Your Stanstead College Spartans punched their ticket to the RSEQ D3 championship game this past Tuesday at home with a comprehensive semi-final 61-33 victory over Les Carnicas from LaRuche. After a barrage of buckets in the first quarter where it appeared neither team could miss, the Red & White clamped down defensively, allowing a paltry 19 points the rest of the way while keeping the offensive pressure firmly on their opponents. In their most efficient game of the season, they went 28 for 67 from the field for an impressive shooting percentage of 42%, with no fewer than six players scoring 6 points or more.
This Grade 9 student-athlete from Fort McMurray, Alberta has had an exceptional volleyball season. She is always looking to become a better player and most recently incorporated jump serves into her toolbox of skills. This weekend, at the team’s last tournament, she not only excelled on the court but overcame her hesitation and landed not one but three jump serves in a row. For her natural athletic ability all season and her incredible leadership on the court this weekend, Athlete of the Week, from girls volleyball, Madik Trottier.
Another full court press, an ill-advised pass, a half-hearted dribble. They steal the ball in our backcourt again and their Senior Night crowd erupts as their point guard scores uncontested to complete the comeback. From down 28-20 to start the second half, Salesien has gone on a thrilling 10-0 run to take the lead. The gym is a madhouse. I have to yell for the minor officials table to hear me.
This student-athlete from Boisbriand, Quebec has been a rock all season for the prep girls hockey team. Her selflessness and game IQ generate countless chances for her squad. Finally, this past week, these chances materialized into her line scoring all four goals in a 4-0 victory over the St. Lawrence Steel on Saturday. For her part, Laurie contributed a hat trick. In the following game, she contributed 2 assists in the 5-1 victory over Rice Memorial. Not only did she have a great weekend on the ice, the Grade 9 student also led the team in a 2-hour karaoke session on the bus to Burlington. Congratulations, Laurie Aubin.
So, this is Stanstead College’s history with the RSEQ. We first joined the Quebec-wide league seven years ago in 2016 after our regular ETIAC basketball league folded due to teams defecting to the RSEQ. That inaugural year we ended up with 7 wins vs 5 losses.
This student-athlete from Darien, Connecticut had a tremendous weekend on and off the ice. Ian put the prep boys hockey team and his teammates above his own personal objectives. He stayed disciplined, blocked shots and was a positive presence on the bench. His coach said, “It was awesome to see such a great attitude coming from one of the leaders on the team. As the team heads into playoffs, this is the character we need to see.” Ian was rewarded for his efforts by scoring the game-winning goal on Saturday. For his great overall attitude and his game winning goal, athlete of the week, from Prep Boys Hockey, Ian Nicholson.
This Grade 12 athlete from Gatineau, Quebec was a force over the weekend in Washington. She led the varsity girls hockey team to 4-0 record in pool play at the JWHL Challenge Cup. Her big contribution came in their game against NAHA where she found the back of the net twice. The team competed with just 12 or 9 players, and Karel dominated play in almost every shift she played. Athlete of the week, from Varsity Girls Hockey, Karel Prefontaine.
Rachel Chan has been a dominating force on the swim team since the beginning of the season. Her performance during competition has been unparalleled. In fact, the word “competition” is barely applicable. This past weekend, she placed first in all three events in which she competed, but this has been commonplace all season. Beyond this, she has been a fantastic teammate, shown excellent sportsmanship and is always the first to offer help to her coaches. For her fantastic performance in the pool and her enthusiasm and dedication to her sport, this week’s Co-Athlete of the Week is Rachel Chan.
I could summarize this 63-36 RSEQ league victory with one of my usual tropes, i.e. some statistics (a 24-point third quarter!), or highlight plays (the sweet Valerie to Gloria layup), or standout performances (Henni’s 11 points & 11 rebounds or Melissa’s 15 points & 5 steals), or something silly and fun (the hip-thrust HOO-HA cheer) or maybe even some dramatic prose leading to a tense climax...!
It’s always dangerous playing a team for the third time, especially when you’d beaten them the first two times (40-23 in the season opener and 42-29 three weeks ago). It was 100% guaranteed that they were going to be hungry for revenge, and likewise it was unavoidable that we would come out a little complacent.
This past Tuesday, the curling team took to the ice against the traditionally strong group from Richmond. In their first meeting of the season, Richmond walked away with a 13-1 victory. This week, the Spartans brought their A-game led by skip Thomas LeBlanc. From Westmount, Que., the Grade 12 student skipped a superb game to beat Richmond 7-1. He was cool under pressure and led by example. This was an incredible team victory and an even more impressive individual performance from Thomas. Athlete of the Week, from the curling team, Thomas Leblanc.
Simply put, last Tuesday’s trip to Le Salesien represents the low point of Spartans Basketball 2022-23. We went in overconfident (we’d beaten our opponents handily back in November – always a curse) and proceeded to lay a real stinker. Despite a spirited push in the last four minutes in a last-ditch effort to salvage the game, we’d dug ourselves too much of a hole, and ultimately lost 40-38. An important lesson, that: points in the first quarter are just as important as points in the fourth quarter. Another lesson? Never underestimate your opponent. One more bonus lesson? Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
This Grade 11 student-athlete from Chibougamau, Quebec has shown tremendous leadership over the past few weeks. On the volleyball court, she played a significant role by contributing both offensively and defensively. Léa has a natural talent for volleyball, but it's her work ethic, her quick decision-making during games and, above all, her exceptional sportsmanship towards her teammates that make her an amazing player. She remains positive through adversity and is the first one to encourage the others when the game gets tough. Léa is one of the rare players that keeps playing with a smile on her face regardless of the situation. Athlete of the week, from Girls Volleyball, Léa Matoush-St-Cyr.
On December 30, 2022, two of our Spartans traveled overseas to compete in the U18 Women’s Hockey World Championship in Ostersund, Sweden as proud members of Team Canada. Sixteen days later, after an experience of a lifetime shared with new teammates and their traveling families, these two Spartans were gold medal winners and U18 world champions. Congratulations to Grade 12 student-athlete Arianne Leblanc, who notably earned a game-winning shutout vs Finland in Game 1 of the tournament. And congratulations to Grade 11 student-athlete Alexia Aubin, who notably scored two goals in the championship game over host team Sweden. Felicitations les filles!
In his first real year of competitive, organized basketball, this young man from Mexico is off to a wonderful start. The Grade 9 student is extremely dedicated and willing to take instructions. He implements what he has been taught with great effectiveness and as a result, has improved to be one of the most effective players on the Senior Boys Red team. He leads the group in rebounds, dominating the boards in our most recent match-up against Richmond regional. The most impressive part of his rebounding dominance is that he has accomplished much of his success because he listens, attempts and continues to work hard at every practice in order to improve on and strengthen the skills. His coach cannot wait to see what the end of the season will look like. Congratulations Santiago Meija Alvarez.
First game of 2023. The lights turn off, music starts playing, and RNS sprints into the gym from the hallway outside. The stands, packed with the RNS student body, look like a concert with everyone holding their cellphone lights out. After warmup, the starting lineups get officially introduced, and each announced starter shakes the opposing coach’s hand and, amidst the cheers, runs out to centre court.