The Heartbeat of the Ottawa Sports Community LONG-TIME KINGS OVERTHROWN
Vol. 3, #3
Eyeing Olympic gold
Geneviève Lacasse backstopped Team Canada to a 4-2 victory over USA at the site of the 1980 Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid, NY en route to a Four Nations Cup triumph in November.
A father-son combo at Sir Wil provided the magic necessary to dethrone the 5-time city-champion St. Peter Knights.
CHATRAND SNAGS SPOTLIGHT
Sochi 2014 hopeful Alaine Chartrand of the Nepean Skating Club was the best-known medalist at a nationals qualifier.
LISGAR JOURNEY ENDS ON TOP
After being sidelined last year, Lisgar’s senior boys’ volleyball team won its first city title since 1977, plus OFSAA bronze.
RADA-CAL RUN FOR THUNDER
Algonquin Thunder soccer and basketball player Jesa Rada has won all games she’s played in Ontario this year for both sports.
Impressive win over USA in international debut, CWHL title & top goalie honours vault Lacasse into contention for Team Canada Olympic starter By Jamie Shinkewski Geneviève Lacasse grew up dreaming of being drafted to the National Hockey League and winning the Stanley Cup. She emulated the sensational saves made by her idol Martin Brodeur. She watched Manon Rhéaume become the first woman to play in the NHL. Now, Lacasse is one of three goaltenders battling to be named Team Canada’s starter for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. It’s no longer the Stanley Cup, but an Olympic gold medal that’s her main focus. “I came to the realization that our Stanley Cup is the Olympics,” explains the 24-year-old who trains in Ottawa and stays with her dad in Limoges whenever hockey commitments don’t take her elsewhere. Winning an Olympic gold medal would represent another prize to add to a recently-growing collection in Lacasse’s improbable journey to the top of the women’s hockey world. The Kingston native didn’t start playing hockey until age 8, didn’t become a full-time goaltender until she was 10, and played on boys’ teams until she reached Grade 9. Her position between the pipes was partially due to her family dynamic growing up. “(My brother and I) played road
hockey all the time,” recounts Lacasse, who’s lived in many places across the country since her father is in the military. “He was the older brother and I played with his friends, so they put the little sister in net.” Lacasse believes playing with both genders, as well as playing different sports, was excellent for her development. “I didn’t play summer hockey – I played soccer, baseball, I did track, cross-country,” she highlights. “I dabbled in every sport and I think that led to my athleticism and being able to react in different ways on the ice that maybe other goalies wouldn’t.” Athletic ability is Lacasse’s greatest strength, concurs Team Canada coach Dan Church, although he’s noticed a significant improvement in her positioning recently. “She’s the kind of goaltender that can keep you in a game or help steal a game because of her athleticism,” Church notes. “The thing she’s improved the most is her technical ability to not always rely on that athleticism.”
GOALIE CARVED UNIQUE PATH Lacasse never competed for Canada’s junior or under-23 programs, but eventually made her way onto Team Canada’s radar while playing at Providence College, which then led her to the nearby Boston Blades of the Canadian Women’s Hockey
signals. “I thought she played a solid 60 minutes and gave us an opportunity to win, which is what you want a goaltender to do in that situation.”
SOCHI STARTER HOPES IN FOCUS
League last season. In her rookie campaign, Lacasse backstopped the Blades to a Clarkson Cup championship, posting a 13-1 record, holding the CWHL’s best goals against average and save percentage, and getting selected as the league’s top goalie. “It was a huge honour to be named the goaltender of the year,” Lacasse says. “It was awesome, but really winning the Clarkson Cup was the highlight of the year. I thought it was a good stepping-stone to this year. It gave me a lot of confidence.” Lacasse’s surge on the women’s hockey scene continued when she was called upon for her first international start on Nov. 6 at the Four Nations Cup – against arch-rival USA at the site of the 1980 Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid, NY no less. Lacasse stood up to the challenge, making 21 saves in a 4-2 victory as Canada went on to win the tournament. “I thought Geneviève really took advantage of the opportunity,” Church
Look back four years ago to Vancouver 2010 – when a 23-year-old Shannon Szabados and her lightning quick glove hand shutout USA in the gold medal final – and the odds of Lacasse starting in Sochi would have been about 1 in a million. Try again just six months ago and the possibility was a bit closer, but still highly unlikely given that Lacasse didn’t dress for any games at the world championships in Ottawa, relegated to the press box behind Szabados and veteran Charline Labonté. But with her recent performances, the notion is suddenly no longer as farfetched. “All three of us want to be the starter in Sochi and I think it’s going to come down to the wire,” Lacasse predicts. “We’re just working hard and trying to play consistently.” Church knows the three goalies he’ll take to Sochi, but still needs to choose which one will start for the Stanley Cup of women’s hockey. “I think the positive thing is that any of the three goaltenders could start for us and do a good job,” he highlights. “It makes the decision tough, but that’s what you want.”
Local speed skaters race in Ottawa, Quebec & Kazakhstan By Dan Plouffe
Local speed skaters competed near and far on the Nov. 30-Dec. 1 weekend. For the younger crowd, the Gloucester Concordes hosted an Ontario Cup short-track event for the province’s top youth skaters, while some of the older elite skaters competed nationally in Ste.-Foy, Que. and internationally in Kazakhstan. “It’s great,” says Ontario Cup meet director Sandra Chénard, who founded the Concordes club in 1990. “They were posting in from Ste.-Foy and we were cheering all of them on.” One drawback of the simultaneous competitions in different locales was that many regulars in the army of volunteers necessary to run the Ontario Cup event were out of town. “We’ve called on a lot of people,” Chénard indicates. “The number of volunteers that have come out both from the Ottawa Pacers and here at our club have been crucial to us.” Community spirit was certainly high for the RBC Sports Day in Canada-registered event, and it would be hard to find anything more Canadian to do than freezing in an arena. “The skaters are shivering a little. The rink is cold – I’m going to write that on the report,” smiles Chénard,
last season’s world championships. Blondin finished at the bottom of the women’s 3,000 m ‘A’ division in her early-November season debut on home ice in Calgary. “Definitely not my best race. Sometimes you need just need to pick yourself back up and come back stronger,” Blondin tweeted after the race, with the hashtag “sh--happens”.
Noah Bouma (left) of the Ottawa Pacers was a top-10 finisher at the Nov. 30-Dec. 1 Ontario Cup short-track speed skating event at the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex – Orléans.
OLYMPIC TRIALS LOOM LARGE
now in her 30th season as a speed skating volunteer. Will Harris of the Pacers finished second overall in the Group 1 Division 2 men’s category, while Pacers Bethany McKinley-Young, Adrienne Gaudreault, Oliver Scharf, Ethan McKinley-Young, Noah Bouma, Konnie Hatzis and Connor Rogerson, and Concordes Matthew Daly and Antoine Parent earned top-10 finishes in their classes, but the biggest local highlights of the weekend unques-
tionably came from the Canada Cup long-track meet in Ste.-Foy. Gloucester’s Isabelle Weidemann added another chapter to her growing legend of prowess on outdoor ice with impressive victories in the 1,500 m, 5,000 m and 3,000 m, which she won by over 3 seconds against a high-quality national field. “A truly amazing sweep!” Weidemann’s mother and Concordes club president Laurel Rockwell reports by e-mail. “National team members were
photo: dan plouffe hanging their heads.” Fellow Concorde Vincent De Haitre, who made his debut on the World Cup circuit earlier in November, was also victorious at the Canada Cup in the 1,000 m and 1,500 m. The news from Astana, Kazakhstan and the season’s third World Cup long-track competition wasn’t as bright. Ivanie Blondin’s early-season woes persisted with a 12th-place result in the ‘B’ division to finish 22nd overall in the women’s 5,000 m – the distance in which she placed eighth at
Her results didn’t improve much in subsequent World Cup races in Salt Lake City, UT (where she was made alternate for Canada’s team pursuit entry on the heels of a fourth-place result in Calgary) or in Kazakhstan, where she missed a chance to pre-qualify for the Olympics. The Dec. 28-Jan. 3 Canadian Olympic team trials in Calgary will now be of supreme importance for the 23-year-old, preceded by a Dec. 6-8 World Cup in Germany. De Haitre, competing in his first career World Cups at age 19, posted back-to-back personal-best times in the 1,500 m in Calgary and Salt Lake, to finish 17th and 21st in the ‘B’ divisions. Lauren McGuire of the Ottawa Pacers also made her World Cup debut at the same meets, placing 36th and 32nd in the women’s 3,000 m ‘B’ division.
