Ottawa Sportspage

Page 1

The Heartbeat of the Ottawa Sports Community

Crushed championship dreams, scholarships in jeopardy, unkindled friendships & lifetime memories lost for high school athletes caught in teacher labour strife

history & smiles stolen

Vol. 2, #1

Locked Out

By Dan Plouffe & Anne Duggan

p. 12

After earning Ottawa’s first-ever OYSL division title, the OSU U14 girls were forced to replay a game they’d won earlier.

ofsaa field hockey chase on

p. 2

At least four teams have a real chance of representing the host national capital association at OFSAA girls’ field hockey.

new hs football landscape

For Alex Berhe, the 2012 high school cross-country season was his shot at redemption. Running on his home course at OFSAA in Ottawa last year, the Woodroffe Tigers athlete was a threat for the provincial podium, but finished a disappointing 18th place. “I don’t know what was wrong with me,” Berhe reflects. “I just didn’t have my race on the day.” He would have enjoyed another chance to prove himself this fall, but his school was one of many that did not enter teams due to a teachers’ labour conflict. But what Berhe laments even more is the possibility that he may lose an even bigger opportunity. “It kind of brings my chances down of getting a scholarship, and for other schools to look at me,” notes the student who returned to Woodroffe this fall for a second year of Grade 12 in order to upgrade some of his credits to university pre-requisites. “When you run for your school, that’s when universities look at you and see who the good runners are.” Berhe hopes he’ll still find his

way to an athletic scholarship through contacts with his Ottawa Lions trackand-field club, but not everyone has those options, he highlights. “People who were relying on scholarships are kind of screwed,” explains Berhe, noting many seniors now have to take on jobs to save up for post-secondary studies. “It’s bad for people. You might not get scholarships, which is what you’ve been working for all from Grade 9 up to your senior year.

time to step up and coach is now to save winter sports teams

p. 3

The jr. league is gone, sr. ball has a new format & the St. FX Coyotes want to dethrone St. Peter in high school football.

#1 gee-gees seek CIS crown

A resolution to the teachers’ dispute seems unlikely prior to the Oct. 31 winter team entry deadline, so the time for parents and community volunteers to step up and coach a team is now. The OCDSB expects to have a centralized volunteer processing system in place by Wednesday, Oct. 17, board staff says. The procedures to become a volunteer for extra-curricular activities include: 1. Start by contacting school principal 5. Led by retired principals, board 2. Developed in consultation with will review volunteer applications their school council, principals will 6. Volunteers to receive training in have a list of activities where volun- relevant policies and procedures teers are needed 7. Information provided about role 3. Principal will speak or meet with and expectations for duties 8. Approval from board volunteer 4. Volunteer to complete screening 9. Meet with principal again to reforms from OCDSB web site view operational issues/procedures

“All of sudden, there’s no sports and you can’t really do nothing.” The loss of high school sports is also a missed opportunity to build memories and friendships, Berhe adds. After moving to Ottawa from Ethiopia in 2004, Berhe says running helped him integrate into Canadian life. Win or lose, the bright 18-yearold would always hug his competitors – also close friends – from other local schools following races. “Now I know more people,” Berhe underlines. “And if it wasn’t for running, right now I probably wouldn’t be focused on university.”

Sports motivating academics Ali Mohsen, in Grade 12 at Rideau High School, is another student who went back for a “victory lap” and is now left without the possibility of victory. The Rams soccer team player lost the Tier 1 national capital championship by a single goal last season, and was also one win away from a city title in his Grade 10 year.

October 2012

A national capital senior boys’ silver medalist last year, Alex Berhe is one of many high school athletes who saw their fall seasons shut down due to a labour dispute between English public school board teachers and the provincial goverment. The Grade 12 Woodroffe Tigers cross-country runner worries that his chances of obtaining a university athletic scholarship will be hurt since he won’t be able to prove himself at the OFSAA provincial championships.

photo: dan plouffe

“I’m really upset,” Mohsen emphasizes. “We would have had a strong team.” While he misses seeing game action, Mohsen is thankful he still has a club team to train with, although that’s not the case for majority of his teammates, who aren’t playing at all this year. “A couple played club soccer, but most of them are new to the sport, or at least to organized soccer,” explains the Iraq-born student. “But we actually worked pretty well as a team, we fit in good.” Sports acted as a major tool for many of his teammates to get through high school, Mohsen adds. “It keeps us away from trouble and all that stuff, you know?” he describes. “If I miss a class, they tell me I can’t play, so it makes me go to class. “It’s motivation for a lot of people. They come to school and they want to be something.” HS SPORTS continued on p.4

p. 6

Top-ranked in the country, the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees want to taste gold at the CIS women’s soccer nationals.

file photos

(From left) Earl of March girls’ golf, Rideau sr. boys’ volleyball, Nepean girls’ basketball, Woodroffe boys’ soccer & Colonel By XC are some of the teams not entered this fall.

high schools


Contenders line up for berths in local field hockey OFSAA By Dan Plouffe It’s at least a four-horse race, with several others chasing closely, as local high school teams battle through league play for two available berths in the OFSAA girls’ field hockey championships, coming to the Nepean Sportsplex Nov. 1-3. The big four that played in last year’s semi-finals, and have enjoyed the most success in recent years, are John McCrae, Merivale, Ashbury and Nepean, while Longfields-Davidson Heights, Glebe and Sir Robert Borden are making strides to enter the elite group. Traditionally underdogs compared to McCrae and Merivale, it was the Nepean Knights and Ashbury Colts that scored trips to last year’s OFSAA championships, with the Knights reaching the quarter-final round. “The kids are keen,” says Nepean coach Brian Lee, who is down six starters from last year’s city championship team. “The experience of playing so many must-win games – we played seven in a row last year – was tremendous.” The goal for the Knights this season, adds the parent volunteer coach of several years, is to repeat as national capital champs. “We want to make it as far as possible, and hopefully that’s OFSAA,” notes Kelly Walsh, who identifies team chemistry as a big reason for Nepean’s success. “We all get along. We all know each other really well, and when we have new players, we welcome them in right away in that first week. “We love each other. There’s no drama and we try to keep a positive attitude.” Walsh, a Grade 12 team captain, wished to highlight her coaches’ contributions, and thank them “for always doing everything they possibly could for us,” which included fighting to en-

With a veteran lineup, the John McCrae Bulldogs are making a strong push for a national capital title, which carries with it a berth in the OFSAA championships, to be hosted Nov. 1-3 at the Nepean Sportsplex.

level of athletic ability in those Grade 12s is through the roof.” An experienced coach with his Nepean Nighthawks club, Chopra was “pressed into service” when his Grade 12 daughter came home “with tears shooting out” horizontally the day they’d been told there would be no team horizontally, he describes. “I said, ‘I’m going to have to do something about this,’” he smiles.

Marauders also unbeaten

sure Nepean would enter a team this year in spite of the teacher labour conflict at public schools.

Colts crave OFSAA return The Ashbury Colts have similar expectations as the Knights – they’ve had a taste of the provincial championships, and they’d like another. “It opened the girls’ eyes up to what the OFSAA experience is like,” notes coach Kathleen Munro-Collins, who’s set her team’s objectives to reach the league semi-final and then hope for the best. “They want to push forward and get back there again.” Half the Colts’ lineup are new players, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they are field hockey rookies. With international players from countries such as Australia, Kenya and Germany, many bring plenty of experience. Defensive sweeper Isabelle Kerrebijn, from the Netherlands, suggested a new formation setup that the Colts have stuck with, and demonstrates

techniques that other players try to emulate. Centre-forward Maddie Monaghan scored a goal early in the season with a wrap-around move she learned from Kerrebijn.

Bulldogs bear favourite card

photo: dan plouffe

as a provincial ringette player along with her twin sister. “We want to get first or second. After getting bronze, we want to try to go farther.” Coach Sandeep Chopra loves the look of his team that owns loads of experience beyond the high school level, including youth national championships competitors Halley Chopra and Caroline Rozon. “Right now I have an embarrassment of riches. I’ve inherited 11 Grade 12s and I have likely the two best players in the city,” says Chopra, who’s also got several talented soccer players in his lineup. “The average

The Merivale Marauders were also thankful to have parents step up and fill their coaching void, although Cheryl Sevigny and Bill Osborne readily admit their field hockey knowledge is not extensive. The senior captains have provided much of the direction for the team. “It’s hard,” explains Grade 11 player Megan MacPhee, who scored the lone goal in her team’s 1-0 victory over Ashbury. “The players don’t look up to them as much as they would the coaches. It’s not as intense in practice.” Nonetheless, the Marauders are off to a perfect 4-0 start and are committed to a common cause. “We’re really strong and I feel we can go far if we just push,” MacPhee adds. “Our goal is to get to OFSAA, and then once we’re there, our goal is to win OFSAA. “I’d prefer for it to be away, but since it’s in Ottawa, we’ll have huge cheering fans, which will be motivating.”

