The Sandwich Sabers athletics team picked up where it left off before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sandwich won the OFSAA overall team title in athletics in 2019, but the pandemic forced the cancellation of the event in 2020 and 2021.
On Saturday in Toronto, the Sabers took back-to-back titles, after a long hiatus in between, as they captured the overall girls’ team title while sharing the boys’ overall team title.
“It was just a phenomenal year,” said Sabers head coach Rob Moore. “To my knowledge, it is the first time ever that an area team has won the boys and girls (overall) title together.”
Sandwich took the girls title by 110 points, 37 points ahead of the team’s closest rival. The boys finished with 44 points to tie the title with St. Thomas St. Joseph. Both teams received OFSAA championship banners.
“As coaching staff, we didn’t know what we were going to be,” Moore said of the team’s return to play this year. “We knew the Grade 12’s would be back and some of the individuals who competed in the club.
“When we started to see results after WECSSAA and SWOSSAA, we thought we had a chance depending on how much we could get to OFSAA (from regional teams) and we had 41.”
Sandwich athletes took home a dozen medals in the three-day encounter, two more than the 2019 championship team.
Leading the way was Ella Steel-Douglas, who took her fourth gold medal from the finish by winning the girls’ 300m hurdles in 45.82.
Sandwich also closed the game on Saturday with three silver medals. Alex Seagris took second in the senior javelin throw with a throw of 42.24 meters. Grandma Chaaban took silver in the junior boys’ 200m in 22.22 seconds, which was just 5/100th of a second from the winner. Joelle Olla, Ruby Radovich, Savannah Baillargeon and Nicole Seagris took silver together in the 4×400 meter relay in 4:02.79. Tatem Combres added a bronze medal in the senior javelin throw with a throw of 52.21 meters.
Two other area athletes also managed to take the podium on Saturday. L’Essor’s Rose Forshaw claimed her third medal from the finish with a bronze medal in the senior javelin with a best effort of 38.47 metres. Karol Jasniewicz van Lajeunesse also took a bronze medal in the 800 meters in the juniors in 2:01.84.
“The future holds great promise,” Moore said. “Of the 41 athletes who went to OFSAA, only six graduate.”
Knights take silver
The Holy Names Knights have taken the silver medal at the OFSAA Boys AAA Football Championship in London.
The Knights fell 1-0 to Hamilton Bishop PF Reding in the gold medal match. Hamilton scored the only goal of the game two minutes into the game. Mateo Nepszy hit the bar shortly afterwards, but the Knights were unable to equalize.
Holy Names reached the final with an exciting victory over Ajax Brother Andre, which had to be settled with penalties.
Gabe Steele scored without goals in extra time, but Ajax came back to equalize and force penalties.
In the fifth round, Steele had to score to go into extra time. The goalkeeper saved, but the ref ruled he left the line too early. Steele scored with the repechage and Rob Mancini won it in the next round.
Cougars fall short
The Cardinal Carter Cougars came just short of reaching the gold medal match at the OFSAA Boys Football Championship A at Joran Station.
The Cougars had a 2-1 lead late in regular time when the referee awarded a penalty to Breslau St. John’s Kilmarnock in the semi-final. That sent the game into extra time where it ended 6-2 with Parker Steel and Julian St. Pierre scoring for Cardinal Carter
That sent the Cougars into the bronze medal game, where Steel’s goal brought the club 1-1 into extra time against Hamilton District Christian, but Cardinal Carter, who also struggled with injuries, scored 4-2 in the penalty shootout. .
Injuries hinder Aigles
The L’Essor Aigles went down 1-0 against London mother Teresa in the bronze medal match at the OFSAA Girls AA Football Championship in Bradford.
Earlier in the day, the Aigles lost 2-1 on penalties from host country Bradford Trinity. Madison Guignard scored for the Aigles, who had to miss a number of key players due to injury.