Barons, Vipers look to continue success

SOARING SEASON: After losing the TDSSAA city championships to Eastern Commerce last season, Oakwood qualified for OFSAA through a backdoor game and went on to storm the provincial playoffs, winning 47-34 over St. Thomas More CSS from Hamilton, Ont.

Forest Hill schools gear up for 2010-11

It’s that time of year again.

Back to school, and the Town Crier is giving you the top three teams that have the chance to bring home gold for each of Forest Hill’s 11 secondary schools.

As students march out their front doors bright and early for another academic year, a good lot of them will have athletics on the brain. It all starts in the fall with girls basketball, boys football, girls field hockey, rugby sevens, golf, tennis and boys volleyball.

Once the games continue into winter, the seasonal change brings with it boys basketball, girls volleyball, curling, hockey, alpine skiing, snowboarding and swimming.

Moving into the spring, baseball, cricket, lacrosse, rugby, girls slo-pitch, soccer, girls softball, co-ed volleyball and ultimate Frisbee get under way.

Here are your local schools and the teams that had phenomenal 2009-10 campaigns.

Bloor CI

Boys A volleyball had a great 2009 as they worked their way to the city finals against Runnymede Ravens under Wilson Lee’s leadership. Though they lost in the championship game, the team looks to return for 2010.

Also benefiting from a standout season was the Bears varsity development basketball team. Eliminated from the playoffs by Sir Sanford Fleming Chargers in the quarterfinals 60-47, Bloor will seek revenge this year.

Look for the badminton team to pick up where Lee and Namdal Tenzin left off for 2011.

Bishop Strachan School

Gymnastics was where it was at OFSAA-wise for Bishop Strachan in 2009-10. Lina Mastracci Marques finished top 5 in level 5 bars and floor and scored a gold in vault, while teammate Allison Harris placed fourth in level 6 bars and captured bronze in vault.

Senior girls swimming saw great success in the pool placing fourth at OFSAA in 200-metre relay, second in 200-metre medley relay, while Liz Laushway finished sixth in 200-metre freestyle and Robin Holloway caught silver in 100-metre backstroke.

The senior division 1 soccer team claimed top spot in CISAA with a decisive 5-0 win over Ridley College with Shannon Doyle helping the crew. The win qualified the team for AA OFSAA.

De La Salle College

Cross country took top honours in CISAA for senior girls team, as well as overall honours for both the co-ed and girls teams.

Girls AA volleyball, led by MVP Silvia Cioci, qualified for OFSAA. The team lost in the consolation final against west-end school Richview 2-0 (25-11, 29-27).

In addition to the volleyball team’s qualification for OFSAA, track and field had success as Connor Nickelson, Sadie Wilson, Stefano Pezzetta, Stephen Savo-Sarda and Emily Kukovica all qualified for the Oaklands.

Forest Hill CI

Playing upset to senior baseball teams like Northern and Humberside, the Falcons, with the great pitching of Daisuke Suzuki, made it to the City Championships against Richview Saints. Losing 2-1, it was still one of the most memorable moments for Suzuki, he said.

The boys soccer team also did well, making it to the A/AA finals against Vaughan Road, only to lose to their rivals.

In nature Falcons are more known for flight, but at Forest Hill, Alejandro Soares proved he is waterproof, winning silver in the junior boys 50-metre butterfly at OFSAA. He placed fourth in the 50-metre freestyle.

Loretto College School

The Lightning went undefeated at 6-0-1 in TDCAA girls Tier 2 soccer in 2009-10. Kayla Picanco was a force to be reckoned with and this year the team will look for a key striker to fill her shoes.

Girls softball also had a successful campaign finishing 4-2 on the season, right behind St. Joseph’s and Community Hebrew Academy.

Loretto College also had a great table tennis tournament in 2010, seeing standout performances by girls doubles Kristin Cruz with Stephanie Basantes and Michelle Ramos with Sarah Bonello.

Oakwood CI

Nobody is happier than the boys AAAA basketball team as they took home top OFSAA honours earlier this year. Piloting a direct course for Ontario basketball supremacy were Julian Clarke, Mike Ranger and Kevin Blake.

The girls faired well too, just missing the OFSAA qualifications due to a potent Downsview roster 58-44. After making OFSAA in 2008-09 they will definitely look to reach the provincials in 2010-11.

On the winning end of the A/AA City Championships were the senior girls soccer team who downed Richview in the finals. Leading the charge was Melanie Henry.

St. Michael’s College School

The juggernaut of Forest Hill sports is St. Michael’s College. A perennial winner for the Kerry Blues is the football team. The blue crew won CISAA honours but lost 17-3 to rivals Trinity College Bears in the conference finals of the Metro Bowl.

Cross country at CISAA was dominated by the St. Mike’s boys, as they claimed top in senior boys, juniors and midgets boys team as well as boys overall. Philip Messina claimed sixth at OFSAA in the midget boys 5000-metre race.

In AAAA OFSAA volleyball, the boys from St. Mike’s made it all the way to the quarter-finals only to lose to Birchmount Park 2-0 (25-20, 25-17). The returning troupe will look to win CISAA again and head back to the provincials in 2010.

Upper Canada College

The AAA boys volleyball team might not have beaten St. Mike’s in the CISAA senior boys division 1 finals, but they certainly qualified for OFSAA, losing in the consolation finals to Dr. G. W. Williams of Aurora, Ont. 2-1 (25-15, 19-25, 15-7).

Brandon Ng was golden on the links for UCC as he scored two 75s at the OFSAA boys golf festival in Vineland, Ont. His team finished fourth.

UCC also saw success from their senior badminton team: the boys dominated during CISAA regular season play with a 7-0 record.

University of Toronto Schools

Tennis was big at the University of Toronto Schools as racket star Cyrus Elmpak-Mackie scored a silver in boys ranked singles and Samuel Levy nabbed some silver too in boys unranked singles.

Once the fall season on the courts wrapped up, snowboarding was the next obstacle to tackle, as both Jennifer Yu and Kevin Cicuta finished sixth and ninth in their respective categories.

UTS also did well on the slopes, getting an eighth-place finish from Katie Lawrence in the level 1 giant slalom.

Vaughan Road Academy

The most heavily represented school at OFSAA’s 2010 track meet, Vaughan Road had a grand total of 15 Vipers representing the school in London, Ont., with Crystal Emmanual grabbing a gold in the 200-metre dash.

Not just making like bullets on the track, they torpedoed their way onto the podium with Aleksander Hondro claiming two silvers (boys junior 50-metre butterfly, junior boys 200-metre freestyle) and An Quach with two golds (girls 100-metre, girls 50-metre breaststroke).

Another final for the Vipers came in girls slo-pitch where a close match saw Woburn Wildcats win 11-10. Vaughan Road will seek revenge when May 2011 rolls around.

York School

The future is looking bright for the York School, as a few young Gladiators from the under 14 division 2 champs will move up among to the ranks of junior girls.

The senior boys division 2 basketball team claimed victory in their division, decimating Royal St. George’s defence in a 55-26 romp. York will look to defend their title in 2011.

Providing a good foundation for the future girls junior volleyball team will be the under 14 champs who beat Appleby College in the under 14 division 2 finals 2-1 (25-20, 14-25, 25-22).

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