With a perfect 6-0 start, the John McCrae Bulldogs have possibly earned the favourite tag for this year’s title, despite missing OFSAA last season. The upset defeat to Nepean in the 2011 semi-finals interrupted an impressive run of consecutive OFSAA appearances for the team that is now hungry to return to the big show and pick up on its top-2 high school girls’ golf finishers on similar path with team ontario provincial bronze medal victory two seasons ago. “We’re happy that it’s in Ottawa, and we’re hoping to go this year,” notes Grade 12 Bulldog Karli Ryan, who doubles

ESP Louis-Riel embraces Sports Day in Canada spirit

photo: dan plouffe The Louis-Riel high school sports-études program one-upped the Sept. 29 Sports Day in Canada by holding special sports activities throughout the full week beforehand. A major highlight was the 12-hour sports festival day where 200 students split up into teams to represent provinces and territories in a Canada Games-style competition. The school held a highly-organized 5k Terry Fox Run (above), held demonstrations of lesserknown sports, and received visits from Paralympic medalists Patrice Dagenais (wheelchair rugby) and Jason Dunkerley, along with his guide runner, Josh Karanja, as well as alumnus Kellie Ring, a University of Ottawa Gee-Gees basketball star. Through the events, the school raised over $10,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation and for the family of a teacher whose young son, Olivier Ulysse, is battling serious digestive system troubles.

Ashbury’s Julia Malone (left) and Immaculata’s Danielle Humilde were both OFSAA golf qualifiers from the Oct. 1 national capital high school golf championships at Rideau View Country Club.

After placing third and second in her first two attempts, Estée Deschamps won her first high school girls’ golf city title on Oct. 1 at Rideau View. “I’m pretty proud of myself,” says the Grade 11 Louis-Riel high school student who shot 79 at the course where she’s a member. “I had a lot of fun.” The runner-up, St. Peter’s Grace St. Germain, would like

to copy Deschamps’ example as she progresses in her high school golf career. “I’d like to come top-10 at OFSAA and do really, really good,” highlights St. Germain, who is one of the youngest members of the under-17 Team Ontario at age 14. “It’s fun, and it does kind of feel good to beat the older people.” Taking the boys’ team title

photo: dan plouffe

were Maniel Joshi, Dallas Clancy, David Iaderosa and Liam Daher of St. Francis-Xavier. “We had a lot of new people,” notes Joshi, who led the way with an 80, good for second place individually behind Franco-Cité’s Eric Marshall at 77. “We all came here to have fun, that was our main goal, and it worked out for us.”

high schools

Sweeping changes to HS football By Dan Plouffe

As sports across the board were thrown into turmoil this fall by the labour strife at public schools, the high school football landscape has been altered considerably as well – although it’s ongoing issues that came to a head this season that caused the changes moreso than the political conflict. After receiving exemptions in recent years to operate with less than the required eight teams, there is no national capital junior (Grade 9-10) football league this season, as only four schools intended to enter squads. Lack of players, coaches, equipment and officials have been persisting challenges. “I think a solution has to be found where there’s junior and senior football,” says Rick Varden, who coached the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Lancers in the jr. final last year. “I hope it’s not the last we see of junior football, but it may be the last we see of it in the format we used to have.” Ideas have been floated such as playing 7-on-7 or 9-on-9 football, or creating a league for Grade 7-9 players – particularly intriguing for French and Catholic schools where high schools run from Grade 7-12. Franco-Cité is playing in a Quebec league for Grades 7-9 this fall. And there’s talk of restarting a springtime jr. league. In the final year of a pilot project in 2009-10, 11 schools entered, although conflicting springtime seasons with rugby was the main reason it didn’t continue previously. “There is a will” to have a jr. league in some form, adds Varden, highlighting the importance of jr. football to high school freshmen who have a tough time competing on the field against bigger seniors. “It’s nice when you can get a student in Grade 9 and the first week of September for two hours every day after school you know what they’re going to be doing. It’s that link to the school that’s really important.” With 65 kids ready to try out for the defending jr. champions’ team, news that there’d be no league this fall was “devastating” at St. Peter Catholic High School. Since the sr. squad had been together for over three weeks already when they learned there’d be no jr. league, no jr.-age players were added to the Knights sr. team. “Right now we have jr. boys with nothing to do at our school,” says coach Jim Mick, noting the Knights’ jr. program plays a key role in the run of four consecutive championships his sr. side has enjoyed. “It’s important because those kids get exposure to the game. Some of

photo: dan plouffe

Babatunde Adeleke (right) and the St. Francis-Xavier Coyotes are legitimate candidates to end the St. Peter Knights’ reign atop the senior Tier 1 football world.

the simplest things. They learn the game, they learn about positions, they learn the fundamentals, and they learn about what it’s like to wear blue and silver on the football field.”

new Format for senior ball At the sr. level, league administrators have implemented a new format in an attempt to combat the dwindling number of schools entering the Tier 1 loop. Only four teams have played at the top level this year and last, while the Tier 2 league features 12 competitors. After the first three games, the top four T2 teams in the standings will each play a pair of contests against T1 squads. They’ll all return to their original levels for the sixth and final regular season game as well as the playoffs. The hope is that some of the T2 schools may realize they are T1 calibre, coaches explain. “I think it’s great,” Mick states, adding that the T2 league was created to get more kids involved in football, so smaller schools could have teams and be competitive, and new schools could develop programs. “It wasn’t for teams to drop down to win championships.” Colonel By, Franco-Cité, St. Pius, St. Joseph, Mother Teresa, St. Patrick, and the defending T2-champion Lancers are all contenders for the T2 crown. “We have a lot of talent at skilled positions,” highlights Varden, who elected to stay in T2 since his team had under 30 players. “We just don’t have enough bodies. We’re scrimmaging 12 against 10, 12 against 9. It’s not really productive.”

St. fx Coyotes on prowl to test St. Peter supremacy There’s one more place where a sweeping change may occur – the sr. championship throne perennially occupied by St. Peter.

That’s due to the arrival of the St. Francis-Xavier Coyotes in the T1 ranks. Few teams can lay claim to owning a winning record of any sort against the dynastic Knights, but that’s exactly the case for the fouryear-old Riverside South school. Two seasons ago, their group won the jr. championship over St. Peter, and now would like to write a similar story in sr. “They’ve got some athletes that are very, very, very good,” says Mick, who believes St. FX is also a dangerous opponent because they aren’t as familiar with the newcomers’ tendencies. “They seem to be running through some teams.” Runningback Babatunde Adeleke – who could likely keep his balance in a tornado – is the biggest offensive weapon for the Coyotes. St. FX blasted St. Matthew 42-1 and St. Mark 30-6 to open their campaign prior to a Thursday, Oct. 11 test against the Knights, their unbeaten counterparts. But head coach Mark Jennings knows it won’t be easy to knock off the perennial school football kings. “I think we have a chance, but to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man and they’ve been the man for the last four years,” explains Jennings, who missed his team’s playoff defeat to eventual Tier 2-champ Sir Wil last season when his wife went into labour. “St. Pete’s is doing the drive for five, and we’re doing our first year in sr. Tier 1 football. There’s a big difference, but we feel confident that this is our team to do it.”

