DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
A trio of Uxbridge girls are returning home from the National Rugby Festival with silver medals after competing last week as part of Team Ontario's Under-18 entry at the tournament in Calgary.
Uxbridge SS teammates from the Tigers' bronze medal winning team at OFSAA Zoe DeGroote, Julia Schell and Zosia Ruchlewicz were part of the team that took an undefeated record of 6-0 into the championship game, where they would come up just short of the gold, losing by a score of 10-7 against British Columbia.
The Ontario girls rolled through the round robin portion of the tournament, downing Quebec 13-7 in their opening game on Tuesday, Aug. 5.
From there, Ontario would continue to roll on Wednesday, Aug. 6, posting wins of 38-7 over Saskatchewan and shutting out the hosts from Alberta 29-0.
Ontario crushed Manitoba by a score of 51-0 on Thursday, Aug. 7, before wrapping up round robin play with a pair of shutout victories on Saturday, Aug. 9, defeating Nova Scotia 12-0 and British Columbia 17-0.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
Three Uxbridge players were part of the Team Ontario Under-18 boys entry that claimed bronze medals at the National Rugby Festival last week in Calgary.
Jason Simmonds, Rob Freckleton and Erich Milne all competed for Team Ontario at the Festival, facing off against the top young rugby players from across the country.
Ontario opened round robin play on Tuesday, Aug. 5, with a 23-15 win over Quebec. The next day, Ontario stumbled against British Columbia, dropping a 20-12 decision. However, the team would rebound in the round robin finale on Thursday, Aug. 7 as they squeaked past the hosts from Alberta by a score of 19-17.
British Colombia once again got the best of Team Ontario by a score of 19-12 as the playoff portion of the competition got underway on Saturday, Aug. 9.
But, the team would rally to take home bronze medals on Sunday, Aug. 10, as they upended Alberta by a score of 22-7.
The three Uxbridge players were all members of the Uxbridge SS Senior Boys side that finished fourth at the OFSAA Championships this spring.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
Project Y.O.U., a new local service group will be holding its inaugural event - a charity ball hockey tournament - this weekend at Uxbridge Arena and is seeking teams to join in the action.
Project Y.O.U. was founded earlier this year by and to serve the "Youth of Uxbridge" (or Y.O.U.).
Adrian Giacca made a presentation to council at their meeting on the morning of Monday, Aug. 11 to explain the goals of the group, and how it came to be formed.
"As a resident of this wonderful community I have been trying to involve myself with various groups and organizations. I noticed over the years I was often the youngest member and wondered why this was. I saw that there were no initiatives that the youth in this town were truly passionate about," Mr. Giacca explained. "Two months ago I wrote a quick message out to my social media networks asking if this kind of initiative would be of interest to this target group. In under two days I received an astounding response of interested young people who all wanted to contribute. Today we are now 70 members strong, who all contribute in various ways. We are proud to be a part of this community and this is how we will show it. Our aim is to provide the youth of this community an opportunity to reach their full potential."
The first event undertaken by Project Y.O.U. is a ball hockey tournament, slated for Saturday, Aug. 16 at Uxbridge Arena, running from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The event will feature two divisions, one for players 13 years and older and the other for the ages of 12 and under.
In addition to the ball hockey action, there will be food and beverages, prizes and give-aways as well as a live band, including a dunk tank and an inflatable hardest slap shot contest.
Mr. Giacca noted that the planning for this event could not have been possible without the generous support of The Bonner Boys, Gorgons, CRS Equipment Rental, and the Township of Uxbridge.
Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor lauded the group for their undertaking as councillors pledged their support for the ball hockey tournament.
"This sounds like an awesome event," commented Mayor O'Connor. "To be able to rally youth, it takes youth."
The group is hoping for 16 teams to take part in the event, if if you know of anyone (yourself, a friend, a child, etc.) that would be interested in playing in the inaugural Project Y.O.U. Ball Hockey Tournament, please e-mail email@example.com.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
Although the season may still be more than a month away, the Port Perry MoJacks and Uxbridge Bruins will both be opening training camp next week as the teams begin preparations for the 2014-15 COJHL season.
The Bruins will open training camp in Stouffville on Monday, Aug. 18 for the first of two sessions prior to opening their pre-season schedule on Thursday, Aug. 21 in Schomberg, where they will tangle with the Cougars, who compete in the Georgian Bay Mid Ontario Junior Hockey League (GBMOJHL).
Local fans can get their first glimpse of the Bruins this season the following night, on Friday, Aug. 22 in Stouffville at 7:15 p.m. as they square off in a rematch against Schomberg.
On Thursday, Aug. 28, the Bruins will return to Uxrena for a 7:15 p.m. tilt against the Alliston Hornets, a perennial power in the GBMOJHL.
Meanwhile, the MoJacks will open their training camp at Campus Ice Centre on Thursday, Aug. 21 for the first of back-to-back sessions on the ice.
