2009 — what a year for high school sports
Checking out the past 10 months of school sports, here are some of the notables – and, yes, I could have gone on and on with more.
Pickering teacher/coach Mike Gordensky knowingly used two ineligible players in a U.S. basketball tournament and was reprimanded by the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations with a one-year ban from coaching…Mowat Collegiate’s swimmer Emily Torrens, who won three events at the Toronto finals, decided to train with the junior national water polo team in Holland rather than compete at the Ontario swim finals...Former CFL running back Chris Spence was appointed Director of Education with the Toronto District School Board...St. Basil The Great became the first Toronto school to win an Ontario gold medal in girls' ice hockey and Theodora Imbrogno had a 40-goal season...They didn’t win their own league title, were ranked No. 11 of 20 teams but St. Aloysius of Gonzaga of Mississauga still went on to win the provincial boys’ hockey gold medal...Sprinter Dushane Farrier wanted to meet Olympian Donovan Bailey and then, one day at practice, the surprise happened inspiring the Neil McNeil High speedster to go on and win the Ontario 100 metres...Coach Adil Askari was determined to raise the visibility of cricket in schools – and did…Mike Ring convened a mountain biking circuit for Durham schools...The Red Hot Invitational became the largest high school rugby tournament in Canada....Birchmount Park’s Exceptional Athlete Program graduated students to U.S. scholarships in soccer, hockey, volleyball and track ....The Coaching Association of Ontario raised concern over the number of declining volunteer coaches while the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations guessed fewer coaches were involved in school sports...Sprinter Chanice Taylor-Chase, from Notre Dame in Ajax, couldn’t have asked for more: two events, two personal best performances and two Ontario records...Talented tennis player Joshua Budman, from the University of Toronto Schools, missed out on playing for an Ontario gold medal because of scheduling problems at the playoffs...The Toronto Argonauts bragged about kick-starting new school football teams when Toronto Councillor Rob Ford had been doing it for years...31-0-2 was the record of the provincial boys’ soccer champs from St. Edmund Campion in Brampton...Toronto school trustee Josh Matlow was frustrated with schools not able to play sports because teachers wouldn’t volunteer to stand around for liability reasons...Huron Heights piled up back-to-back senior football league wins of 73-0 scores and then lost in the York Region final...Richview’s Kee-Joon Chung kicked field goals of more than 40 yards...Tyler Pritty was the Metro Bowl MVP and he also threw for 400 yards and five touchdowns in a senior football league game for Markham...Snowboarding while on vacation with his family in Switzerland, Burlington’s Mitchell Fox suffered a serious injury but in the fall he was competing in the Ontario golf finals...Grade 10 point guard Grace Kay had six 30-point basketball games for her team at Pearson High in Burlington... Born with one hand, it didn’t stop Latrell Paris from playing football and also intercepting a pass for Holy Trinity High in Courtice....Lucky No. 13 it was for Notre Dame High as the Burlington senior football team went undefeated and won the Golden Horseshoe Bowl...Disappointing crowds yet again for the OFSAA football Bowl games – five games in one day at the 50,000-seat Rogers Centre...Pope John Paul II’s Shanice McKoy, a Star all-star, had surgery to repair a collapsed lung that almost was fatal. A few months later, she was playing basketball and leading her team to a 38-1 record....Five goals and almost as many names for Leaside’s Emily Rose Gallliani Pecchia in a season-opening 6-3 hockey win...Here’s one for the record books: six touchdowns and 471 yards rushing on 44 carries in one game – an Ontario junior football final – from Ryan Dixon and his Donald Wilson Gators of Whitby...Not sure why several football players at Toronto’s Chaminade College put feces in a microwave oven while staying in a Michigan hotel? They were never booted off the team or suspended...Still on football, Toronto Star all-star linebacker Travis Bent, from Pickering, missed a scholarship to Rice University in Houston when the NCAA Clearing Centre determined he was one course short…Emma Ashby went to a provincial cross country final at Boyd Conservation Area in Woodbridge and instead of leaving with a medal went home with a broken collar bone after a run-in with a deer. Yes, a deer…How’s this for a winning record: 73 consecutive matches without a loss for Birchmount Park and a gold medal for the senior boys’ volleyball team who had star athlete Garrett May. … Whatever happened to cheerleaders, with only 3,000 left in high schools in Ontario, where have all the pom poms gone?…In the annual salute to athletes of the year, the Star singled out 645 students - the most in almost three decades – and chosen by their schools…Mikhel Polma, first with Windfields and then York Mills, accomplished something rare by winning the discus, shot and javelin in back-to-back years at the Metro Regional track and field finals…Former Uxbridge High teenage female hockey star Tyson Beukeboom didn’t have to look far for hockey advice. Her father Jeff, a former NHL first round pick by Edmonton, was on four Stanley Cup teams…Some track and field officials called for an immediate ban on starter’s pistols at school events saying the guns, not prohibitive weapons, still weren’t optically a smart idea…Eastern Commerce missed 14 of 24 free throws, including 10 in the closing minutes, but still beat Toronto rival Mother Teresa 50-49 in the Ontario boys’ basketball final…Jonathan Babulall is one of Canada’s top teenage wrestlers and the Turner/Fenton grappler proved it with a 35-0 record and a gold medal in the 44 kilos at the provincial mat final….The sister act from Martingrove, Heather and Brittany MacLean, won enough gold medals at the Toronto and provincial swim finals to open a bank…Northern alpine skier Kevin Noh required surgery to repair a shattered leg when he cut to avoid hitting a snowboarder at the OFSAA finals and went head first into a group of trees in Collingwood.
Oh yeah, what a year. Bring on 2010 – and best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.