Doc Hockey Corner

Brent Moran’s path to the OHL

--By Dr. Shayne Baylis, Doc Hockey No NHL? Who cares! The 67’s and the OHL are here and exciting! I was fortunate enough to help train a young, very talented Niagara Ice Dogs goalie prospect this summer. Brent Moran played for the Jr. 67’s this past year and was picked in the second round of the OHL draft by Niagara. I ended up meeting Brent, the 15-year-old 6’4” goalie, and began training him for quick explosive power. He was very professional, dedicated and hard-working, he never complained, and put out 100% regardless of the task or mood. He was even so gracious on his last week at home to volunteer his time to help out young players at Doc Hockey Development Camp and assist with drills on the ice. Recently I had the opportunity to watch his team play in the OHL against Ottawa, and to discuss his hockey development over the years. Brent started playing organized hockey at age 7, playing defence in his first year before making the switch to goalie. “I loved the excitement and pressure of being a goalie,” Brent explains. “It seems like the team depends on you and counts on you and I liked that feeling.” Brent was a talented player but his work ethic always seemed to separate him from others. His father attributes skating at an early age to assisting his agility in the crease. Brent started playing AAA at the first opportunity in minor bantam and continued to play AAA until minor midget. Brent believes that every hockey player will have to make sacrifices throughout the journey to reach the next level. “In the long run,” he says, “the person with a good work ethic will always beat the person with only talent.” This comment reminded me of the book Talent is Overrated where they note that even child prodigies like Mozart and Tiger Woods worked tirelessly for their success as youngsters and were blessed with great role models and training while growing up – not just innate gifts from birth. Brent says the biggest influences in his hockey development were “my parents and my goalie coach Shawn Smith who I met when I started playing goal at the age of 7. He taught me everything I know and my parents supported me all throughout my career, I couldn’t have done it without them. “I also think Shayne Baylis helped me a lot with his Doc Hockey program in my minor

midget year by making me stronger and more explosive; I truly believe it helped me develop my game and get ready for the next level.” While growing up, Brent was a multi-sport athlete, playing competitive soccer until age 12 when he directed his attention solely to hockey. Brent decided to play in the OHL after a long discussion with his parents debating whether to come to the OHL or go to school in the NCAA. Brent’s agent was also helpful in discussing the benefits and disadvantages of the OHL and NCAA schooling. Together they felt Niagara was the best fit for Brent’s goals and growth as a player. Niagara offered a good situation with renowned goalie coach Ben Vanderklok, and also provided personal independence, responsibility and accountability by being away from home. Managing time and schoolwork on top of practice, workouts and the regular school day “really helps you mature as a person,” notes Brent, who would like to go into sports management or business if hockey doesn’t work out. “I think the best advice I ever got growing up was that if you really want to play at the highest level possible, you have to work for it. There’s always someone out there working harder than you so you just have to work as hard as you can all the time and leave no stone unturned.” I also recently spoke with Brent’s father, Bruce. Bruce was really proud of how mature Brent has become, and I must agree. From my experience since the initial meeting, Brent was very respectful and motivated. Brent’s had a lot of influences on his way to the OHL from good family support, professionalism, multiple sports growing up, key trainers at the right time of his development, and an agent to help with recruiting and promoting his skill. I would like to thank Brent and Bruce for taking time out of their busy schedules to talk to us. Stay tuned for my next article on getting to the next level by promoting yourself and being your own agent. Visit or call 613-371-4774.

@doc_hockey doc hockey PREVENTION - PERFORMANCE - RECOVERY


high schools


HS SPORTS: High school student-athletes take brunt of political battle continued from Front Cover

There are countless similar stories across the city, as many English public schools didn’t enter teams this fall in girls’ basketball, senior boys’ volleyball, boys’ soccer, football, field hockey, golf and cross-country running. A handful of teams could very well be missing OFSAA trips and provincial medals. Under-16 800 m national track bronze medalist Erinn Stenman-Fahey made a strong OFSAA debut in her rookie running season last year along with her Canterbury Chargers teammates. With many members of the Ottawa Fusion volleyball club’s national silver medalists on their team, the Lisgar Lords would have been major contenders in the ‘AAA’ senior boys’ volleyball ranks. Among those affected is national tournament all-star Ben Harper, the Prime Minister’s son. The current situation stems from a bill passed in early September by the Ontario gov-

ernment that freezes teacher wages for two years, bans strikes, and reduces sick days while not allowing them to be carried over year-toyear. French and Catholic board teacher unions reached understandings with the government for the two-year period and have carried on with sports as usual. The English public board unions, however, encouraged teachers to think carefully about whether to volunteer their time with extra-curricular activities. Without a vote from union members to back a full work-to-rule campaign before the fall sport entry deadline, the less-powerful “choose wisely” message has created different scenarios across the province and across the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. Teachers from some schools decided en masse to continue coaching, with support from their athletic directors. That includes Colonel By (with the surprise exception of its traditionally powerful cross-country team) and Glebe – the two schools that finished atop the high school rankings compiled by former Ottawa Citizen reporter Martin Cleary for the past six years. Some schools have a handful of teams coached by teachers who decided to go ahead, while some elected not to enter any – many out of fear that a later full-out work-torule would cause them to shut down teams midway through their seasons. Some schools’ principals and teachers did all they could to accomfile photo

modate parent or community volunteers willing to step in and coach, while some would-be volunteers met resistance at other schools. In general, the best sports schools have their best teams playing this fall, schools in wealthier neighbourhoods have some teams running thanks to the parents who were able to scream loudest to let them volunteer, and schools in poorer areas have no teams. That discrepancy wasn’t lost on OCDSB trustees, who instructed staff to “pay particular attention to our high-needs schools and our schools in rural areas where the activities may have extra importance for the students in those schools,” board of trustees chair Jennifer McKenzie explains. The trustees also passed a motion asking staff to do everything reasonably possible to encourage volunteers to run extra-curricular activities. There’s still a persisting concern that champion teams may not be able to attend OFSAA since rules state that a teacher must be present. But it is not expected to be a major issue since schools are committed to finding solutions such as using occasional teachers or administrators in that role if necessary, OCDSB associate director of education Walter Piovesan indicates.

Inequalities at different schools For students such as Mohsen, getting to the point where they’d have to deal with that type of problem would be a dream. “I’m jealous because other schools get to play,” he explains. “You can’t keep one team down while others get to play. I’m mad.” Berhe feels similarly upset. “It’s not fair that other schools have sports, even in the same board,” he says, pointing out that the unequal ground lessens the incentive to broker a solution to the conflict. “If the strike continues, people won’t fight to have sports come back, they’ll just try to change schools and go to the one that has the sports.” That’s an option three members of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Lancers girls’ basketball team say they are seriously considering as they look down the road at the full slate of sports at St. Peter Catholic High School. The girls provided a representative image of the inequity that exists this fall as they spoke about their frustrations on their school field sidelines as they watched pre-game warm-ups for the Lancers’ football team, which is coached by Eric Kukkonen, both a teacher- and parent-coach thanks to his son Stephan’s role as starting quarterback. “I’m angry about it. It’s all boys teams,” the basketball girls note, each completing one another’s thoughts. “Girls don’t get anything. They don’t think it’s as important to us. It’s total BS.” The Lancers senior girls won the city Tier 2 basketball title in 2011, and the members of last year’s junior team were looking forward to rejoining a talented group of seniors. “We were going to be defending champions this year,” one player notes. “I was really excited to play with them, and then I was really devastated when we couldn’t.” Each of the girls used to play community basketball with Gloucester-Cumberland, but now they aren’t playing together at all, competitively or recreationally. It’s not as fun to be

file photo

on sidelines, but the trio made the best of what they had left by hanging out and continuing their friendships that were created through sport. “I met her because of basketball in Grade 9,” explains one girl who wasn’t keen to have her name used in the newspaper. “We never used to like each other until we had to play basketball together. That’s the truth.”

‘Memories worth building’ The Ottawa Sportspage contacted numerous dedicated teacher-coaches, but most declined interview requests – many nonetheless expressing their sadness about the situation. Glebe coach and national capital cross-country league convenor Kirk Dillabaugh did highlight the important role sports play in high schools. “For a lot of students who can’t afford the time and money community sports take, high school sports is there for them,” notes Dillabaugh, whose daughter, Adara, competes for the Gryphons. “Cross-country running is so cheap, anyone can run on a high school team. It’s important to be part of something when you are in high school. “When I look back at my high school years, I don’t remember what happened in the class, just what happened with my buddies on the sports teams. Those memories are worth building. “It’s sad the fields are smaller, but I begrudge my colleagues’ decisions.” Even for those athletes who are competing this year, it won’t be the same, they maintain. “It will always be the year of work-to-rule where many schools and athletes didn’t participate,” says cross-country runner Tim Austen, also a Glebe student council member. “Of course the results aren’t going to be respected. It has definitely put a negative spin on this year.” Few of the athletes offered opinions either way on the political battle. Most felt helpless. “I think it’s stupid why they’re fighting with the sports,” offers one of the Lancer basketball players. “I think they should just settle it.” The Lancers girls will be a little calmer about the whole thing as long as they get to play basketball next year, and play rugby in the spring. “We’re hoping,” they add. “But especially for the Grade 12s, it was their last year. “It was their last year to play.” Asked if there was any message they wished to share with those involved in the dispute, the Lancers answered unanimously with a single voice, loud and clear. “Bring us our sports back!”

community clubS

U15&U17 Hornets win unique Cup double

Winter Registration #1 Soccer club in Ottawa


Coaching staff unparalleled in the country


Programs for children born 2009 and earlier


Adult leagues


Youth recreational leagues


New turf in existing dome


Brand new dome

The Gloucester Hornets U15 girls celebrated an ER Cup title for the second consecutive year.