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5 Ottawans on ringette worlds-bound Team Canada Team Canada veteran Jenna McBride is one of 5 local players ready to play for Team Canada at the Dec. 29Jan. 3 world ringette championships in North Bay.
By Michael Lapointe Team Canada will shoot for its first gold medal in 10 years at the Dec. 29-Jan. 3 world ringette championships in the city where the game was born 50 years ago. North Bay may be the birthplace of the sport, but with five Team Canada players from Ottawa on the
squad, the nation’s capital could possibly lay claim to being the city where ringette has grown up. The Ottawa contingent named to Team Canada’s initial roster features two veterans of previous world championships – National Ringette League players Colleen Hagan of the Gloucester Devils and Jenna McBride of the Ottawa Ice – and three younger
Nepean Ravens prep for worlds By Dan Plouffe
The Nepean Ravens Belle ‘AA’ team captured the ultimate prize last season when they earned the U19 national title at the Canadian Ringette Championships. “It was probably the best time of my life,” recalls Nepean captain Karli O’Brien,
who set up three goals and scored the winner in the 5-4 gold medal match against Winnipeg. “That final, so many emotions went into that game.” Back on smaller stages to start the new season, the Ravens haven’t soared quite as high. At their Nov. 1317 home tournament, they did go 4-0 in the
photo: dan plouffe
round robin, beating Richmond Hill, Pickering, Manitoba and London, but then lost their semi-final match 5-4 to New Brunswick. Previous tournaments weren’t golden either. “We’re not as good as we were last year – yet,” cautions Nepean coach Lary Allen. “It’s November. They don’t have to worry about being ready until March.” The Ravens will get the opportunity of a lifetime to hone their skills before then. By virtue of last season’s title, the team will represent Canada in the developmental division of the Dec. 29Jan. 3 world ringette championships in North Bay against Finland’s under-19s, USA and Sweden. The arrival of their official Team Canada jerseys was an exceptionally exciting moment for the teenagers. RINGETTE go to p.9
photo: dean joncas
The Importance of Hydration
Fluid replacement is a key part of a winning sports nutrition plan. Unlike adults, young athletes have a harder time cooling the body during activity. This means you have a greater chance of becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can decrease muscle strength, endurance, coordination, and can lead to muscle cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke. Thirst is not a good cue of how much water your body needs. By the time thirst is felt, you may already be dehydrated. Water is the most important, and often most ignored nutrient for athletes. Water makes up 70% of muscle or about 60 % of body weight and is lost in sweat during exercise, especially in hot weather. Sweating is a normal and healthy way for the body to cool down, however excessive water loss can result in DEHYDRATION and lower your athletic performance.
WHAT SHOULD I DRINK? To stay well hydrated throughout exercise you will need a MINIMUM of 8-16+ cups of fluids per day. MAKE YOUR OWN SPORT DRINK! —250 mL (1 cup) unsweetened orange juice — 250 mL (1 cup) water —1.5 mL (1/4 tsp) salt This gives carbohydrate & electrolyte composition similar to many sport drinks at a fraction of the cost.
burgeoning stars, Ice sniper If you are: Do this: Jayme Simzer and sisters Kaitlin and Kelsey Youldon. Together, they want to end the Choose water, 12 – 14 three-tournament run of worlds flavoured drinks, watered-down years old juices or sport drinks. titles for Finland, who won the Avoid carbonated last championships in Stockholm drinks, energy drinks, and full(2004), Ottawa (2007) and on strength juices. home ice in Tampere (2010). Drink fluids, even if you “We haven’t won since 2002, are not thirsty! so it’d be a really special year to bring it home,” says McBride, 28, Less than 60 minutes: drink water noting the silver medal finish in 15 – 18 + or flavoured water. 2010 was a disappointment and years old More than 60 minutes spurred some changes for this (continuous): drink sport drinks or coming edition. water with carbohydrates and sodium. “We’ve had more camps Avoid carbonated drinks, energy together, so the repetitions as drinks, and full strength juices. a group and as a unit has really —Sources: helped put us on the same page,” 1. Gatorade Sport Science Institute, “Kids & Hydration: Selecting beverages for active kids”, 2002. she highlights. “We know what 2. Bar-Or. (2000). “Nutrition for Child & Adolescent Athletes”. Gatorade Sport Science Institute. type of game we’re going to bring in North Bay.” OTTAWA’S LTAD LEADERS FOR OVER 10 YEARS The format of this year’s NUTRITION STRENGTH & CONDITIONING - MENTAL TRAINING - VIDEO ANALYSIS championship will be a bit different from past years, as Canada and Finland – the two teams that routinely dominate all other competition – will play a three-game series for gold at the end of the week. played defence twice - when I played “When I first started, I was 6,” A developmental group features in the Canada Games in 2007 for Kaitlin recounts, “and my sister USA, Sweden, under-19 Finland and (Team Canada coach) Glen Gaudet. was four, and my best friend Jayme U19 Canada (who, in reality, are last He put me on defence then, and kept Simzer – who is also on the team – all year’s Belle ‘AA’ national champions, me there for this team as well.” joined the sport at the same time. the Nepean Ravens). “Some will have sister fights CANADA’S SISTERLY CONNECTION “The Canadians play so differalong the way, and others don’t – but ently than the Finnish players, so we Team chemistry is particularly as you make it through the camps you are trying to practice a specific way important at the international level, start to get used to it.” to beat the Finnish team,” highlights something which can be hard to come Another element the local play21-year-old Kaitlin Youldon, who by “when everyone is from across ers share in common is that they all claims Nepean association roots. Canada,” notes McBride, who is coach younger ringette teams as well, Youldon will play defence in nonetheless confident the squad has a crucial key to help make the sport as North Bay, which differs from her already established a solid team en- strong as it is, they agree. normal duties as a Devils centre. vironment. “We now have role models that “I’m just more effective as a It helps that there happens to be are athletes themselves coming back centre on my club team whereas I’m four sets of sisters amongst the 25 to coach,” McBride indicates. “That more effective as defence for Team players currently on the roster, includ- helps the sport grow and get some Canada,” she explains. “I’ve only ever ing Kaitlin and younger sister Kelsey. momentum behind it.”
Sidelined by labour dispute in ’12, Lisgar triumphs in ’13 By Dan Plouffe
It began with devastation and ended in triumph. Overall, the Lisgar senior boys’ volleyball team owns an indelible memory, and their place in school history. For a trio of key graduating Lords – Josh Isaac, Ben Harper and William Wu – the ride began four years ago. After an undefeated regular season in Grade 10, they lost a five-set heartbreaker to Samuel-Genest in the junior boys’ east conference final. They were eager to make amends and a name for themselves in the senior ranks last season, and would have been a top contender not only locally, but provincially. However, the public school board teachers’ labour dispute with the Ontario government wiped out most fall sports, and left the Lisgar boys on the sidelines. “It was pretty much the worst feeling,” Isaac recalls, noting it was that much harder to see club volleyball teammates from French and Catholic schools competing as usual. “When we had to take the year off, it was like, ‘Wow. Next year is our last chance. We have to win.’” That led the experienced group of players to help out coaching the junior boys’ team in their wintertime season, so that they could still play, and build towards the next year in senior. “They decided that they wanted to stay involved and make sure the program didn’t suffer,” highlights Lisgar coach Stephanie Morrison, who felt similarly downhearted when she was unable to coach last season. “They’ve
Ben Harper pushed the Lisgar Lords to their first sr. boys’ volleyball city championship since 1977.
shown a lot of dedication.” With the labour action cleaned up, the Lords came back with renewed fire for this year and posted a 9-1 regular season record. Lisgar
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photos: dan plouffe
profited from a healthy share of star power – including Ottawa Fusion club players Isaac, Stephen Kary and Harper, a past national allstar – but the leaders quickly give credit to the team’s supporting cast, which provided depth that few high school squads could match. “That’s what sets us apart,” Harper explains. “All the spots that we need, we have filled.” A close team bond, established through the highs and lows, was another key ingredient to success. “We’re like brothers pretty much,” Isaac signals. “It shows on the court, that chemistry.” The pinnacle for the tight group came in the national capital league playoffs. The Lords secured one of two available trips to the OFSAA provincial championships with a semi-final win over Béatrice-Desloges, and then ended their school’s lengthy city championship drought with a four-set victory over emerging volleyball force Longfields-Davidson Heights in the final. “It’s been awhile (for Lisgar),” Isaac smiles. “We have the banner up on our school walls, but it was getting kind of old.”