The MoJacks will begin pre-season play on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 7:20 p.m., in Lindsay with a match-up against the Little Britain Merchants. The two sides will renew hostilities at Scugog Arena on Thursday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
From September 5 through 7, both teams will once again be taking part in the annual Pre-season Junior C tournament in Alliston.
On Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m., the MoJacks will be co-hosting an OHL exhibition game at Scugog Arena alongside Port Perry Minor Hockey that will see the Belleville Bulls pitted against the Erie Otters.
The Bruins open the COJHL regular season on Friday, Sept. 19 in Keswick against the Georgina Ice. The Bruins return to Uxbridge for their home opener on Friday, Sept. 26 for the first ‘Battle of North Durham' of the season as they host the MoJacks at 7:45 p.m.
The MoJacks will begin the season on Saturday, Sept. 20 in Lakefield against the defending All-Ontario champion Chiefs. On Sunday, Sept. 21, the MoJacks kick off the home portion of the schedule at their new start time of 2:25 p.m., at Scugog Arena when they lock horns with the Ice.
BLAKE WOLFE The Standard
SCUGOG: The Rotary Club of Port Perry is looking to make another big splash for charity this month, when the 2013 edition of the club’s popular Aquarama fundraiser takes over the Port Perry shoreline for its 20th anniversary.
The annual summer event returns to Palmer Park on Sunday, Aug. 18. Twenty teams of up to five riders will hit the waters of Lake Scugog for some friendly competition, zipping around a course on a personal watercraft. No experience is necessary, however, riders need to raise at least $100 in pledges.
As of Aug. 1, space is still available for seven more teams to register. Single riders can be added to a team as space allows.
Prizes, trophies and medals will be awarded to teams and riders in a variety of categories, including Highest Individual Pledges Collected, Fastest Team Time, ‘Spledge’ (team time minus 10 seconds for each $100 collected), Fastest Individual Time, Highest Team Pledges, Most Unusual Ride and Most Amusing Costume. This year’s event will also feature a barbecue and live music.
With more than $180,000 generated for various local charities and Rotary Club initiatives, Aquarama chair Steve Gajewski said that to commemorate the event’s 20th anniversary, he hopes to see donations top the $200,000 mark. In 2012 alone, riders helped raise $8,346 for charity.
This year, in addition to funding local charitable goals such as the Lake Scugog Camp, Mr. Gajewski said that the club is also focusing on raising funds to eliminate polio in the developing world, a project the Port Perry club has been involved in over the last few years.
"We’re looking forward to a fun day, and this year the weeds aren’t looking too bad," said Mr. Gajewski, referring to the cause of the odd Aquarama cancellation over the years.
John Mackie and Port Perry Marina will once again be donating the watercraft and assistance in making the event a success, as he has since the first Aquarama in 1993.
Riders can download registration and pledge forms at www.aquarama.ca. Forms can also be picked up at Taylor Forder Insurance at 169 North St.
For more information on how to get involved, visit Aquarama’s web site at www.aquarama.ca or call Mr. Gajewski at 905-852-8008.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: This year's CMX motocross event will have a slightly different look following several recommendations put forth recently by council.
At their meeting on the morning of Monday, March 4, councillors agreed on a number of changes to the event, which is scheduled to be run on Sunday, July 21, at the Dillon farm in Zephyr.
While council has relaxed several of the conditions put forth surrounding last year's inaugural event, not all of Mr. Dillon's requests for this year's event were approved for this year's batch of races.
This year's motocross event will play out in front of a larger audience after councillors agreed to double last year's capacity, allowing 2,000 people to take in the event.
Also, race organizers will now have to carry the standard $5 million insurance policy, a drastic reduction from the $10 million the township requested last year.
According to Township Clerk Debbie Leroux, the previous $10 million policy - double what is required of the annual Indycar race in Toronto - came through a recommendation from the Durham Region Insurance Pool.
Furthermore, councillors denied Mr. Dillon's request to have camping on his property on Friday night to accommodate out-of-town riders. Instead, camping will only be permitted on Saturday night (July 20).
As well, the practice session for the weekend will be limited to between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday.
"I don't see the need for camping on Friday night. Practice starts on Saturday afternoon, giving them plenty of time for practice," said Ward 3 Councillor Pat Mikuse.
Councillors also took Mr. Dillon up on his pledge to once again not have any weekend motocross riding at his property in the months of July and August in exchange for being able to host the lone motocross event in Uxbridge Township.
Part of Mr. Dillon's reason for bringing this event to Zephyr was to aid in local initiatives.
After donating revenues from last year's race to the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital, Mr. Dillon has indicated that proceeds from this year's race will be going towards improvements at the Zephyr Community Hall and Park.
BLAKE WOLFE The Standard
SCUGOG: Following a recent assault incident involving a minor hockey referee and the parent of a player at the Scugog Arena, the Port Perry Minor Hockey Association has suspended the 17-year-old official as well as another parent who confronted the youth earlier that night.
PPMHA president Clair Cornish confirmed that the league had suspended the youth after receiving complaints about "the ref's conduct" on the evening of the incident. In addition to the young referee, Mr. Cornish said that the league has also suspended the other parent involved in the verbal confrontation which preceded the assault.