By Jaehoon Kim The Gloucester Hornets U15 and U17 girls’ teams share a lot of things. This includes a practice field, a developmental philosophy for these young players, and friendship and mentorship between the girls. And with the 2012 season now in the books, the two teams can also boast that share the same success on the soccer pitch – both squads having captured East Region Cup championships. “I was quite pleased with the overall performance of the team,� said George Papandreou, the head coach of the U15 Hornets. “The girls learned a lot about the nature of the competition and improved both the technical and tactical aspects of their game.� The Gloucester U15 team had a 12-2-4 overall record this year, including a perfect 4-0 mark in the ER Cup games. Their season was capped off by a 3-2 win in the Cup finals against the Nepean Hotspurs on Sept. 16 in Kemptville, a game in which Carolyn Williams registered two goals, while Kelsey Ellis scored the game-winner. Gloucester’s only losses in the regular season came against the undefeated Nepean Hotspurs, who finished 10 points ahead of the secondplace Hornets. But the Hornets were able to come through in Cup play, thanks to clutch play by the likes of top goal scorers Williams, Kelsey Ellis and Alyssa Baker. “In the first two games against Nepean, we did not

have the full squad out, and perhaps were not fully mentally prepared to face our opponents,� said Papandreou, whose team also captured the ER Cup title in 2011. “The East Region Cup final was another story. We started preparing technically and mentally for the final by having practices to help counteract Nepean’s midfield prowess, and we changed our formation to do the same. We fired on all cylinders in that game and dominated.�

hornets u17s perfect The Hornets U17s team arguably enjoyed an even more successful season than their younger counterparts, winning both the regular season title and the ER Cup. They finished with a dominant 12-0-3 record in the league play, but were faced with a determined Belleville side in the Cup finals. After regulation play ended in a 0-0 tie, the two teams went to penalty kicks, which Gloucester won. “This was their most successful season ever for this group of kids, most of them who have been playing together for several years,� noted head coach Bruce McKay, who received a league-high 24 goals from Sophie Curtis, while goalkeeper Karleigh Bell recorded 10 shutouts this season.

U17s mentor u15 group One reason for the Hornets’ successes is that the players from the two teams practiced together and learned from each other all season long, with the older girls providing mentorship and leadership to

photo provided

the younger group. Two of the girls on Papandreou’s team even had sisters who played for the U17 team – perhaps a healthy dose of sibling rivalry pushing the Gloucester teams towards their “Cup double� this season. “The coach from the other team and I are friends as well, and we arranged to have our practices on the same field,� McKay highlighted. “So the girls know each other and they also scrimmage against each other from time to time.� “The fact that the U17 team won the East Region Cup as well is a testament to how this kind of friendly competition, in a safe environment, goes a long way towards building confidence,� added Papandreou.


Soccer Skill Programs for all skill levels, age 4 and older


er cup results Along with the Hornets U15 girls, seven other champions were crowned from the U13 to U16 age groups on ER Cup championship day. Another Gloucester team came out on top as their U14 boys topped Cumberland 3-1. Ottawa South United was also a double-winner as the Force U16 girls beat Glengarry 2-1 and their U13 girls trounced Nepean 6-1. The Nepean Hotspurs were represented in exactly half the finals, with their U16 boys bringing home the lone title with a 2-0 victory over Gloucester. Nepean fell 5-4 to Cataraqui in U15 boys’ play. Seaway Valley bested Cumberland 6-5 in the U14 girls’ final, while Capital United outlasted Gloucester 5-4 in the U13 boys’ category.

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#1-ranked Gee-Gees want national crown to match By Cory Correia

As November comes closer and the weather gets colder, sports teams around Ottawa will be moving indoors; however, one team will likely be outdoors a bit longer if the status quo persists. With a 12-0-1 record and only three games left in the season, the University of Ottawa GeeGees women’s soccer team are set to storm into the Ontario University Athletics playoffs and make a claim for the top prize and a berth into the national championships, due to be held in warmer parts Nov. 8-11 in Victoria, B.C. The Gee-Gees have been one of the strongest sides in Ontario for almost two decades now under the guidance of head coach Steve Johnson. They’ve won six provincial crowns along the way (the last one coming in 2006), and have one national title to their credit from 1996. It’s been a bit of a drought in terms of championship wins in recent years, although there’s definitely a major buzz about this year’s squad. Coming off a bronze medal win at last year’s Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships in Montreal, the Gee-Gees have conceded only one goal all season en route to their undefeated mark. That’s earned them the distinction of being ranked atop the CIS top-10 poll of Canadian women’s university soccer teams, for the first time since October 2007. Second-year Gee-Gee Pilar Khoury, an Ot-

been doing so well so far, so I really couldn’t ask for anything more from my teammates and coaches.” Coach Johnson has been pleased with the team’s work, highlighting strong play on both sides of the ball en route to a 40-1 total goal differential.

Patrice Dagenais (right) found himself on a wheelchair rugby provincial team not long after taking up the sport. He first dressed for the senior national team in 2009 and will make his Paralympic debut in London.

team speed springs ggs to front of pack

Ranked #1 in Canada, the Gee-Gees women’s soccer team has outscored opponents 40-1 en route to a 12-0-1 record. photo: dan plouffe

tawa native, believes the squad is ready to take the next step to the top of the podium after last year’s experience. “We were very satisfied with the way we played, but we took some teams lightly and some teams not, but this year we just decided that we are going to go all out every game,” says the striker with Gloucester Hornets roots. “We learned from the mistakes from last year and we kind of just build on that. We have goals that we want to get to by the end of the season, and it’s

just step by step. Everything is working so far.” Fresh off winning the Ottawa Fury club’s first-ever North American W-League title this past summer, veteran Ottawa U defender Gillian Baggott is in the midst of her final season as a Gee-Gee and would love to cap it off with a title. “I’ve had a great experience from the first day I walked in, and nothing would be better then to end on a big win,” smiles the communications student who possesses plenty of offensive flair despite her sweeper role. “And we’ve

Comparing last year’s bronze medal team to his current group, Johnson maintains that the 2011 squad “was probably a harder team to play against in terms of physicality, but I think this year’s team moves the ball a little bit quicker, and it makes it difficult for the other team to have as much of the ball as we do.” As is usually the case, born and bred Ottawa players make up the majority of the Gee-Gees’ roster. On top of Baggott and Khoury, some of the other key local contributors include former Nepean Hotspur Lili Wong, former Hornet Chelsea Lanos and former Cumberland Cobra Julia Francki, who Johnson plucked right from Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School where he teaches. “I think we’ve got more local players than any Gee-Gee team,” Johnson remarks. “And it’s probably because that’s where I spend a lot of my time recruiting, looking at the local kids and trying to find the best ones to come in and try and contribute to our program.”

Futuro players get taste of European soccer By Dan Plouffe

Three young members of the Parmar Futuro Academy are learning that Europe is a long way from McKellar Park – both geographically, and in terms of the quality of soccer that is played across the ocean. Grade 5 students Sahal Arwo, Christopher Yoo and Dominic Lopes were all selected for training opportunities with professional clubs, in England and in Holland. Bunking at his mom’s friend’s house, Arwo trained with MK Dons, a club located less than 100 km northwest of London, at the end of August. “It was really, really fun,” smiles Arwo. “I would not trade anything in the world to get to that place and to play with the English players.” Arwo was impressed by players from other clubs, such as Liverpool and Manchester United, who were attending the open tryout. “I didn’t only experience that club, I got to experience clubs from all around England,” notes Arwo, who also enjoyed seeing the sights of London, such as Big Ben, Wembley Stadium and the Olympic Stadium. Arwo noticed that the players he encountered there were much more aggressive than he’s used to. “It was a lot of fun, but it was

Dominic Lopes, Sahal Arwo and Christopher Yoo all earned opportunities to train with clubs in Holland or England recently. photo: dan plouffe

harder than back here in Canada,” highlights the young footballer who was selected by coach James Nash for the opportunity after showing well at a local camp in late July. Arwo believes the experience has already paid dividends for him, and recommends it for any other local players who are able to do it. “Instead of being at the Canadian level, you’re going to be at the English level,” explains Arwo, his eyes lighting up as soon as he mentions English soccer. “It’s a higher level than in Canada, so when you come back here, it’s going to be a lot easier.” Getting exposed to more physical and competitive players is the biggest benefit Ottawa Royals coach Cormac Rea sees in having

Futuro Academy kids head overseas. “They get a very different test than they do here,” Rea says. “They eat and breathe the game over there like we do hockey here. When you walk into an environment like that, I liken it very much to an English kid coming in here to a top-level hockey academy.” Yoo and Lopes will be up next as they go to train with the De Graafschap professional club in Holland. The pair attended a Dutch scouting camp in mid-July and were selected to train there by the club’s U15 coach. “They’re very enthusiastic,” Rea highlights, identifying a main ingredient in the players’ success. “And they’re remarkably focused for their age.”