Lisgar (above) won the national capital ‘AAA/ AAAA’ senior boys’ volleyball league and went on to win ‘AAA’ OFSAA bronze. Runnerup Longfields-Davidson Heights also competed at ‘AAA’ OFSAA, splitting their six matches. Samuel-Genest won the ‘AA’ city title and topped the OFSAA consolation side. ‘A’ championships representative Louis-Riel lost a five-set quarter-final match at their OFSAA, while Glebe was winless at the ‘AAAA’ provincials.
When the Lords got their championship trophy, they verified that the last time Lisgar’s name was on there was for their 1977 title. “36 years or something like that? Oh my,” smiles Harper, whose parents, Stephen and Laureen, attended the championship match at Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School and provided the best security an Ottawa high school sports final has ever seen. “It’s something that will last forever,” Harper continues. “When I go back and visit, the banner will be up on the wall. I made my mark. It’ll be there forever.” Lisgar added a little icing to the cake with a strong run at the Nov. 21-23 OFSAA ‘AAA’ championships in London. The Lords lost just once in seven matches – to the back-to-back champions from Chatham-Kent in the semi-finals – to bring home a provincial bronze medal. “Four years of building – I couldn’t have asked for more,” Morrison surmises, saluting her team for the tremendous leadership, dedication and positive attitudes. “I am so proud to have been a part of this amazing journey.”
Volleyball Canada Centre of Excellence reaches Ottawa A nationwide program aimed at strengthening Canada on the international volleyball stage has arrived in Ottawa. A concept developed by Volleyball Canada along with provincial associations, university and college volleyball programs and Own the Podium, the Volleyball Canada Centre of Excellence model took root at the Richmond Oval three years ago. It has since spread across the country, including its Ottawa debut this fall. “What Volleyball Canada wanted was to get more kids
with better skills so that by the time they get to the international level, their skills are well-developed,” explains Colin Walker, one of two coaches for Ottawa’s VCCE, which is housed at SportsCan on Dumaurier Ave. in the west end. “I’m pretty confident that we’ll see a lot more kids coming out of the Ottawa area on provincial teams and on university and college teams.” The excellence centres focus exclusively on technique – Walker likens it to a tennis or golf lesson featuring a small
group and individual instruction. “We don’t work at tactical at all, we work fully on technical,” emphasizes the level 4 NCCP nationally-certified coach who leads the initiation level program, while former national team player Jeff Mooney – who coaches at Algonquin College and previously led the Mavericks 18U boys’ club team to a 2009 national title – works with the high-performance group. “It’s about getting more repetitions.” —Dan Plouffe
ELITE Early winter a blessing for Paralympian By David Karp Ottawa’s harsh winter has unofficially started, and Margarita Gorbounova couldn’t be happier. For Gorbounova, an Ottawa-based cross-country skier and biathlete who is legally blind, this time of year marks the start of her competitive season. For skiers, preparing for a new season can be more challenging than for other athletes, given the absence of snow in the summer and fall. “I do lots of roller skiing,” explains the Vancouver 2010 cross-country ski Paralympian who’s since added biathlon to her plate. “I can do it a lot in Mooney’s Bay Park, by the Rideau River, and in Gatineau Park — on the less hilly parts.” Gorbounova supplements her roller skiing with cycling and running. For biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and shooting, there’s an additional challenge. Athletes with visual impairments employ a rifle that fires a laser beam instead of bullets, using beeps to indicate how far the beam is from the target. But the special rifle needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet to work, so Gorbounova spends the offseason practicing shooting in her basement. “You need to do combo training,” the 29-year-old details. “You need to go for a run or something to simulate biathlon. Most people can shoot when they’re lying still, but you add the heart rate to it…” So while many Ottawans curse the start of winter because it means another season of snow shoveling and frozen eyelashes, Gorbounova looks forward to winter because she can finally just ski. “It’s a great way to get out in the winter and enjoy the outdoors when everyone else is watching TV,” she notes. “That’s basically why I started skiing. Everyone always complains about winter and how much they hate it.”
SHOOTING FOR SOCHI Another perk this winter’s arrival offers is a break from her day job as a federal government translator – supported by a program that grants government employees up to three months paid leave per year to train and participate in international sporting events – in the lead-up to the March 7-16 Paralympic Winter Games. That will provide some additional time for Gorbounova to bond with her guide, who helps her navigate the cross-country course. Locally, Gorbounova trains under Kate Boyd, a coach with Kanata Nordic and program manager for
Vancouver 2010 para-nordic competitor Margarita Gorbounova of Ottawa is seeking a return to the Paralympics, perhaps in biathlon.
OSU Force Academy Zone
Markarian will be 1st from OSU to represent Canada internationally It was a major step in his career, and a milestone moment for his soccer club. And at the moment where he found out that he’d become the first Ottawa South United athlete to represent Canada internationally via a text message from his dad, OSU Force Academy player Vana Markarian couldn’t believe it. “I was more shocked than excited,” recounts the Grade 11 student who received the news during his lunch break at St. Francis Xavier Catholic High School. “It was kind of unreal telling my friends, and they were more happy than I was. “I was just scared, to be honest. I mean, Team Canada – it’s a big thing. Out of the whole nation, I get to play with the best of the best and be alongside them representing my country. It’s an honour.” Markarian will leave Dec. 5 for Germany, where he’ll join the Canadian under-16 national team group already on tour en route to Qatar for a week. They’ll train a few days, then play matches against the Qatar youth national side as well as Qatari and German professional academy teams. “It’s exciting,” the OSU midfielder highlights. “I just want to have a successful week. I’d like to have a good showing and cement my place there – give the coaches and people something to think about.”
TEAMMATES & OSU SPUR GROWTH Nakkertok Nordic. But visits with competition guide Andrea Bundon, a University of British Colombia PhD student, are less frequent. “You need to work together as a team,” emphasizes Gorbounova, whose top result in Vancouver was 7th-place with now-retired guide Robert d’Arras of Ottawa. “(Andrea and I) work really well together. But we don’t really get a chance to ski together very often since she’s at the other end of the country.”
PARALYMPIC YEAR LIFTS STAKES Starting with the International Paralympic Committee Nordic World Cups Dec. 9-17 in Canmore, Alta., this season’s races each carry extra meaning, as it may make or break whether athletes qualify for the Paralympics in Russia. Gorbounova already met the minimum qualifying standard for cross-country skiing back in January at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup in Cable, Wisconsin. But the St. Petersburg-born athlete who moved to Ottawa in 1999 isn’t guaranteed a ticket to Sochi, since Canada’s team is limited to 11 nordic skiers. Having the biathlon in her repertoire could open the door a bit wider, however. “My goal (for Canmore) is to
qualify (for the Paralympics) in biathlon and, if possible, to improve my standing from last year in cross-country,” she highlights.
CLEGG TARGETS 4TH OLYMPICS
The chance to play for Canada began with OSU referring Markarian to Team Ontario. He caught the eye of a Vancouver Whitecaps scout while winning gold with Ontario at the national all-star championships in July, and then went on to make history as his OSU U16 boys’ squad captured Ottawa’s first-ever Ontario Youth Soccer League championship. “I have to give credit to all my teammates, because without them, I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” says the OSU player since age 9, whose family moved from Iran when he was 2. “They’ve helped me grow. I’ve been with the same people – brothers – for the past eight years almost. “They’ve had a huge role in what I’ve become, constantly pressuring me, and helping
me become not only a better soccer player, but a better person.”
MAKES NOISE WITH WHITECAPS In mid-November, Markarian went to Vancouver for a trial with the Major League Soccer club’s youth academy program. He performed well against the U16 group in his first two days there and was moved up to the U18 squad, featuring six players who’d just returned from Dubai and the U17 World Cup. “The quality was just unbelievable there,” notes Markarian, who was joined by OSU teammate Dante Cobisa for the trials. “I was really happy to have Dante there. “Going into an environment where you’re basically competing for their spots on the team, it’s not easy. They clearly don’t want you there, so it’s nice having someone I knew there with me.” The Whitecaps forwarded Markarian’s name to the national team, which then led to the opportunity to join them overseas. It’s another historic feat in a season that’s already featured many for OSU, including Markarian’s former teammate Kris Twardek of the Millwall FC academy making his international debut for Czech Republic. “Ever since Day 1 when we started Ottawa South United over 10 years ago, we dreamed of having a player of ours wear Canadian colours,” signals OSU President Bill Michalopulos. “We hope and expect that Vana will be the first of many OSU players to don the maple leaf now that he’s broken the ice. Congratulations to Vana, and all those involved in his development, for putting in so much hard work and reaching this incredible level.”
