate another season of Junior 'C' hockey in the community.
The evening allowed several members of the Bruins organization to recognize outgoing head coach Geoff Hodgkinson, following his recent resignation to devote more time to his family.
"I can't say how proud I am that Geoff has made the decision to spend the time with his boys at this crucial stage of their lives," commented general manager Ron Archibald. "This has truly been a team effort, and we're grateful for everything you and your family have done for the Bruins."
Hodgkinson, a former Bruins captain, thanked the organization for allowing him the opportunity to return as coach in his speech.
"It has been an awesome journey, and without our players, and all of the staff and volunteers in this organization, I wouldn't be who I am," said Hodgkinson. "I've spent seven years in Uxbridge, four as a player and now three as a coach. This community has always treated me like family."
Although the team fell short of a league championship, Archibald noted that there were a number of positive achievements this season, both on the ice and in the community.
"Only one team gets to win their last game, so we'll measure our success in a different way. Moments like the Jumpstart Day in November showed the impact that this team has in the community, and that's a huge credit to our players."
The evening concluded with the team honouring outgoing overage players Marco Mastrangelo, Branden Francey and Daryl Thomson, as well as individual awards. Jordan Nesbitt was named Outstanding Defenceman, and Liam Timewell took home the award for Most Gentlemanly.
Thomas Swift was named Rookie of the Year as well as sharing the Most Improved award with Aiden Reilly, who was also presented with the Coaches Award.
COJHL MVP Marco Mastrangelo was also named team MVP, for the second consecutive season.
“It's been an amazing four years with a great group of guys that I consider family," Mastrangelo said. "I want to thank everyone who volunteers with this team for making my time with the Bruins so special.”
Follow the Bruins on Twitter @uxbridgebruins or go to their website at: www.uxbridgebruins.com
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
Members of the Uxbridge Swim Club were matched up against the top swimmers from across the country recently, as Tristan McKinney and Mitchel Ferraro took part in the 2016 Canadian Olympic Trials.
Held over the course of five days earlier this month at the Pan Am Sports Centre Complex in Toronto, the event drew top competitors from coast-to-coast vying for the opportunity to represent Canada in Rio de Janeiro at the Olympics this summer.
With a large contingent of USC swimmers in the stands cheering them on, both McKinney and Ferraro posted very competitive times in their events.
McKinney finished in the Top-20 overall in the 200 metre breaststroke. Meanwhile, against a field dominated by older and more experienced swimmers, Ferraro finished in the Top-25 in the 100 metre Freestyle, and also had a strong showing in the 50 metre Freestyle event.
For more information on upcoming events, and all of the latest news from the pool, visit www.uxbridgeswimclub.com.
Special To The Standard
Team Hart Bantam Mixed Provincial Champions
Congratulations to Team Hart who were crowned the Ontario Curling Association’s Bantam Mixed Provincial Champions on Saturday. Representing the Port Perry Curling Club, this team of siblings had David Hart at skip, Rachel Steele at vice, Nathan Steele at second, Lauren Hart at lead, and was coached by Richard Hart.
The team competed in the eight-team round-robin Provincials this past week at the London Curling Club. Being by far the youngest team participating, they were in tough against some much older and more experienced teams. This did not intimidate the foursome who played lights out all week and clinched the Provincial championship with an overall 6-1 record, sitting alone atop the standings.
This was an amazing run for the team who after going undefeated through the zones and regional playdowns, finished with a 12-1 overall record in all their games. This is the first Provincial Championship for Rachel and Nathan, the Port Perry High School grade 9 students and also for grade 8 student Lauren Hart from Pickering, who just started competitive curling this season.
Special thanks to all the members of the local curling community who followed the team on this journey and sent numerous messages of support and congratulations to the players. The Port Perry Curling Club has been very supportive and are especially proud of Rachel and Nathan who have grown up through the club’s curling program. The club and it’s members look forward to seeing the Provincial banner raised at a presentation ceremony in the fall.
Congratulations again David, Rachel, Nathan, and Lauren!