2-time Olympic alpine skier Biggs calls it a career By Dan Plouffe

Pat Biggs says that never suffering a complete tear of the ACL knee ligament may have been the biggest blessing of his career. This from a skier racer who lists off the following injuries from recent years: four knee surgeries, two on each knee, to repair meniscus and cartilage damage, and partial ligament tears; a degenerative lower back disk; a broken wrist; the loss of a testicle; and the one that pushed to his recently-announced retirement – a second concussion. “It’s frustrating. If you have a knee injury, it’s two months or six months to rehab and I’ll be back to 100%, but with any type of head injury, you never really know,” says Biggs, who just turned 30 and decided

Pat Biggs competed in the Torino and Vancouver Olympics and twice cracked the top-10 at world championships.

the time was right to move on to new things in life. “There’s a lot of things that go

into recovery and coming back from an injury. This summer that fire wasn’t in me to come back from this

file photo

one. It would have been a long road with a head injury. “You’re never quite sure how it’s

going to react to training, and the possibility of another crash.” But despite the beating Biggs’ body has taken, avoiding the complete anterior cruciate ligament tear that spells the end for maybe slalom athletes was key in allowing him to enjoy a career of over a decade as one of the world’s elite ski racers. “Injuries are part of the sport,” the Orleans native shrugs. “You train to be in condition where you hopefully don’t get hurt, but there’s always some risk in ski racing. There’s been a lot worse guys than me for injuries. “I guess I’m kind of blessed that I made it through healthy. I did have a long career on the circuit which I’m thankful for.” BIGGS continued on p.10

FORCE FARCE: OSU faced with 2 must-win games on same day due to replayed match from 2 months ago continued from Back Cover Bernard received an e-mail from the OYSL on the Monday before their supposed final game stating that they’d have to replay the previous match against Bradford – for a full 90 minutes, with the score reset at zeros. Needing three points for a win to finish on top of the division, it would be the same as starting with a 1-0 deficit. Bernard was told in that e-mail that the rescheduled match would take place at Bradford the day after the teams were set to meet in Ottawa. But the next day, he was told it was switched to the following weekend, on Sept. 29. OSU hoped the situation would be rectified by then through their protests to the OSA – and believed both league and FIFA rules supported their case – but instead wound up facing a baffling scenario.

in the morning, and then if we win that game, we play at 4 o’clock – well, that is not fair at all however you look at it. You cannot have these girls at that age, at that level, play two games in a row.” They didn’t make it to the second game. OSU carried a 1-0 lead thanks to a first-half goal by photo: dan plouffe Dmuchalsky into OSU coach Widdgin Bernard wants the moment after the final whistle when they thought they’d won the the final 15 minutes OYSL U14 girls’ east division title be the last memory his players retain from their first OYSL season. of the replayed match. After gaining ensuing indirect free kick, but did off month on their current appeal to have prominence for the first time in the a later corner kick, which OSU felt the Force’s division title reinstated, although since they’ve already missed Canada vs USA Olympic women’s was awarded incorrectly. The end result was a 1-1 tie and a their chance to progress farther, the semi-final, OSU had the now-infamous eight-second violation called second-place finish – one point back decision is not of utmost importance against its goalkeeper in the late of Woodbridge, who went on to defeat to Bernard. “In our eyes, we finished first. stages. Bradford didn’t score on the both the west conference and Quebec And in our heart, we know it,” says champions. “All the the soft-spoken coach. “I asked the girls were cry- girls to write down comments about Train with ing,” Bern- the season. All of them, in their comphoto: hargreaves photography Paul Harris ard describes. ments, said we know that we finished Head Coach OSU “Because the first.” The memory Bernard wants his league took UEFA A - highest licence designation s o m e t h i n g players to retain is how they felt when Everton FC (English Premier league) Youth Academy Coach - 2003 to 2012 • International Coach - 2008 to 2011 away from the final whistle blew on Saturday, them, and they Sept. 22 at George Nelms fields in Manotick, when they became the knew it.” T h e first-ever Ottawa OYSL division Ontario Soccer champions. “I wasn’t expecting (the final Association did not respond whistle),” Bailey said in her postto an Ottawa game interview, a smile overtaking Sportspage re- her face as she recalled celebrating “Develop Like A Professional With A Professional” quest for an the historic moment with her teaminterview for mates, in front of their proud parents Register today for a 9 month program designed for the serious soccer player and further explan- and club members from many differtrain exclusively with former Everton coach Paul Harris ation, as of ent levels. “I was just focusing on the game, so when it went, I was just the press time. Maximum of 15 players accepted in each age group! happiest person ever. OSU exFor more information visit our website “I feel amazing. It’s amazing that pects to receive word later this we could accomplish this.”

The showdown between the OYSL east and west division champions had already been scheduled for Sept. 29 – a week after the regular season was supposed to be finished. The winner of that match would then advance to face the Quebec champions on the Thanksgiving weekend. Due to an error in a game two months earlier, the Force girls were suddenly charged with the task of beating third-place Bradford for a third time this season, and then, if they were successful, taking on well-rested west division-champion Burlington later the same day. “To be quite honest, it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair at all,” Bernard says. “Whatever reasons they have, I don’t know. But for them to wait until the last minute to inform us that we have to replay the game against Bradford, I thought that was unfair. “Then we had to play one game





Sport minister learns to curl from recent Calgary world tour event finalists

Keen to learn a sport he’d never played before and didn’t entirely understand, Canadian minister of sport Bal Gosal recruited a top-notch group of teachers for his first-ever curling outing last month at the Ottawa Curling Club. Amongst Gosal’s teammates and opponents were two-time world champion Craig Savill, veteran coach Earle Morris, and the four members of the 2011 Ontario women’s champion Team Homan rink, including Sport Canada employee Lisa Weagle. A couple weekends later, Weagle, Alison Kreviazuk, Emma Miskew and Rachel Homan were in fine form for an Oct. 5-8 World Curling Tour event in Calgary. The OCC rink knocked off Cheryl Bernard and Shannon Kleibrink en route to a second-place finish and an $11,000 payday.

Barbara Ann Scott was one of Ottawa’s best

Ottawa lost one of its greatest athletes of all time when Barbara Ann Scott passed away on Sept. 30 at age 84. The former Minto Skating Club member was the women’s singles figure skating gold medalist at the 1948 Olympics.

Fundraiser for local XC ski Olympian

Former Nakkertok cross-country skier and Canadian Olympian Perianne Jones will be the star attraction of a Tuesday, Oct. 16 event at the Britannia Yacht Club that includes a waxing workshop and a silent auction from 7 p.m. Tickets, available at Fresh Air Experience or at 613-729-3002, are $30 and help support Jones’ 2013 season.

Gee-Gees softball spread message about importance of suicide prevention

The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees women’s softball team dedicated its recent games to the memory of Jamie Hubley and wore “Acceptance” bracelets to raise awareness and money for suicide prevention in Ottawa. A former figure skater, Hubley committed suicide last year. The Kanata teen had struggled with depression and loneliness – and from bullying that came with being the only openly gay teen in his Ottawa-area high school. His parents have since raised over $800,000 for suicide prevention in Ottawa. The Gee-Gees will continue to sell rainbow-coloured wrist bands for $2 in support of the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa.

Olympic/Paralympic celebration tour hits capital

Local Paralympic wheelchair rugby silver medalist Patrice Dagenais was part of the sea of Canadian red athletes honoured at Parliament Hill in September for their accomplishments at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Many athletes visited local schools before taking their celebration tour to Toronto for a parade.

World university bronze for wrestler

Former National Capital Wrestling Club member Ilya Abelev won a bronze medal at the 2012 FISU World University Championships on Oct. 2 in Finland. The University of Western Ontario student competed in the men’s 66 kg event. Having won a Pan American cadet wrestling bronze earlier this year with Tsunami Academy, Torin Macfadyen of Takahashi Dojo switched disciplines and placed fifth at the Pan Am youth judo championships.