"This is normal procedure in such an incident," said Mr. Cornish, adding that the Ontario Minor Hockey Association may become involved in handling the ref's suspension. "However, we haven't had much precedent to go by."
The assault took place on Feb. 19, at a Port Perry Predators Novice AE playoff game against an Oshawa team at the local arena.
According to police, a verbal exchange between the referee and two parents of Port Perry players began inside the arena, regarding calls made by the ref during the game. Police said that one of those parents later threatened the ref and kicked his legs in the parking lot. The assault took place in front of several people, including children, said police.
Last week, police charged Scugog resident Brad Fenney in connection with the Feb. 19 assault.
Mr. Cornish also confirmed for The Standard that some of the parents of this particular team – none of which were involved in the Feb. 19 incidents – were previously cautioned in December for their conduct during games, following a number of complaints made by arena users last fall. However, he added that those particular complaints were related to matters such as the volume of cheering as opposed to any physical or verbal confrontations.
"It's up to interpretation," said Mr. Cornish of those complaints made against the team's parents in 2012. "Some might be surprised, but others may say it's just hockey."
BLAKE WOLFE The Standard SCUGOG: Police are investigating an assault incident at a minor hockey game in Port Perry last week, after an altercation took place between a Scugog man and a 17-year-old referee at the Scugog Arena.
The incident took place on Feb. 19, at a Port Perry Predators Novice AE playoff game against an Oshawa team at the local arena.
Police and witnesses allege that a verbal exchange between the referee and several parents, regarding calls made during the game, began inside the arena. According to police, one parent later threatened the ref and kicked his legs in the parking lot. The assault took place in front of several people, including children, said police.
One witness, who asked not to be identified, described the incident as "an inappropriate act by an adult.
"There were words exchanged by both sides," said the witness, "but then the adult started attacking this youth. Bullying like that is not acceptable, especially in front of kids. It was inappropriate for an adult to cross a line like that. We're supposed to be teaching our kids respect."
While similar incidents are sometimes reported elsewhere in Canada and the U.S. during hockey season, Port Perry Minor Hockey president Clair Cornish said that such an incident is "uncharted territory" for the local league.
"It's in the hands of the police and they'll deal with it as they see fit," said Mr. Cornish. "We have dealt with this as an association and supported the referee. We've never seen anything even remotely close to this at any of our games. In talking to arena staff, this incident is a first."
Police have charged Scugog resident Brad Fenney in connection with the incident. He was released on an undertaking with conditions, which includes a condition not to attend any organized youth sporting event.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Organizers of a motocross race in Zephyr are revving their engines for the return of the event to the hamlet this summer.
Luke Dillon appeared before council at their meeting on the morning of Monday, Feb. 11 to discuss details of this year's race, which looks to build upon the success of last summer's inaugural event, which is run under the CMX banner of events.
Mr. Dillon told councillors that he needs to start contacting sponsors for the event, and his visit to council was with the hopes that the process for gaining approval doesn't drag out.
Among the changes to the motocross event for 2013, is the inclusion of a Saturday practice run to allow riders to familiarize themselves with the course, which is situated on Mr. Dillon's farm. The Saturday session would last four hours and with many riders taking to the closed course for the first time, it's prudent for safety reasons to allow them a practice session, contended Mr. Dillon, who added that no spectators would be permitted for the events on Saturday.
As well, Mr. Dillon asked councillors to allow for greater attendance at the event, increasing from 1,000 riders and spectators last year to 3,000 this year.
It was noted by Mr. Dillon that with last year's cap of 1,000 attendees, that some spectators were turned away from the event.
"There weren't a lot of spectators last year, because we had limited time to advertise, it was probably 60 to 70 per cent race families," added Mr. Dillon.
Additionally, it was requested that camping for the event start on Friday night to better facilitate riders coming from great distances to take part in the Saturday practice session.
"We'd like to start camping on Friday to accommodate those travelling from far away," Mr. Dillon explained. "It's hard to make it from Sarnia for a 10 a.m. practice."
It was later added, by Mr. Dillon, that on-line registry for the event will give organizers a better idea of what is needed prior to this year's event.
Responding to a question from Ward 1 Councillor Bev Northeast, Mr. Dillon has a detailed plan to inform his neighbours about the changes to the event this year.
"We would hold a public meeting, just as we did last year, and a letter drop within 5 km of the event to let people know about the changes," Mr. Dillon said.
The answer resonated with Councillor Northeast, who commended Mr. Dillon on his event last year.
"I was a supporter last year, but you stuck to the rules and did a good job," said Councillor Northeast.
Ultimately though, no decision on dropping the green flag was made by council, as they await a new special events by-law, which is scheduled to come before council on March 4, as Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor explained.
"Council shouldn't be giving any green light until we see the new by-law," said Mayor O'Connor.
The Mayor went on to speak highly of the event last year, during which she took part in trophy presentations.
"I was at your event last year and was amazed at how well run it was, and the amount of families with young kids that were there," commented Mayor O'Connor.