Butler Repeats as Mixed Bonspiel Champion
The annual Port Perry Auto Glass and State Farm Mixed Bonspiel was held this past weekend with teams playing one game Friday night, then three games on Saturday. Teams were treated to great curling, some great food and entertainment, including karaoke on Saturday night.
Port Perry’s John Butler skipped his team of Alice Beatty, Terry Golphin, and Marita Kersten to the overall championship. They beat the team of Rob Parish, Carol Jackson, Jay St.John, and Karen Rowsell in the final. This is the second year in a row, and third in four years that Butler has won this event. Doug Rowe’s team of Ally Rowe, Gord McComb, and Laurie McComb won the consolation event.
Special thanks to event sponsors Glenn and Kelly Evans from Port Perry Auto Glass and Kevin and Valerie Spohn from Kevin Spohn State Farm Insurance for their 20 years of sponsoring this mixed event. Thanks to Terry Vos from Vos Independent and all the community sponsors that donated prizes to the raffle table.
The ice crew of Mike Parliament and Rob Thompson did an amazing job all weekend and thanks also to bonspiel co-ordinators Peter and Susan Duivesteyn.
Teams from Oshawa, Uxbridge, Unionville, High Park, and Port Perry competed in the event. Everyone had a great time and it was a great way to end another curling season at the Port Perry Curling Club.
Butler Mens League Champion
After a full week of mens league playoffs at the Port Perry Curling Club, John Butler skipped his team of John Malloy, Adam Meaney, and Michael Konopaski to the 2015-16 championship.
The team beat Mark Howsam, Kevin Davis, Adam Meaney (Ken Lavalette spare) and Ken Lamb in the final.
Follow Rob Steele on Twitter @LastRockCurling for all the latest updates and photos from various curling events and tournaments around the province
Port Perry's Ty Dellandrea had made history before many of his peers had woken up on Saturday morning, becoming the highest drafted Scugog player in OHL history when he was selected in the first round, fifth overall, by the Flint Firebirds.
Dellandrea's impressive season with the Central Ontario Wolves drew interest from scouts throughout the league, as he racked up 55 points (35 goals and 20 assists) in 35 games played. A rival coach referred to the 15-year-old as being, "the most dangerous player with the puck in the ETA."
Speaking with The Standard moments after hearing his name called surrounded by his mother Loni and father Jay, along with sister Tristyn and other family and friends, Dellandrea remarked that he was "really honoured, and being able to share it with all of the people who have helped me get here, makes it a very special moment."
A 6-foot, 172 lb. centre, Dellandrea heads to Flint amid a great deal of turmoil surrounding the franchise in the wake of a five-year suspension being imposed on controversial owner Rolf Nilsen just days prior to the draft, as well as the team being stripped of the third overall selection in the Saturday, April 9 draft.
However, Dellandrea was focused squarely on contributing on the ice for the Firebirds next season, and is excited to be part of a draft class that boasted five picks among the first 48 selections.
“It's exciting that the organization is on the right path and is going to have a fresh start next season. It's a great opportunity to be a part of that culture change. The organization will be adding a lot of talented players with faith in what we can accomplish."
Dellandrea will not have to look far to find familiar faces once the Grade 10 student at Uxbridge Secondary School takes to the ice in Flint, with the team drafting a pair of his teammates from the Wolves in the later rounds of Saturday's draft.
Team captain Braydon Leeking, a 6'3" centre was taken in the 6th round, and right winger Owen Smith heard his name called in the 13th round.
The trio will head to Flint hoping to turn things around for a Firebirds team coming off a last place finish in the West Division. The 2015-16 campaign will be the second year for the team in Flint, after relocating from Plymouth in suburban Detroit.
With the city rocked by the tainted water crisis, as well as decades of increased economic depression stemming from massive job losses in the automitive sector, Dellandrea hopes to be part of a special core of players, and give fans something to cheer about. “Flint has the most loyal fans in hockey, and I'm excitied to help bring them a championship."
The 2016 edition of the Wolves matched an organizational record with five selections in the draft. In addition to the three players headed to the Firebirds, Uxbridge's Quinn Yule, a towering 6'5" left winger was tabbed in the fifth round, 84th overall, by the Ottawa 67's.
