This past weekend brought familiar sounds back to the Pat Burns Arena. Not only were pucks bouncing around the ice, and bodies hitting the glass, but for the first time since last spring the cheers of the Spartans faithful could be heard. After a summer of seemingly grey skies more often than not, on this particularly beautiful fall weekend many fans packed into the Pat Burns Arena to watch both the Varsity Boys and Varsity Girls teams start their seasons.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid, Celtic vs Rangers, AC Milan vs Inter Milan, Boca Juniors vs River Plate… these are just a few among a lengthy list of the fiercest and most storied rivalries in world soccer. On Monday, September 18, an age-old rivalry between the visiting Bishop’s College School Bears and the Stanstead College Spartans was played out on Philip Field.
After a solid week of tryouts and practices and figuring out positions and getting to know each other, your Senior Girls Soccer Spartans kicked off their season in a major way last week, playing five games in only four days (last Saturday to last Tuesday). Did we learn a lot? Hard yes! Was it rough playing so much so early? Just ask our shin splints.
This Grade 12 student-athlete from Mexico City, Mexico has been a dominant force on the senior boys soccer team. Mauricio Lopez was selected as the Spartan defensive player of the game against Massey-Vanier Regional, last Friday. Organizing the backline, solid communication, good 1 vs 1 defending, and then contributing to the offence with the game tying goal on a bullet of a free kick. His efforts have merited this noteworthy Athlete of the Week.
The Stanstead College senior boys soccer team hosted and won their 2nd Annual Stanstead Invitational Tournament on campus on Saturday, September 16. Having played on Friday against Massey-Vanier, the Spartans carried their good form into the 4-team, 40-minute game setup against two teams from College de Levis and Alexander Galt RHS.
This Grade 8 track-and-field athlete is a true Spartan. Liam is dedicated to his training, is humble and is a great teammate. In his last RSEQ race, Liam led from start to finish. Having to complete five laps of the track, he never broke stride and kept up his fluid running style until the end. For his age category, he is in a class of his own. The goal was to finish the race under 7 minutes in the race and he confidently cruised through the finish line in 6:59. For his amazing results this season and for always letting his performance do the talking, your Athlete of the Week, from track & field, Liam Sumun.
This Grade 12 student-athlete from Ottawa, Ontario has been a dominant force on the senior boys rugby pitch as of late. He led the team in tries this past weekend and had a great performance last week at the BCS Jamboree. Zac pushes himself to the limit in every contest, and he plays the game the right way. Now that he has learned to run north-south, you hear fewer chants of “run straight, Soif!” and more moments where he is one of the biggest threats on the field. For his outstanding growth as a player, for being a student of the game and for his breakout performances this past week, your Athlete of the Week, from senior boys rugby, Zachary Soifer.
These three senior students have been dominant this past month in ETIAC badminton tournaments held weekly at Alexander Galt High School, winning medals at each event. For context, these tournaments involve five schools and over 100 badminton players across 14 courts. The competition is intense and tough. In the first tournament, Béatrice and Alice won gold in women’s doubles while Ryan won silver in men’s. In the second tournament, Alice captured gold in women’s singles play and Béatrice and Ryan teamed up to win the senior mixed doubles event. This past week, Béatrice went undefeated, taking first place in the women’s singles competition. Alice and Ryan qualified for the medal round but had to beat the two teams that had narrowly defeated them in the round robin. They did so and won the gold medal. In addition to being outstanding players, all three are fantastic role models for our younger players and provide help and support to all of our team members and coaches. Your co-Athletes of the Week, from the badminton team, Alice Sauriol, Beatrice Perron-Roy and Ryan Yung.
This Grade 8 student athlete from Orford, Quebec has had a fantastic start on the junior girls rugby team. She was a force on the pitch during last Friday's GMAA sevens tournament-- initiating plays, making strong tackles and earning her team points through tries and conversions. Emilie has been putting in extra time on the field since day one of the season, doing her best to learn the ins and outs of the game. Her calm and confident approach in the face of strong competition will be an asset to her team as the season unfolds. This week’s athlete of the week, from junior girls rugby, Emilie Labonté.
This Grade 11 student-athlete from Newport, Vermont had an amazing weekend in Canton, NY with the girls lacrosse team. She fought through another scary finger injury in the game but continued to make incredible saves between the pipes. Maddie is a quiet leader who is always team first. She is brave, works hard every single day and finds the good in every experience. Maddie is a real Spartan warrior teammate. Athlete of the week, from girls lacrosse, Madeline Lippmann.
The student-athlete from Prague, had a very impressive start to the playoffs. After the long March break, he led the charge in our ¼ final game against Selwyn house posting 4 goals and 3 assists in 2 games. His was also very responsible defensively in the series. Athlete of the week, from Prep Boys Hockey, Trofim Godochkin.
Walking into Triolet last Saturday afternoon, you could feel the difference. For us, it was one last pretty cool thing to try to win, maybe not as important as CAIS or the Bailly or the MacLeod, but a worthy objective, nonetheless. I mean, SC had never won the playoff final in the seven years we’d been in the RSEQ – a victory today would be great. But it was different – it was more – for everyone else in the building. For the players, coaches, parents and fans of LaRuche and Trio and Seminaire who packed the floor and balcony of that sports complex that day, this was The Event of the basketball season. D3 Playoff Day. Everybody who was anybody was there.
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.