Gorbouvona isn’t the only biathlete with Ottawa ties who will have a big race in Canmore. Robin Clegg, 36, is expecting there will be an open race in late December to determine one of Canada’s Olympic biathlon berths. Now a Canmore resident, Clegg lived in Dunrobin during his teenage years and participated in the 1995 Canada Winter Games while rep2N resenting Chelsea WINTER SESSION STARTS DECEMBER 2ND! KA D LO Nordic. He went (9 NA CA on to compete in TO 3 H TA TIO the 2002, 2006 and OP INES NO N I 2010 Olympics, EN R RTH N IN OAD and is now taking 20 ) a shot at qualifying 14 for Sochi, despite retiring from international competition after Vancouver, and being hampered by a serious elbow injury sustained when a car crashed into him while biking near Calgary.
Dream finish for Sir Wil’s Kukkonen QB & coach clan
from 2008-2012. St. Peter’s run continued with a perfect regular season this year, including a 10-7 win over the Lancers. “They have a great program and a great history,” Kukkonen highlights.
By Dan Plouffe
It’s a tale of a long stretch of struggles, an improbable triumph against a celebrated rival, a dedicated group of high school seniors, and a bond between father and son that’s only grown stronger in creating a historic triumph on the football field. It was a storybook season for the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Lancers high school football team. The Lancers boasted powerhouse teams in the past – including a lineup that featured future uOttawa Gee-Gees all-stars Aaron Colbon, Brendan Gillanders and Trevor Seal from 2004-2007 – but they’d never before won a national capital senior tier 1 championship. “How we ever lost then, I don’t know,” Sir Wil head coach Eric Kukkonen recalls. The Lancers experienced several lean seasons after the stars departed, struggling to get enough players out to field a team. Sir Wil dropped down to the tier 2 league due to their small roster size, and did manage to win their championship last year on the heels of a junior crown the season before. But the players still had bigger plans. Half a dozen senior students
DETHRONING THE KNIGHT KINGS
Jackson Bennett and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Lancers leaped over the five-time defendingchampion St. Peter Knights to win the national capital high school football championship.
came back for a second Grade 12 year to upgrade their marks, develop physically in preparation for prospective university football careers, and to take another crack at a top-tier title. Leading that charge was quarterback Stephan Kukkonen, the coach’s son. “I’ve been part of the program basically all my life,” describes Stephan, who encouraged others without set university
plans to return and chase the city crown. Stephan felt motivated to achieve something big with his father after seeing all the volunteer coaching time he’d put in over the years pursuing his passion. “Ever since I was little, I was throwing around the football with my dad,” adds Stephan, who watched the Lancers win the junior title in 2004. “I’ve been around the sport all by life and absolutely loved it.” Bolstered by the returning seniors as well as several Grade 12s who joined the football team for the first time, the Lancers coaching staff en-
photo: dan plouffe
joyed the luxury of having enough bodies to fill out positions on both sides of the football at practice. “For the first time in four years, we could actually have a full scrimmage as opposed to half-lines where we say either, ‘You’re going to run or pass to the right side or the left side,’” coach Kukkonen describes. Less than 1 km further east, there’d never been any such problem. With the attraction of being part of a football dynasty, the St. Peter Knights would approach almost 100 students attending tryouts. The Knights built a seemingly invisible cloak in winning five consecutive city championships
The Louis-Riel Rebelles made it the farthest out of Ottawa schools at the OFSAA girls’ basketball championships, reaching the ‘AAA’ quarterfinals in London. The ‘AA’ city-champion St. Matthew Tigers won 3 and lost 2 to reach their OFSAA consolation final in Windsor, while national capital runner-up St. Peter competed at ‘AAAA’ OFSAA in Windsor. St. Pius won a 27-24 overtime match over Philemon Wright to win the tier 2 football title, while Mother Teresa beat St. Patrick 2-0 in the ‘AAA/AAAA’ boys’ soccer city final. Woodroffe and Louis-Riel battled in the ‘AA’ soccer title photo: steve kingsman game.
That wasn’t quite enough to keep Sir Wil down in the rematch for the city championship, however. Jackson Bennett scored two touchdowns, Kousha Aminian-Heidari kicked the winning points with a field goal on the snow-covered turf at Carleton University, and then Kurleigh Gittens salted it away with touchdown reception from Stephan Kukkonen as the Lancers overcame a 14-7 halftime deficit to knock St. Peter off their throne 24-14. “I was just so happy. It’s hard to describe it,” Bennett recounts. “We’re a really tight group. We all love each other. We’re all brothers.” Sir Wil went on to lose a fourth quarter lead in their Nov. 26 OFSAA Bowl game in Toronto, falling in heart-breaking fashion to Peterborough’s Crestwood Secondary School 17-13. But downing their arch-rivals and winning their school’s first-ever senior tier 1 football crown can’t be taken away from the Lancers. “We’d play (St. Peter) in football and rugby and basketball, and they’d always be the top dogs,” notes Bennett, whose older sister Dria also ended a long reign in girls’ rugby when she helped Sir Wil beat Ashbury en route to a national capital crown two years ago. “It feels really nice to say that we were able to beat them finally.”
FATHER & SON TREASURE TITLE It was a dream finish for coach Kukkonen – who’d last won a top-tier city championship at Cairine Wilson 25 years ago – to have his son lead his team to glory. “Here’s a kid who played football for five years in high school and we’ve won three championships together. The last one we saved for the biggest championship we could win,” smiles the proud father. “Beating our rivals who we haven’t beaten a whole lot in a decade probably was even that much more sweet. “He’ll always have that to look back and say, ‘We did this together,’ and I’ll have the same.” It’s a similar feeling for Stephan as he describes his memory of when he saw his father just after he took the final knee to end the game and give Sir Wil the historic victory. “I went up to him and gave him a big hug,” recalls the champion QB. “It was a really special moment, and one I’ll definitely cherish for the rest of my life.”
UNIVERSITIES & ELITE Rada thunders for 2nd perfect record Jesa Rada (left) has yet to lose to an Ontario rival in soccer or basketball this year.
By Josh Bell One run at a national championship this year just isn’t enough for Jesa Rada. The second-year Algonquin Thunder standout recently closed her soccer campaign with an undefeated run through the Ontario ranks and an appearance at the Canadian college championships. Now Rada is following that up
Royals Report & Knights News Luke Baker & Matt McGovern join Royals & Knights technical team
with a perfect record thus far on the basketball court, as her 8-0 squad seeks a return trip to the CCAA nationals this season. Add in her firefighting classes, and it makes for one busy schedule. There is some overlap between her two sports, but she and her coaches make it work. “We make an effort to really sort it out before the season,” notes Rada, who missed the first few basketball
Flaunting for Fury FC
photo: steve kingsman
Gatineau native Edgar Soglo (right), a past Ottawa Fury Premier Development League player, attended Ottawa Fury FC’s open tryouts Nov. 20-21 at Ben Franklin Dome. Fury FC made another former PDL player, Carl Haworth, its first Canadian signing as the North American Soccer League pro club gets ready to kick off its inaugural season in 2014. On the youth side, the Fury U15 boys, who fell in last year’s North American final in penalty kicks, will lead a group of five Fury teams – including all four of the club’s Super-Y League boys’ sides – into the Dec. 5-9 USL Super-Y League Finals in Florida.
photo: dean joncas
The Ottawa Royals and Knights Baseball Club (ORKBC) is pleased to announce the appointments of Luke Baker as Head Fitness Instructor and Matt McGovern as Pitching Instructor for the Club. Both instructors will bring their passion for coaching and developing baseball players to the entire Ottawa Royals & Knights program, starting with the upcoming winter training sessions at the OZ Dome. “BothRegistration Luke and Matt will be an incredibleNow resourceOpen for our players,” said Limited of Space Bob Guy, Director Baseball Operations. “They have incredible experience in helping athletes reach their goals and will be a great addition to our players and coaches.” Luke Baker will work with the Royals & Knights in the off-season as well as regularly during the season to ensure proper nutrition, physical and mental conditioning in order for all players to maximize their performance and reduce injury risks. Meanwhile, Matt McGovern will work with the Ottawa Royals and Knights winter training sessions starting in January to help prepare pitchers for the upcoming season. In-season, Matt will work with each of the Royals & Knights Coaches to support their pitchers in both the mental and mechanical elements of the game.