Goaltender Jordan Kooy was an eighth round pick of the London Knights. Stay tuned to The Standard to follow their journey to professional hockey.
ROB DRAL The Standard
The Ripple Effect group is an organization funding two Syrian families coming to Uxbridge.
The support group is holding a Skating Gala on Friday, April 15 to raise money in support of the two families. Join the community for a night of world class skating.
The Skating Gala begins at 7pm at the Uxbridge Arena. Tickets are only $10 and can be bought at the door.
The Skating Gala features some of the world’s top figure skating talent including: Canada’s Junior National Champions, Czech Republic’s Junior National Champions, members of the Great Britain World Team, Senior Canadian International and National Team members, and Special Winter Olympics Canadian silver medalist.
One of those Junior National Champions is none other then Uxbridge’s own Mackenzie Bent.
Mackenzie and her partner Dmitre Razgulajevs recently won gold medals at the Junior National Championships this past January.
Mackenzie started skating when she was only 3 years old at the Uxbridge Skating Club. “Skating was definitely love at first glide,” says Mackenzie. She was paired with her first partner at the age of 7 and just recently started skating with Dmitre, where they found instant success.
“With only 7 months skating together we managed to capture the gold medal at Junior Nationals,” recalls Mackenzie. This coming season, Mackenzie and Dmitre will be moving up to senior level and are excited for the challenges that lay ahead. When not skating, Mackenzie loves to read a good Margaret Atwood novel or spend time with friends and family.
The end of the season doesn’t mean Mackenzie is taking off the skates just yet. She chose to skate at the Gala to give back to the community that has supported her for so long. Mackenzie told The Standard all the opportunities given to her in life is the reason she loves being involved in events like this.
“I've been so fortunate to love what I get to do on a daily basis, and I think the realization of that has shown me the importance of helping others. If I can inspire a little girl to skate, or even draw a small crowd out to a show in support of what I feel is an incredible cause then I can say I've accomplished, what I feel, is something worth more than a gold medal,” she said.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
With their season ended by the Port Hope Panthers last week, in Game 5 of the provincial quarterfinals, the Port Perry MoJacks will now turn their attention to filling the vacancy behind their bench in the wake of head coach Clair Cornish's resignation earlier this week.
Cornish, a Scugog Sports Hall of Famer, member of the 1990 Memorial Cup Champion Oshawa Generals and decorated former MoJacks player, took over head coaching duties for the 2014-15 season after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant coach.
This past season he guided the MoJacks to the sixth Cougar Cup championship in club history, as the MoJacks rolled through the COJHL playoffs, knocking off the defending champion Clarington Eagles in five games to claim the title.
However, with two growing children with athletic pursuits of their own, Cornish informed the MoJacks' Board of Directors of his intentions to step down from his post on Monday, April, 4.
"It's a full-time job to run a really good hockey program, and I didn't feel that I would be able to make that same commitment to the team this coming year," Cornish explained to The Standard.
Without Cornish at the helm, the MoJacks appear poised to continue to contend for COJHL championships, and ultimately provincial titles for years to come with a solid core of returning player, and a revitalized program that can attract talented newcomers.
"I think that the MoJacks' program has proven that it can move players onto higher levels of competition. And, they can bring in strong players with a commitment to a winning culture, which is something I really tried to instill and emphasize over the past four seasons," added Cornish.
The news comes on the heels of the most successful season of MoJacks hockey in a decade, which came to an end in Port Hope on Tuesday, March 29, with a 4-1 loss to the Panthers in Game 5 of the Clarence Schmalz Cup provincial quarterfinals.
Ethan Ramsden opened the scoring, netting the lone goal of the night for Port Perry just over five minutes into the action, with assists credited to Andrew Pickering and Bryce Patterson. However, the Panthers would prove too strong, scoring four unanswered goals to advance to the provincial semifinals.
“As you get older, you realize just how tough it is to win, and there are a lot of good players and programs out there, and it's a testament to the hard work of everyone involved with the MoJacks that we were able to advance as far as we did," Cornish said.
The MoJacks will begin interviewing candidates for the vacant head coaching position shortly, ahead of the team's prospect evaluation camp later this spring.
Stay tuned to The Standard for any updates on the position.