Dual honours for Ottawa able-sailor

Marc Villeneuve was the big winner at the 2012 Mobility Cup, held Sept. 8-15 at the Nepean Sailing Club. The Laval-des-Rapides, Que. athlete took home the top prize - the Mobility Cup itself - as he held onto an early lead all week in the Gold fleet. Second place went to Gatineau’s Christine Lavallee, who also won the Debbie Donald Award for highest-placing female sailor. In the Silver fleet, top honours (the Coupe Dallaire) were taken by Patrick Leger of Montreal, while Brian Cuerrier of Belleville took second place and Ralph Nolting of Ottawa came third. Nolting also earned the Hamilton Port Authority Award for Determination in recognition of his performance throughout the week. Gold fleet is for racers who can sail alone; Silver fleet is for those who require a companion. The Mobility Cup is recognized as Canada’s premier regatta for sailors with disabilities.

Blind Ambition movie tells life story of para-speed skater

The premiere of a movie on local deaf-blind speed skater Kevin Frost premieres at the Centrum Plaza’s Mayfair Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Algonquin College alumnus Pat Decelles will debut his film Blind Ambition, a profile of Frost’s life and journey to try to make a difference in the world of Paralympic speed skating. More details are available at http://blindambition. and the trailer can be viewed at

Olympians & Special Olympians unite for Motionball fundraiser

The third-annual Marathon of Sport Ottawa Motionball event on Sept. 15 at the Rideau Canoe Club raised over $20,000 for Special Olympics Canada. 36 Special Olympians, 12 Olympic athletes and 120 participants formed 12 teams to compete in the full day of traditional sports that included soccer-baseball, ball hockey, bun ball, basketball, volleyball, soccer and dragonboat racing. Organizers Christine Bain, Ryan Cuthbert and Ian Mortimer called it a “fantastic event, full of energy and smiles” and thanked all those who donated, volunteered and participated.

West Ottawa Soccer Scoop

West Ottawa Soccer Club scores big with new CEO Bjorn Osieck The West Ottawa Soccer Club (WOSC) has announced that Bjorn Osieck will join the organization as its inaugural Chief Executive

Officer in December 2012. Founded in 2010 as the result of a merger of soccer clubs in the west end of Ottawa, the club is currently the largest soccer club in the (Ottawa) area, and the second largest club in the Country, with an ambitious vision to match. “The Board invested considerable efforts in the recruitment of our Club’s first CEO,” stated WOSC President Brian Mason. “We are elated to have been able to secure a candidate with the proven soccer pedigree and business acumen Bjorn Osieck brings to the table.” Osieck joins the club after 6-and-a-half years at the helm of the British Columbia Soccer Association, the third largest soccer governing body in the country with some 150,000 registered players, coaches, officials, and volunteers. Prior to that, Osieck had led the operations of the Saskatchewan Soccer Association from 2003 to 2006. “I am thrilled to join forces with Brian Mason and the entire WOSC board and staff team to serve the club’s growing membership base,” stated Osieck. “Much has been said in recent years about what we collectively have to do to ensure Canadian Soccer’s future success at all levels and I firmly believe that Clubs like the WOSC are the grassroots engine to drive the needed changes in the years ahead,” he added.

Advancing LTPD at all levels Since its inception, the Club has made an unwavering commitment to the Canadian Soccer Association’s Long Term Player Development philosophy, based on which it delivers a full suite of programs for very young children catching an “active start” within the beautiful game to adults embracing the benefits of being “active for life”. A variety of league and player development programs are offered to meet all levels of ability and interest.

“The West Ottawa Soccer Club is founded on a rich heritage of soccer groups that have come together to form this new organization and by the same token is in many respects still a Start-Up at this juncture,” added Mason. “We are confident that Bjorn Osieck based on his many years of experience at the highest levels of Canadian Soccer will provide the impetus and direction for the WOSC to come into its own as one of the leading soccer clubs in the country.”

Vision to contribute nationally “In my dialogue with the selection panel, I was drawn in by their vision for what WOSC wants to provide to soccer players of all ages in the region, while also striving to be a key contributor to soccer’s overall success at a regional, provincial and national level,” stated Osieck. “I will work hard to help to inspire our thousands of active participants and stakeholders to collaborate in new and exciting ways to reach our goals together.” Osieck will relocate with his family from British Columbia to the Ottawa region towards the end of 2012 and commence his tenure with the club shortly thereafter.

welcome to 3 new employees West Ottawa Soccer is also pleased to announce the hiring of three new employees. Program Coordinator Heather Ambery will work with Technical Director Kristina Kiss and will be the main point of contact for technical and program related questions. Both valued volunteers with the Club for many years, Administrative Assistant Linda Paul will be the first point of contact for the Club, and Ben St. Jean will act as Equipment Manager.

thundering forward

Captain Kelly Avalos and the Algonquin College Thunder women’s soccer team earned a first-place finish in their divisions and secured a trip to the quarter-final playoffs with their most recent 5-0 victory over La Cité collégiale, while the Thunder men are also looking strong heading into their post-season play.

ELITE Turner to face TUE foe in title defense By Ian Ewing Ottawa MMA champ “Relentless” Randy Turner will be back in the ring to defend his title Nov. 9. The bantamweight will defend his Wreck MMA belt against challenger B.J. Ferguson in the comain event at Casino Lac-Leamy in Gatineau. The popular local fighter, an unarmed combat trainer for the Canadian Forces during the day, can expect another definitively pro-Ottawa crowd, but will have his work cut out for him against his new opponent, a veteran of the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Although Ferguson lost in the preliminary round on the reality TV show, the experience will have allowed him to develop his skills with the best. The other co-main event will feature a rematch between Mark “Boots” Holst of the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts and Team Bushido’s Nabil “The Thrill” Khatib. The Bushido fighter thought their previous fight was stopped pre-

photo: dan plouffe

Eric Hua (left) of the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts was victorious in his 135-lb. bout against Ultimate’s Mark Diryas at a Throwdown Gatineau event on Sept. 29 at the Casino du Lac Leamy’s Hilton hotel. Evolution’s Tariq Ismail downed Jason Hinds of Pound 4 Pound in the final fight of the 15-match card.

maturely, and has been clamouring for a do-over ever since, event promoters note. Turner, also of OAMA, won his Wreck title in April with a brutal five-round decision over Winnipeg’s Eric Perez, scored 48-47 by all three judges. The proud soldier will look to improve upon that close result against Ferguson. “It’s a huge accomplishment,”

he said of winning the belt. “It lets me know I’m getting better and better with every fight.” But, he cautioned, “I thought there were definitely some areas highlighted for me to improve on.” Other local fighters on the card include Chris St-Jean, Pablo Santos, Jeff Chan, Jason Bissonette, Stephane Bernadel, Mat Papineau, Andrew Walters and James Qouame.

Ottawa home to 1st sledge hockey wedding By Leah Larocque

Not very many couples can say that they got to get married on their very own “rink of dreams.” And no one besides one recently-married Ottawa couple can boast that they were part of the very first sledge hockey wedding ceremony in Canadian history. On Saturday, Sept. 21, Alain and Hazel Bazinet exchanged vows on centre ice at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland in front of family, friends and many players from provincial and national teams, as well as the Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario league. “We kind of threw out crazy ideas because we didn’t want the normal backyard wedding or golf course,” explains 27-year-old Ottawa Sledgehammers player Alain, the captain of Team Ontario who’s played for the national development team. “Because I play sledge hockey and travel and play so much, I threw out the idea of having it at the rink and involving the team. “Hazel was very supportive – as long she could come out on the Zamboni.” Although Hazel does not play sledge hockey, and does not have a disability, she has spent many hours at the rink and felt it was important to incorporate the game into their wedding. “Alain is just so passionate about the sport and we wanted our wedding day to capture who we are as a couple and this meant so much for us,” highlights the 39-year-old. “I have always said that Alain’s parents are his #1 fan, and I am his #2.”

The big day also doubled as the baptism ceremony for the Bazinets’ 12-month-old daughter, Victoria. It was a special day all-around for the tight-knit sledge group, notes SHEO president Serge Lavoie. “Participating in Alain’s wedding was like being at a brother’s or son’s wedding for SHEO members,” Lavoie says.