WINTER Matt McGovern SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Ottawa’s Premiere Competitive Development & Elite Player Program Begins Jan 11, 2014 • 10 weeks Royals & Knights Training Facility at the Oz Dome • Ages 10 - 19
where he studied Recreation Management. In Ottawa, Matt is best remembered for his 2012 playoff run where he led the IBL Ottawa Fat Cats in pitching six complete games and dominating the competition. Matt played last season with the Kitchener Panthers.
league games. “The coaches talk ENHANCED WINTER DEVELOPMENT and kind of figure out what works New for 2014, the Ottawa Royals & best for them. When soccer starKnights Baseball Club are moving our highly ted, it was mostly preseason for successful Winter Training Program to the basketball, so I went to basketball OZ Dome, located in Stittsville. whenever the times matched up. It will be the Ottawa region’s only program to offer multiple batting tunnels for hitting inNormally I would go to soccer struction. As always, our program will feature and basketball would be after.” a low participant-to-instructor ratio, and a Along with a physically-detraining format featuring stations focused on manding program like firefightspecific elements of player performance. ing, Rada’s schedule demands a Whether you’re a beginner or an experihigh level of fitness. enced all-star, we can help you develop the PRO & COLLEGE BALL VETERANS “It is tough,” highlights the skills you need to be the best ball player St. Peter Catholic High School Luke Baker is a former professional base- you can be. With experienced coaches grad. “It’s really hard on the body ball player and is owner/operator of Fortitude and teachers, along with the latest training because I get two fitness classes a Training Inc. in Ottawa. Luke is a level 3 cer- methods and tools, this instructional and tified coach through the NCCP, a personal conditioning baseball program has been deweek. But I’m having fun with it. training specialist, and a yoga instructor veloped to challenge players in all aspects of “I’m just used to being really who specializes in athletic training. He has baseball. Fundamentals and mechanics are busy. It helps that I have a schedalso been a baseball instructor since 2000, emphasized and drilled in a lively, enthusiule, so every minute of every day working with various teams, camp and indi- astic, safe and fun environment. I’m doing something. Other than The Ottawa Royals provide the premiere viduals. Most recently, Luke was a baseball that, it’s just getting good sleep.” trainer and lead fitness instructor at Home competitive development program for playIn early November, Rada and Run Baseball Academy in Ajax, ON and the ers up to 15U and the Ottawa Knights offer the Algonquin soccer team made renowned Ontario Prospects Teams in the competitive playing opportunities for elite their first nationals appearance in Fergie Jenkins Showcase League. Last sea- players at the 18U level. The merged clubs son, Luke played for the Kitchener Panthers carry the mutual goal of enhancing player 10 years, finishing fourth at the development and preparing players so they in the Inter-county Baseball League. CCAA tournament in B.C. may continue their playing careers through Matt McGovern is a former Ottawa Knights “It was exciting because we college and university. Find out more at: player who went on to play and pitch at had fifth-year players on the team the University of North Carolina Pembroke ottawaroyalsbaseballclub.com that really wanted to go and we were all playing for them and trying to represent the college well,” Chanelle Fortin scored two WATER POLO & RUGBY MEDALS recounts the player who scored three Carleton Ravens water polo teams second-half tries to lift the Thunder times in seven regular season con- brought home gold and silver medals women’s rugby team to a 35-21 tritests. “It was a great experience.” from their provincial championships umph over Humber College, who’d Now she hopes the experience in Toronto, as did the Thunder rugby been co-champions with Algonquin from soccer nationals will prove valu- squads. last year after an overtime procedures able on the court. Dusan Boskovic scored the controversy. The Thunder men fell to “I know what it takes to get there game-winning-goal and was named Humber 24-16 in their Ontario final. and how hard you have to compete championships MVP as the Ravens Ottawa athletes earning CIS there,” signals the midfielder/point men downed the host University of All-Canadian status included Geeguard who credits great teammates Toronto Varsity Blues 7-6 in the OUA Gees goalkeeper Cynthia Leblanc and and coaching staffs for both squads’ men’s water polo final. Boskovich and midfielder Julia Francki, Dalhousie’s success. Rodrigo Rojas both scored two goals Kristy MacGregor-Bales, Joanna “We have great potential on the in the final, while Benjamin Bouwer Blodgett and Bezick Evraire in soc(basketball) team,” she adds. “We and Zoltan Csepregi earned top goalie cer, Acadia fly Emilie Chiasson and have people coming in who are going and top coach honours respectively. Gee-Gee Natasha Watcham-Roy in to be great additions. Hopefully we The Ravens women took silver be- rugby, and Gee-Gee defensive tackle get to go to provincials, and get to go hind Toronto, while the uOttawa Gee- Ettore Lattanzio and runningback to nationals.” Gees claimed bronze on both sides. Brendan Gillanders.
Familiar face returns
St. Peter CHS grad Stephanie MacDonald has returned to university basketball with the uOttawa Gee-Gees after a stint in the NCAA.
By Dan Plouffe
It’s been a triumphant comeback to Ottawa basketball courts so far for Stephanie MacDonald. The uOttawa Gee-Gees guard, in her fourth year of eligibility, is her team’s leading scorer heading into the Christmas break, averaging 17.2 points per game. MacDonald starred locally in her high school years, then went on to compete for Canada internationally while in her rookie season at Canisius College in Buffalo. The end to her time in the NCAA wasn’t as pleasant; she dislocated her shoulder twice and required surgery. “I never really fully recovered from it, photo: dan plouffe so I took a few years off,” recounts MacDonald, now 23. “But I just had the urge to leton, who won the first cross-town battle play again. I love basketball so much.” 60-55 on Nov. 29. The Gee-Gees look to be The motivation to return came after slowly building in typical uOttawa women’s coaching the Gloucester-Cumberland Wol- basketball style towards what MacDonald verines Atom ‘AA’ squad last season. Find- hopes will be a successful post-season run. ing a team wasn’t difficult since Gee-Gees “I think we’ve got a lot of good talhead coach Andy Sparks had been MacDon- ent,” says MacDonald, who was impressed ald’s youth club coach, and assistant Mario to see her new squad knock off some of Gaetano headed her scholastic basketball her old NCAA conference rivals during a program at St. Peter Catholic High School. pre-season trip to New York state. “We’ve “I love the coaching staff and my team,” got to work hard and then I think we can highlights the Gee-Gees’ leader in minutes achieve great things.” played. “We’re having good fun.” The Carleton men remained unbeaten OttawaTUM_quarterEMC_Fall_2013col.pdf is tied top the OUA East diviat 9-0 with 1 2013-09-05 12:24 aPM94-73 victory over Gee-Gees, sion standings at 6-3 with Queen’s and Car- who are now 8-1 heading into the break.
West Ottawa Soccer Scoop
WOSC’s 2nd-annual Canadian Classic Showcase impresses participants & scouts alike --By Anil Jhalli Soccer players a g e d 16 and 17 from across Ottawa got the chance to display their talents for scouts from Canadian and U.S. colleges and universities during the West Ottawa Soccer Club’s second-annual Canadian Classic Showcase Tournament from Nov. 29-Dec. 1. Claiming roots from the former Kanata Soccer Club, the girls’ tournament was reborn last year, and was expanded to include boys’ teams from the nation’s capital this time around. A total of 13 boys’ entries and 16 girls’ squads participated in the three-day event, held at the Thunderbird Domes near Canadian Tire Centre. “We wanted to build on the success we had last year,” highlights tournament director Gord MacDonald. “It can be hard for some of our teams to be noticed in other cities, so this gives a chance to some of the players to really come out and play and show what they’ve got in front of some of the top soccer programs in the province and beyond.” Scouts from upwards of 40 post-secondary varsity programs or semi-pro clubs attended the event. WOSC’s technical leaders – Kristina Kiss (Club Head Coach - Female), David Hannah (Club Head Coach Male) and Erik Stoffelshaus (Technical Director) – shared insight from their vast experiences in next-level soccer during a Q & A session for players and scouts, and parents also got to meet
scouts outside of the game action. Warriors player Oliver Hewish viewed the Showcase as an opportunity of a lifetime. “If we all want to progress and be great players, this kind of event really will help us,” Hewish says. “There are a lot of good teams here and a lot of good players. Everyone is trying to make an impression.” Kevin Souter, a former Major League Soccer (MLS) player and now coach for the Ryerson University women’s soccer program, has now attended both Canadian Classics and intends to return. “Ottawa has a hotbed of talent,” says the former Kansas City Wizard. “It’s important that we can be exposed to some of the players here.”
