October is the month when the fall high school sports scene heats up. Any sports fan can find their fix at the high school level. Every game, even exhibitions, can be a feast for the senses.
Every game is essentially a rival match up as every student athlete wants to prove their school is the best. It’s this school pride that results in such meaningful action for fans. And boy, oh boy, are there ever a lot of games each week.
With the exception of a few weeks during the year, high school sports run almost non-stop. There is typically between 40 to 60+ games each week. In the fall, it’s girls basketball, boys football, girls flag football, cross-country running, boys volleyball, junior boys soccer and golf to tickle any fancy and get the blood pumping.
And for anyone thinking it is just high school sports and can’t be that good, trust me and do yourself a favour and go out and see a few games. There will be no regrets.
High school sports is one of the greatest sources of inspiration anyone can find in our city in my humble opinion. In recent memory, I’ve done stories about teenagers talking about coming back from serious injuries; fighting testicular cancer; beating drug and alcohol addiction and overcoming tremendous personal loss and grief to keep playing sports.
It never ceases to amaze me the strength and courage some of these high school athletes have in their hearts and spirits and wills.
Anyone in need of a positive push in the right direction needs only to keep tabs on some of the stories that come out of the high school sports scene throughout the year — it’s only a matter of time before a story of empowerment will come along.
With the fall season in full swing, I’ll take this week to shed some light on what’s happening across the city.
Teams in girls basketball are fighting for playoff positions to set up the city championships in November.
In senior Division I action, the Lockerby Vikings, led by the likes of Samantha Cooper, Julia Sostarich and Emily Paquin, are on a roll and started the season at 3-0. They are the team to beat this year and look like they will be tough to knock off locally.
In senior Division II, Marymount started 4-0 and St. Benedict was on their heels at 3-0, with Confederation at 2-0. In junior Division I, Lockerby is at the top with a 3-0 start.
In junior Division II, L’Horizon is at the top of the heap after starting 3-0. In midget, St. Charles is showing the future is bright after a 3-0 start.
In boys’ football, the Lo-Ellen Park Knights are on a roll after starting 5-0. The Knights have become the standard for all programs to follow in Sudbury, in my opinion.
Head coach Kevin Ellsworth always seems to have his players going in the right direction — he is one of the best coaches in the city. Period. The Knights have the No. 1 offence and the No. 1 defence.
Lo-Ellen goes for a perfect regular season on Oct. 19 when they take on Notre-Dame (who started 3-0) at the James Jerome complex.
In girls’ flag football, St. Charles and Lively have both shot out to 3-0 starts and are displaying it could be a real power struggle this season. In Division B action, Confederation and St. Benedict started off unbeaten at 3-0 and 2-0 respectively.
In cross-country running, fans should keep their eyes on St. Benedict’s Emily Marcolini and Brandon Belan. They are two of the best runners and if fully healthy, they should challenge to be the best in town.
The cross-country city championship goes Oct. 16 at the Laurentian University Trails. Today, fans can see the cross-country relay championship at Laurentian Trails, starting at 11:30 a.m.
In boys’ senior Division A volleyball, Lockerby forged a 3-0 start, while Lo-Ellen Park was keeping up with a 2-0 start. In senior Division B action, Confederation was hot to start at 2-0.
This Friday and Saturday, St. Charles College hosts its Cardinal Classic boys tournament. It’s a good opportunity to see some of the best in town in one place.
In junior boys’ soccer, Lockerby, St. Charles and Lo-Ellen all started 2-1, setting up an interesting battle for the city crown. The final game goes Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. at James Jerome complex.
Despite what the standings tell you, never think for one second everything is set in stone and the team with the best record will win everything. This is hardly the case and another beautiful part of high school sports — upsets. At any time, any team can be knocked off.
My suggestion would be to get out of the house and enjoy some high school sports action right now. Most games are free or can be seen for under five bucks.
Straight up, it’s a small price to pay for a fortune of awesome and genuine action.
Scott Haddow has been writing about sports in Greater Sudbury for the past 10 years.