Dan Plouffe

Labour dispute steals high school sports from those who need it most

Sorry Mrs. Borts, math class didn’t But the ones they’re truly harming a bottom-of-the-pack finisher as a ju1 are the kids that need sports the most. nior to 12th out of 92 in my final city make the cut. 902 Pinecrest Rd. Ottawa, K2B 6B3 There are Grade 9s having an even They need it to keep them busy after championship as a senior, helping my 2 school, they need it to keep them go- Nepean Knights to a one-point victory tougher time integrating into their new Dan Plouffe 3 4 5 Editor high school realities. And there are kids ing to school and motivated. I’ve often in the team competition. 613-261-5838 You know why I remember those out there now who aren’t making those had teachers confide in me that a star 7 6 athlete headed for a scholarship could stats so easily? Not only was it by far friendships and connections that last 8 9 the best moment of my (admittedly for years. have easily “gone the other way.” Larry Ring 10 The teachers’ unions, and the govIt’s the kids who can only afford rather unaccomplished) sports career, Director of Business Development of ernment, are taking away the best part 12 613-293-1730 high school sports. It’s the kids whose but it was one of the best memories 11 of high school. Students are missing parent isn’t home right after school my life. Period. 13 I imagined what it would be like if the best time of their lives. because they work two jobs. Probably 14 I16hope that 17 sits fine with those of The Ottawa Sportspage is printed the were taken teachers would have a tough time ex- suddenly those memories Dan Plouffe15 first Tuesday of every month by Ottplaining the reason for their fight to from me, and I just felt totally heart- you who orchestrated this, supported awa Sports Media, the locally-owned broken for the countless students who this and failed to stand up to this. them. and operated publishers of the Ottawa 18 And it also hurts the athletes for are living that exact reality now. —Dan Plouffe Sportspage and By the way, my five next-best 1 whom high school sports is the pin19 20 21 nacle of their careers. I was one of memories from high school are SPORTSOTTAWA.COM OCTOBER STARS OF THE WEEK 2 cheering on the basketball girls – our Name: Dante Cobisa them. 3 5 at the 22 time – watch- Sport:23 Soccer If you’d taken away my one shot4 school’s top team Club: Ottawa South United at OFSAA cross-country, I would have ing our improv team at 24 nationals, being School: Mother Teresa CHS been beyond devastated. I’d 6worked in school plays, participating in student 7 Grade: 10 and9 going to dances. my ass off for four years, moving from council events, 8 About: The only Ottawa male from on Dan Plouffe 10 25 the 2011-12 U15 provincial team, Dante OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE CROSSWORD has played in high-end tourna11 12 Do you know the team names of the OCDSB schools affected by the teachers’ labour disbute? Cobisa ments in Sweden, Denmark, Texas and 13 1 Florida with OSU and its affiliate club Across 14 Down in Dallas. A 92% Cobisa Laurier also 3 Hillcrest 1 student, Sir Wilfrid 16 15 led his Mother Teresa high school junior 517 Lisgar 2 Bell 2 9 Nepean 4 cityWest Carleton team to last year’s championship. 3 4 5

My heart goes out to the students who aren’t playing sports this fall. There’s some sympathy there too for the teachers who were dealt a piece of legislation that’s rarely seen in a democratic country. Showing students that they should stand up when they believe something isn’t right – that’s a good lesson. But doing that by cutting off the activities that makes high school so special is dead wrong. It’s a shame so few teachers were truly bold enough to stand up to what they know is wrong and tell their union leaders the work action they proposed is jeodardizing students’ well-being. Make no mistake, that is the case. There are certainly sad stories of kids that have worked for years to get a shot at a championship in their senior year – and let’s absorb that thought for a moment.

OCDSB team names

OCDSB team names



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Woodroffe Rideau Brookfield Colonel By 21 20 Merivale Cairine Wilson A.Y. Jackson Earl of March Glebe Osgoode Township Longfields-Davidson Heights

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Sir Guy Carleton Canterbury Name: Alex Berhe Ridgemont Sir Robert Borden Sport: Cross-country running John McCrae School: Woodroffe HS Ottawa Tech Club: Ottawa Lions South Carleton Grade: 12 Gloucester About: The national capital senior boys’ cross-country silver medalist last year, Alex Berhe and his Woodroffe Tigers are not competing in high school sports this fall. He will not get the chance to improve on his 18th-place OFSAA result.


Across 3 Hillcrest 20 21 5 Lisgar 9 Nepean 10 Woodroffe 23 22 12 Rideau 24 13 Brookfield 15 Colonel By 17 Merivale 18 Cairine Wilson 25 19 A.Y. Jackson 20 Earl of March 23 Glebe 24 Osgoode Across Down Township BIGGS: The artistic engineer is unleashed 25 Hillcrest 1 Longfields-Davidson Sir Wilfrid Laurier Heights Lisgar 2 Biggs Bell first competed on the North continued from p. 7 4 West Carleton Nepean Cup Carleton tour at age 18, winWoodroffe 6American Sir Guy four gold, five silver and four Rideau 7ning Canterbury throughout his career on the Brookfield 8bronze Ridgemont circuit. won a pair of Europa Cup Colonel By 11 SirHe Robert Borden Merivale 14 McCrae racesJohn in both 2004 and 2005, earned Cairine Wilson 16 Ottawa two World CupTech top-10s in 2005 and A.Y. Jackson 21 South finished in theCarleton top-10 at the 2005 and Earl of March 22 Gloucester 2007 world championships. Since Glebe announcing his retirement in late Osgoode Township September, many people have conLongfields-Davidson gratulated Biggs on what he accomHeights plished in his career. “It’s nice,” he smiles. “Sometimes you forget about everything that you have done because you’re always searching for the next thing.” In recent years, Biggs spent plenty file photo of time searching for the next medical 19

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Down Sir Wilfrid Laurier Bell West Carleton Sir Guy Carleton Canterbury Ridgemont Sir Robert Borden John McCrae Ottawa Tech South Carleton Gloucester

solution. He feels that his health problems may have kept him from attaining his full potential as a racer. “I had my back injury when I was ranked something like 22nd in the world,” Biggs recalls. “If I’d had another year injury-free there, I think I would have had the opportunity to make big improvements.” As his world ranking slipped, so did his start position for top international races – a key factor since grooves and ruts on chewed up courses make an enormous difference for athletes starting later on. There were an abundance of recent results with the dreaded first two “DN” initials for did-not-finish or did-notqualify as the injuries took their toll. But something he’ll likely appreciate even more in future years, Biggs

Name: Ali Mohsen Sport: Soccer School: Rideau HS Grade: 12 About: Ali Mohsen came within one goal of last year’s championship – the second time in his career he’s reached the city final with his Rideau Rams soccer team. Mohsen will not get a chance to win the prize in his senior year since his school did not enter teams this fall.

notes, is that he can call himself a two-time Olympian. “I’d always dreamed of doing a top-10 or a podium at the Olympics,” he says. “Especially in Torino, I had a good shot at it and gave it everything.” Biggs was 10th out of 97 athletes after his first slalom run at the 2006 Olympics and went for broke but wound up not finishing the course in his second run. After numerous injuries to Canadian teammates, Biggs was inserted for the giant slalom at the Vancouver Games, placing 35th in his less favoured event.

Art, engineering & coaching This past summer, Biggs at last completed his Dartmouth College

degree, majoring in engineering combined with an unusual match – studio art. The former NCAA athlete left full-time school to race World Cups, but still plugged through three or four courses in the off-season for 10 years. Biggs is now looking forward to exploring his artistic side more – he’s currently at a house working on a 10’ x 6’ mural, and a painting he donated for a Canadian Athletes Now Fund auction sold for over $3,000. Biggs is engaged to be married next year, and will be working at the Camp Fortune club he grew up with to provide high-performance technical direction. “It’s very exciting,” says the newly-minted coach. “It’ll be fun to try to pass along my knowledge to another generation.”



3 Ottawa triathletes head to worlds By Ian Ewing It’s been a different path for each of them, but current or former Bytown Storm team members Samantha Klus, Matt Vierula and Joanna Brown have each punched a ticket for the same place – Auckland, New Zealand, where they’ll compete in the Oct. 20-22 triathlon world championships’ junior and under-23 categories. For Vierula, it’s been a long wait to compete at the worlds. The 22-year-old was finally able to train full-time after finishing his degree at the University of Ottawa in the spring. The ability to devote more hours to training – up to 30 hours per week – has allowed the human kinetics grad to realize performance Matt Vierula

gains that have been hinted at for years. “It’ll be pretty exciting,” grins Vierula, a multiple-time national medalist who has yet to compete on as big a stage as New Zealand. Vierula is looking for a top-20 finish in a field of roughly 70 U23 men, including a handful of Olympians who are fresh from competing in London. “It’s a pretty stacked field of very talented athletes,” he adds. Klus, for her part, is attending with a mind towards gaining experience. The 17-year-old is only in her second year of eligibility in the junior category, and to claim the third Canadian slot next to a pair of girls two years older is not common at all, affirms Storm coach Greg Kealey. The Bell High School senior juggles a busy training schedule of around 20 hours per week on top of her classes. And after attending the North American junior championships in Mexico earlier in the summer, where she finished 13th out of 16 athletes, Klus says she suddenly feels like she belongs at this level. “(Mexico) was a great learning experience,” she explains, adding that competing against athletes of that calibre has made her want to train even harder.