NEW WOSC TD LIKES 1ST LOOK Stoffelshaus, less than a month into his job after moving from Germany, was impressed by what he saw during his first taste of the Canadian Classic. “You can really see how the players
photo: dean joncas
are motivated and really want to prove themselves,” he signals. “There’s a lot of competition here and for us as a club, our players can really show what they can do and show their passion for football.” Before joining Canada’s secondlargest soccer club, Stoffelshaus was a coach and assistant director for the Schalke 04 club’s youth academy, and was also assistant general manager for Schalke’s senior Bundesliga team during his 11-year stint with the club. “Having experienced all the highs and lows in German football as a protagonist at the Bundesliga and Champions League level, it is marvelous to now be able to join the West Ottawa Soccer Club and help to make it one of the foremost player development organizations in Canada and beyond,” Stoffelshaus states. “Guiding young footballers on their journey towards becoming the very best they can be continues to be my main passion, and considering WOSC’s ambitious vision, I feel I have come to the perfect place.”
WOSC CEO Bjorn Osieck oversees venue team at 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup UAE
West Ottawa Soccer Club CEO Bjorn Osieck got a first-hand behindthe-scenes look at one of the biggest soccer shows on the planet recently as he volunteered with FIFA’s organizational team at the Oct. 17-Nov. 8 FIFA U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. “It was very exciting,” says Osieck, who served as assistant general coordinator at one of the six tournament venues. “I felt really privileged to be part of this FIFA team. It was a very illustrious group of FIFA members from all over the globe.” Osieck was based in Fujairah, which hosted the group of Croatia, Panama, Uzbekistan and Morocco, as well as a crossover match and a round of 16 contest. Osieck’s crew faced “frantic timelines” to get absolutely everything ready in advance of the event. There were the competition aspects – measuring the goal posts, corner flags, the height of the grass and pitch dimensions. The team and referee locker rooms, the doping room and the
medical bay all had to be setup. The media centre and all communications had to be ready, and the marketing department’s staff needed to ensure all commercial rights were respected, plus there was security to consider. The biggest challenge, Osieck details, was simply having everything working fluidly on the first match day. “The match is scheduled, it’s written in stone. You’re either ready or you’re not ready, and not being ready is not an option,” emphasizes the first-time World Cup volunteer. “The learning curve was steep, but one that I think
was successful.” It was quite rewarding for Osieck to know he had a hand in allowing the spectacle to unfold, he notes, and it was a pleasure to watch the competition. “There was some phenomenal soccer played,” Osieck signals. “It was an all-around great experience and one that I think certainly helped me to sharpen my senses and further develop my skills.” Despite living an exceptional experience overseas, there was no letdown in returning home to WOSC. Osieck quickly welcomed two new staff with similar attributes to the FIFA team he worked with – a mix of cultures and high degree of professionalism – as Scotland native David Hannah and Erik Stoffelshaus began their tenures as Club Head Coach - Male and Technical Director respectively. “I think that will be very critical for the club going forward in terms of the technical capacity for the organization,” Osieck signals. “It’s very exciting here.”
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3 gymnasts earn Cancun tour
DEVOTION KEY TO EXCELLENCE OGC coach Tobie Gorman, who will also travel with Team Ontario, wasn’t surprised to see Rosettani and Stacey’s results, although she couldn’t hide her smile when thinking of the trip to Cancun her athletes helped make possible. “Both girls are strong competitors,” notes Gorman, who’s been with OGC since 1976 after completing a gymnastics coaching course from Senaca College. “Sarah is actually here in her first year. She has already had a positive impact, setting the bar high for the younger girls.” Being amongst the best of Ontario gymnasts means the three athletes have to know their weaknesses and constantly work on them. “Facing your fears,” Rosettani identifies. “I had a fear of the ‘giant’ on the bars. It took two years to achieve.” Stacey’s challenge is to keep her training consistent.
“Keeping my body healthy is hard because I have a lot of small injuries and my muscles get tired easily, which means I sometimes have to take a break,” she details. Doan works to keep her joy of gymnastics alive. “The hardest thing for me is having the passion and confidence for the sport, especially on the beam,” she signals. All three girls know exactly the reason they are headed to Cancun: hard work, they agree. “People might not think how hard it really is,” Rosettani adds. “It’s so challenging.” Doan concurs. “People think it is a very feminine sport and so it doesn’t take much effort,” says the gymnast since age 5, “but it is really difficult.”
TUMBLERS GM JOINS GYMNATICS CANADA Karl Balisch, the general manager for Tumblers Gymnastics Centre in Orleans, was officially chosen as Gymnastics Canada’s new Program Director – Artistic Gymnastics in November. Balisch, who will leave Tumblers in early January but remain based in Ottawa, will rejoin the national organization where he served as men’s artistic program director from 2000-2005.
Coliseum sports dome rises at RA Centre
photos: dan plouffe
RINGETTE continued from p.3 “You could not wipe the smiles off of all the girls’ faces when they saw them for the first time,” the team wrote on their U19 Team Canada Ringette Facebook page, with each of the jerseys tagged with their names on the back. “I think, knock on wood, that our connection is good and we have a good chance,” O’Brien signals. “We’re all like best friends.”
OTTAWA RINGETTE SPIRIT STRONG Along with the City of Ottawa Ringette Association’s Nov. 29-Dec. 1 tournament, a total of 2,500+ players came to the nation’s capital for the two events. The action on the ice is always intense, but there’s a certain spirit of cooperation that permeates through the arena during the local ringette tournaments that isn’t always as evid-
By Dan Plouffe
The Coliseum soccer dome at last received a breath of fresh air in November as it rose again at a new location at the RA Centre. “We’re really excited about this. When people drive by, they say, ‘Wow, something’s happening at the RA,’” signals RA Centre general manager Rick Baker. “It’s a big win for the RA and also a big win for (the Coliseum operators).” Forced out of Lansdowne Park for construction, the Coliseum had planned to relocate to the University of Ottawa’s new field on Lees Ave. last year, but the project fell apart and approximately 350 teams competing in their leagues were left scrambling to find places to play. When approached by the
Coliseum group, the RA Centre became keen to add 3,000+ new members, who have been highly enthusiastic now that they’ve got their wintertime space back, Baker notes. Evening program slots are almost at full capacity already. “When people finally realized it was here and once they
photo: dan plouffe
attended it and saw the quality product we have here, they’re just totally enamoured and can’t wait to get out and play,” he adds. “That’s just going to rebound throughout the community.” The dome will remain inflated at the RA Centre from November through to April.
ent in other sports. “I think that stems from the basic rules of the game. It’s the only game in the world that really promotes team play,” says Allen, alluding to the required completion of a pass to move the ring past each blue line. “It flows from there. Everybody’s always helping everybody. It’s a small community, it really is.” Earning division titles at the Nepean tournament were the uOttawa Gee-Gees (Open ‘A’), West Ottawa (Tween ‘AA’ & Belle ‘A’), Nepean (Tween ‘B’, U10 & Petite Provincial Blue), Gloucester (Tween ‘C’ & U9) and Metcalfe (Petite Provincial & Regional White), while Ottawa tournament champions included Gloucester (U9 Novice, Tween ‘A’, Junior ‘B2’ & Junior ‘A’), Nepean (Petite Provincial Red & Blue and Petite Regional Red), West Ottawa (Tween ‘B’) and host Ottawa (Junior ‘AA’ and Belle ‘A’).
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Three local athletes are headed to Cancun, and even though it’s a “business” trip, they can’t wait. Sarah Stacey and Bradey Rosettani from the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre and NepeanCorona’s Danielle Doan all qualified for a Jan. 16-20 international competition in Mexico with Team Ontario thanks to their performances at November’s Tour Selection meet at Base Borden. “It’s definitely the highlight of our season,” says Rosettani, who narrowly qualified for Ontario’s tour team last year and competed in Florida. “It is the best thing I have ever done.” Rosettani did more than just squeak onto the team this time around, she placed second allaround in provincial level 8, earning a silver medal on uneven bars and bronze on balance beam. Stacey also excelled on beam, winning gold on that apparatus en route to a third-place all-around finish in the national open category. “I wanted to have consistent events and hit my best form, just like in practice,” says the competitive gymnast of seven years. The Grade 11 John McCrae Secondary School student trains at least 22 hours per week towards achieving her goal of garnering an U.S. scholarship for gymnastics next year. “I’ve watched the college competitions and it looks great,” Stacey says. “I don’t want to
stop gymnastics.” Conversely, it will be a somewhat bittersweet trip to Cancun for Doan. “Since it is my last year (in gymnastics), my goal is to have more fun and be more confident,” explains Doan, who placed sixth all-around in provincial level 9 and won bars gold. For her final two years of high school, the Pierre-Savard student plans to start something new, most likely a scholastic sport like volleyball or swimming.
By Anne Duggan
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YMCA-YMCA OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION STARS OF THE MONTH
Editor: Dan Plouffe 613-261-5838 Editor@SportsOttawa.com The Ottawa Sportspage is printed on the first Tuesday of the month by Ottawa Sports Media, the locally-owned and operated publisher of the Ottawa Sportspage newspaper & SportsOttawa.com. Local sports news from high schools, universities, community clubs and elite amateur sport is the name of our game. We’re at The Heartbeat of the Ottawa Sports Community.
Thank you to all who filled out the Ottawa Sportspage reader survey and a big congratulations to our prize winners!: Free one-year membership to the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region: KIRK DILLABAUGH Free Ottawa Senators tickets: PAT BROWNRIGG
Athlete of the Month: Bradey Rosettani Team of the Month: Lisgar C.I. Lords Senior Boys’ Volleyball Team
Sport: Gymnastics Club/Team: Ottawa Gymnastics Centre
Team Members: Tom Davidson, Abbas Ghandour, Ben Harper, Josh Isaac, Stephen Kary, Sena Kata- School/Grade: Grade 10 CC Franco-Ouest giri, Gareth Luke, Isaac Mckeague, William Wu, coaches Stephanie Morrison & Rick Desclouds About: Bradey Rosettani earned a place on Ontario’s tour About: Forced to sit out last season due to the public board teachers’ work action against the team for a second consecutive season. The Ottawa GymOntario government, the Lisgar Lords made up for lost time by capturing their school’s first nastics Centre athlete just snuck onto the squad last year, senior boys’ volleyball city title in over 35 years this year. Organ- but this year qualified in second position overall, driven by izers of the OFSAA championships saluted the Lords for their strong uneven bars and balance beam routines. Rosettani classiness as they went on to win a provincial bronze medal. will now compete with Team Ontario Jan. 16-20 in Cancun. To nominate Stars of the Month, go to SportsOttawa.com and follow the link on the right-hand bar under the Stars of the Month feature. Courtesy of the Ottawa Sportspage and the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region, the selected Athlete of the Month will receive a free one-week Family Pass to the Y, while each member of the Team of the Month will receive free one-visit passes.
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City Councillors Tim Tierney, Rainer Bloess, Bob Monette, Peter Hume, Jan Harder, Katherine Hobbs & Mark Taylor, Members of Provincial Parliament Grant Crack & Madeleine Meilleur, and Photographer Dean Joncas.
OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE SNAPSHOTS DOHERTY, AGAR & KALEY JOIN LIONS TRACK HALL
The Ottawa Lions Track-and-Field Club inducted heptathlete Alison Doherty (née Armstrong), middle distance runner Stephen Agar and distance runner Sean Kaley into the club’s Hall of Fame in November. Doherty, still ranked top-10 in all-time Canadian heptathlon scores, was a national champion who competed at the Commonwealth Games and twice at the World University Games in the ‘80s, Agar represented Dominica at the 1996 Olympic Games before competing for Canada at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, while Kaley appeared in 7 total cross-country running world championships and competed in the Pan Am and Commonwealth Games, the 1999 track-and-field world championships and 2000 Olympics.
TEAM HOMAN FALTERS IN FIRST MATCH AT ROAR OF THE RINGS
It was a rough start to the biggest tournament of their lives for Lisa Weagle, Alison Kreviazuk, Emma Miskew and skip Rachel Homan at the Tim Horton’s Roar of the Rings Canadian Olympic curling trials in Winnipeg. Down by a single point through six ends, the Ottawa Curling Club rink would up falling 10-3 to Val Sweeting in their first match on Dec. 1. The event continues until Dec. 8 and will determine Canada’s lone men’s and women’s Sochi 2014 curling entries.
SQUASH PLAYER DUDZICKI DIES TRAGICALLY
Struck by a car while he was biking to the National Squash Academy in Toronto, Ottawa squash player Adrian Dudzicki died on Nov. 20. The 23-year-old who began playing at the Ottawa Athletic Club was Canada’s 9th-ranked singles player and had been working to save up money to attend Professional Squash Association tour events in 2014.
GYMATHON FUNDRAISES FOR KANATA RHYTHMIC EQUIPMENT
Friendship, fitness and fun – along with fundraising for new equipment – were the name of the game at the Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club’s Gymathon in November, as gymnasts aged 4-16 performed rhythmic-related exercises over two afternoons. Maala Brickley, Branwen Craig and Annika Ives were top fundraisers in the club’s recreational stream, while Haley Miller, Britney Han and Ashley Keefer were leaders for the advanced group.
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EODSA seeks bigger push for female involvement in soccer as FIFA World Cup approaches By Jose Colorado
It’s still almost two years until Canada and Ottawa will host the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but the Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association is already thinking about using that spotlight to create a legacy for girls’ and women’s soccer. The EODSA hosted a late-November town hall meeting to ignite discussions on how to increase female participation numbers for coaches, referees, representatives on soccer boards and governing bodies, and total players, including an emphasis on retaining as many 15 and older
players as possible. “The lack of female involvement in soccer isn’t necessarily a male domination issue,” says Anne Lavender, chair of the EODSA’s women’s committee. “We just want to make sure that the environment is as accommodating to the different needs and interests of girls as it is to boys. This way we feel more females will become involved.” Lavender, a past pro player, coach and administrator, is part of a relatively small group of women who occupy leadership roles in local soccer. The presidents of all 10 major Ottawa soccer clubs are male, two clubs have all-male execut-
Grade 11 Glebe Collegiate Institute student Claire Smith followed up her OFSAA silver and Athletics Ontario gold medal performances with a 4th-place finish in the junior women’s category at the Nov. 30 Canadian cross-country running championships in Vancouver. Glebe grad Yves Sikubwabo (8th place) and Joanna Brown of Carp (12th) both earned secondteam All-Canadian distinctions as they helped the Guelph Gryphons to their 8th consecutive men’s and women’s team sweep at the Canadian university XC championships. Former Bytown Storm triathlete Tristan Woodfine won individual silver, also for Guelph. Farah Abdulkarim was the AO youth boys’ XC champion to lead his Ottawa Lions to a silver medal team performance. The Lions youth girls were AO bronze medalists on Nov. 10 in London.
COOK REBOUNDS WITH NOR-AM VICTORY
Coming off a disappointing season-opening performance at a World Cup race in Austria, Ottawa’s Dustin Cook won a giant slalom race at the first North American Cup of the season on Nov. 24 in Colorado. “Almost more of a relief than anything,” Cook detailed on his blog, dustincook.ca. “It feels amazing to have some vindication for the great speed I’ve had in training this prep period (not to mention all of the mental work I’ve been doing) and it definitely gives me confidence going into the start of the World Cup season.” The World Cup circuit resumes with a Dec. 3-8 stop in Colorado.
SLEDGE HOCKEY, TKD, MANOTICK & CITY VIEW CURLING PROJECTS NEED ONLINE VOTES
Four local sports projects competing for funding from the Aviva Community Fund are into the semi-final voting round. The Manotick Curling Club’s renovation project, City View Curling Club’s building renewal, Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario’s program and transport expansion plans and Johnson’s TKD’s Tenacity-Optimism-Attitute program for at-risk youth are competing amongst groups across Canada for $1 million in funding. Thirty finalists will emerge from the 92 currently remaining. Semi-final voting at avivacommunityfund.org goes Dec. 2-11.