Samantha Klus




330 Vantage

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Vierula echoes that sentiment when talking about the not-yetone-year-old uOttawa/GO Kingfish Regional Training Centre, which is funded in part by Own The Podium. “A few of the top swimmers [at Ottawa U] really kicked my butt in file photo the pool, and it gives me good motivation to keep pushing it,” Vierula highlights. “One FUN & FITNESS AND SO MUCH MORE! of the great things about the RTC is that it fosters that environment of high-performance, and with the two sports going side-byside, you have excellence on both sides. It’s great to see.” Klus is considering folPD Camps lowing in the Winter Camp footsteps of WHERE DREAMS BEGIN teammate Vierula in attending All ages the University welcome! of Ottawa for Registration human kinetics, partly for the begins Nov 1 availability of top-notch training facilities and o C m | s p partners at the p e t i ti v e m rties | Ca thday Pa r i B | s c i t s U O G O - RT C , a Recreational Gymn she notes. That wasn’t an option availWe do Birthday Parties able to Brown before she left Dr. Orleans (off Lanthier Dr.) Book yours today! for the Uni-


OSU Force Academy Zone

OSU banquet plays tribute to standout season throughout club With a total of over 65 gold and silver medals from league, Cup and tournament play, it was another banner year for Ottawa’s #1 soccer club, and Ottawa South United took a moment to celebrate the achievements of its members on Sept. 28. Over 400 attended the annual banquet at Centurion Conference and Event Centre for an evening of inspiring speakers, delicious dinner, awards, prizes and of course dancing. “It was a really great opportunity to recognize everyone throughout the club for all our successes,” said OSU head coach Paul Harris, who thanked the crowd for making him feel so welcome since he joined the club early in the summer after previously working with Everton FC. “When you come from the other side of the ocean, it’s hard to know for sure what things will be like. But I’m very pleased to see that OSU really is everything that I perceived it to be. I’m very impressed with the ambitions the club has for the future, and I look forward to helping OSU achieve those in the years to come.” The club honoured a plethora of teams that won league titles this year – from the youngest EODSA U11 Tier 3-champion boys to the oldest ERSL U16 Level 3 girls champs. Numerous OSU teams were also runners-up. Two OSU girls’ squads captured East Region Cup titles this season – the Force Academy 1999 Black U13 Level 3 team and the Force 1996 Level 3 U16 side. Three Force teams were runners-up in Ontario Youth Soccer League divisions – the U17 and U15 boys, as well as the U14 girls, who are currently appealing to be recognized as champions due to a controversial decision. Four OSU squads earned promotions to the OYSL for next season – the 1999 Force girls, the 1998 Force girls, the 1997 Force Black boys and the 1996 Force girls. The club also saluted nine of its Erica Roberts

versity of Guelph last year. After an injury-cursed 2011 season, it could be called a win for the 2010 world junior bronze medalist to simply be healthy again and competing. But it’s been a standout season by any standard as she earned a ticket to the worlds in her first year in the U23 category on the strength of numerous top results, including a third-place showing at a Sept. 17 Pan Am Cup race in Buffalo. “It has been a really good year,” Brown said in a Triathlon Canada news release. “Training has been upbeat and smooth. I have been learning a lot, but I feel like I’m getting stronger every race so I’m really looking forward to World Championships.”

Paul Stalteri

2012 graduates who moved on to play university soccer and presented special awards to three individuals and two teams at the banquet. Jonathan Gervais received the Peter Cameron Memorial Trophy for a referee who puts “service before self.” Erica Roberts from the 2001 girls’ Force Academy Blue team displayed the traits for which she was recognized as she accepted the Lindsey Catherine Winter Memorial Plaque for the U11 girl who best exemplifies team spirit, dedication to sportsmanship and a love for the game. Dario Cobisa of the 1997 boys’ Force Black earned the Kirk Quaile Memorial Plaque, presented to an OSU U15 boy who best exemplifies Kirk Quaile’s love and dedication to soccer. And the 1998 girls’ Force (OYSL) and 1997 boys’ Force Black squads were chosen for Spirit of Excellence Awards for their success, commitment and dedication to the sport of soccer. Another major highlight was the evening’s keynote speaker, retired Team Canada defender Paul Stalteri. Stalteri shared the story of his career path to become the Canadian national team player with the most career caps – from getting cut from a provincial team as a teenager, to plugging away with a reserves team in the German league and eventually moving up to the first team, and later playing for Tottenham in the English Premier League, which was the best league in the world at the time. The man who says his proudest career moments came when wearing Canadian colours also provided advice for the young, aspiring players in the room, stating that maintaining focus at all times on the task at hand is of upmost importance. “Hard work and dedication are the pillars to success,” said Stalteri, who also congratulated the OSU players on all their accomplishments this season. “Hard work is the only way to do it.” Joanna Brown

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By Ian Ewing

The real champs photo: dan plouffe

OSU U14 girls have Ottawa’s first OYSL division title ‘taken away from them’ after league ordered a match they’d won to be replayed By Dan Plouffe It was a historic moment as they became the first team from the Ottawa region to win an Ontario Youth Soccer League division championship, but the Ottawa South United Force under-14 girls’ triumph has now been erased. First, they experienced elation. Heading into what they thought would be the final game of their regular season on Saturday, Sept. 22, the OSU girls could finish first in their division with a victory on their home field.

The Force came through with a 3-1 win over Bradford to capture the big prize that had previously eluded two OSU boys’ teams, who’d faced the same situation in their final games this year and last. “It was very, very exciting,” coach Widdgin Bernard smiled after the victory. “The girls wanted it. They wanted this game so bad. Right from the get-go, the girls kept on going and going and going, until the end.” A 10-4-2 season and a division title is not something the team fathomed prior to their de-

but season in the OYSL. “At the start of the year, we were just planning to not get relegated,” highlighted Nicole Bailey, who scored two goals to spring OSU ahead 2-1 at the half before Andrianna Dmuchalsky added some breathing room in the late stages of the second half. “This is just amazing for us.” Bailey said the Force are a tight-knit group that plays for one another since the majority have played on the same team for a remarkable six years. “A lot of it has to go to our coaches,” adds the Grade 9 Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School student. “We all believe in each other and support each other through everything.” The club hailed the victory as proof that there’s great value for players to stick together with one club, under one philosophy. “It’s overwhelming,” said OSU president Bill Michalopulos, who acted as an assistant coach during the game. “We’ve been working hard for 10 years to get to a certain level and today the girls showed we have reached the level we’re expecting. “It’s beautiful to see, and it’s beautiful to see how happy they are.” The Force girls had achieved an unprecedented accomplishment for Ottawa teams that have largely struggled to compete in the OYSL. Traveling further and more frequently puts teams from the nation’s capital at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts from around the GTA, since they are often scheduled to play road games on back-to-back days against a fresh side for the second match. “A lot of teams from the Toronto area think, ‘Oh, it’s just Ottawa…’” Bernard highlighted. “Now people in the OYSL are realizing Ottawa has some great teams and some great players, also.” They may have beaten the best soccer teams the GTA has to offer, but the U14 girls couldn’t top the Markham-based OYSL and

Ontario Soccer Association administrators.

Previous victory scrapped The controversy that wound up with OSU losing its title stemmed from a mid-July game in mid-July on the road against Bradford, which OSU won 1-0. The problem, Bernard details, is that the referee only played a 40-minute first half instead of the usual 45. Tied 0-0, both coaches realized the error but did not point it out then. In accordance with FIFA rules that state each half must be of equal length, the referee again called the second half after 40 minutes, although the Bradford coach then complained about the length since OSU had gained a 1-0 victory. It was a forgotten moment for the Force as they went on to earn the chance to clinch the division title with a win on Sept. 22, but the earlier match crept back up unexpectedly. “Apparently, they put a protest in, but we didn’t know about it until the season was almost over,” Bernard recounts. FORCE FARCE continued on p.7

photo: dan plouffe