CAIRINE WILSON WILDCATS LAUNCH TRIP FUNDRAISING DRIVE
The Cairine Wilson Wildcats varsity girls’ soccer team has kicked off a fundraising campaign for a March 2014 trip to London, UK and Worthing Athletic Academy/College, which runs a sports studies program for girls looking to take a leadership role in coaching and programs. A sponsor drive is underway, along with a planned trivia/silent auction night, an unused cell phone blitz and other initiatives. Call Wildcats head coach/teacher Stuart Barbour at 613-824-4411 for more information.
ives, while the region’s two largest clubs MACFADYEN COMPETES IN SAMBO WORLDS, COLLECTS JUDO MEDAL have a comPan American champion Adam Macfadyen of Ottawa lost both of his matches, including one bined one feto the silver medalist, and finished seventh overall in the men’s 57 kg division at the Nov. 21male executive 25 sambo world championships in St. Petersburg, Russia. He also placed second in the men’s out of 20 posiU21 60 kg class at judo’s Quebec International Open in November, while brother Torin Mactions. fadyen won the U21 55 kg category, while fellow Takahashi Dojo athletes Ben Kendrick (gold, The picture U16 men’s 66 kg) and 2012 Paralympian Tony Walby (silver, masters) were also medalists. is a bit rosier for player participation. Soc- girls who are playing soccer nefits girls when functioning “Imagine in the future cer has become the most pop- isn’t just a physical fitness or within larger society.” what Canadian women’s socular sport among Canadian soccer issue,” Lavender exWith a London 2012 cer could be like,” highlights youth, substantially surpassing plains. “We want girls to be Olympic bronze medal to the executive member for FC hockey, especially amongst celebrating their bodies and its show as evidence, Canada Capital United Soccer Club, females, Lavender notes. But capabilities. can lay claim to being a world which will run a Mini World there is still much merit to “It’s a safe environment leader in the women’s game, Cup for young girls alongside pushing for increased parti- in which girls can socialize, and will get to again showcase the big event. “We’re already cipation in female soccer, she develop leadership skills, that on home soil in 2015. It’s top-10 in the world. Imagine emphasizes. teamwork skills, and instill an exciting platform to further when the playing field is even “Increasing the number of self-confidence. This all be- grow, Lavender signals. for both groups.”
Chartrand stars as local skaters medal on nationals road OTTAWA EASTERN ONTARIO SECTIONALS MEDALISTS
MINTO SKATING CLUB GOLD Samantha Glavine / Jeff Hough (jr. dance) Lisa Nasu-Yu (junior women) Hugh Brabyn-Jones (junior men) Hannah Dawson (pre-novice women) Kiana Knelsen (pre-juvenile women, U11) Elisabeth Cherkas (pre-juvenile women, U14) Matthew Kreft (pre-juvenile men, U14) Daniel Kreft (pre-juvenile men, U11) SILVER Alexandrine Chong (senior women) Alexis Dion (novice women) Lucas Nguyen (juvenile men) BRONZE Anna McCorriston (senior women) Zoe Gong (junior women) Francesca Joanette (pre-novice women) GLOUCESTER SKATING CLUB GOLD Benjamin Guthrie (senior men) Keaghan Ruiter / Christophe Berthiaume (pre-juvenile dance) SILVER Christian Reekie (novice men) Hailey Fournier (pre-novice women) Kelsey Young / Joshua Dore (pre-juvenile dance) BRONZE Taylor McGahan (novice women) Jasmine Liu (juvenile women, U11) Alexandra Lacroix / Liam Sheridan (pre-juvenile dance) Emma Bondar (pre-juvenile women, U14) NEPEAN SKATING CLUB GOLD Alaine Chartrand (senior women) Josh Allen (novice men) SILVER Sophie Fu (junior women) Daniel Rousskikh (pre-novice men) Elise Holt (juvenile women, U14) BRONZE Andriyko Goyaniuk (novice men) David Birinberg (juvenile men, U14) RIDEAU SKATING CLUB GOLD Evan Hopkins (juvenile men, U14) GLEN CAIRN SKATING CLUB BRONZE Victoria Gardner (pre-juvenile women, U11)
By Dan Plouffe
By virtue of her bronze medal victory at last year’s nationals, Alaine Chartrand of the Nepean Skating Club didn’t need to show up for qualifying events leading up to the Jan. 9-15 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, but when she showed up to compete anyway, there was no question who the star was. “It’s kind of funny to watch,” describes Nepean coaches’ rep Scott Waddell, a former coach in Prescott and Brockville who’s known Chartrand since she began skating. “There’s definitely a gravitation or excitement when she’s around,” he explains. “People are trying to get a little glimpse, like, ‘Oh, there’s Alaine!’” At age 17, Chartrand doesn’t look any different than the other athletes at competitions like November’s Eastern Ontario Sectionals in Napanee, but that all changes when she steps on the ice. That’s when she shows why she was able to finish eighth at last season’s world junior championships and is a contender for one of Canada’s two Sochi 2014 Olympic berths. “There’s always the biggest audience when Alaine skates,” concurs Chartrand’s current coach Leonid Birinberg. “I watch this every day, but she really does top-level jumps, and even for me, it’s still incredible to see.” Signing autographs and posing for photos is part of Chartrand’s new reality. “It’s fun,” smiles the Grade 12 Thousand Islands Secondary School student. “I find it kind of weird because I’m just a normal kid. I don’t feel like I’m that special. But I like it.” Despite her modesty, Chartrand did still have a bit of a swelled head at Sectionals, although that was the result of a collision during practice a few days before the event. Chartrand produced her second-best career score (160.75) anyhow to win the senior women’s class by over 55 points.
for many Minto Skating Club athletes. “I don’t know if any of the ones I’m working with are actually focused on nationals now,” Minto skating coordinator Darryl VanLuven notes. “There is a qualifier to get to nationals, and they know they have to lay down some pretty good programs against all of Canada. “I do believe that at the back of their mind, they’d probably be excited to skate at Canadian Tire Centre in front of a hometown crowd.”
Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic team contender Alaine Chartrand was the star attraction at the Eastern Ontario Sectionals and is sure to receive plenty of hometown support when she competes in Ottawa at the Jan. 9-15 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.
She’ll now travel to Regina for the Dec. 4-8 Skate Canada Challenge in hopes of assuring herself she’s back in top form. “I want to have more confidence with better skates at Challenge going into nationals,” Chartrand says, explaining that she’d like to get feedback from judges who are on the nationals panel and see how they mark.
NEPEAN CLUB BACK IN HUNT Chatrand wasn’t alone in her club in winning Sectionals gold. Josh Allen won the novice men’s title, while five others also landed on the podium to help Nepean keep pace with the medal hauls produced by the Gloucester and Minto clubs, who’d dominated the competition in recent years. “The club is definitely becoming
NEW ELITE OTTAWA PROGRAM
photo: danielle earl
stronger, and it’s being seen across the city, I think, that we are bouncing back,” signals Waddell, who joined Nepean four years ago after several top coaches and their athletes left the club. In November, the club hosted an invitational event that drew over 300 skaters and also had almost 100 participants for a day-long seminar led by Kurt Browning at Nepean Sportsplex. “It was very exciting,” Waddell highlights. “(Nepean) is growing fast, and we’ve got a board (of directors) that’s wanting to make it even bigger and better.”
MINTO CONTENDS FOR NATS SPOTS Carrying seven Sectionals champions, the possibility of earning places in the Canadian championships with solid performances at Challenge exists
VanLuven hopes that a new initiative struck by coaches from the Nepean, Minto and Gloucester clubs will pay dividends for Ottawa skaters come their national events. Once a month, the area’s elite skaters – who have reached Challenge or are landing double-axels – come together to train on one ice surface. “They really excel when that happens,” VanLuven says, explaining that seeing a competitor doing triplejumps can be inspirational. “It drives the kids and maybe makes them dig a little deeper at the session.” It’s great to see the cooperation between local clubs, notes Gloucester director of skating Darlene Joseph. “It’s to benefit the athletes,” Joseph signals. “It’s been a great motivator, and it dangles a carrot out there for the kids because they want to be a part of that.”
GLOUCESTER STAYS STRONG Without all four athletes who occupied 2-of-3 junior women’s podium positions at Sectionals the past two years, Gloucester nonetheless brought home nine medals from Sectionals this season. “We’re in a big building process – lots of young, talented skaters,” Joseph highlights, noting it’s encouraging to see depth in many different categories. “All those young kids are starting to step up now. They’ve had lots of good role models at the club.”