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After 16 months on wordpress, 1,002 postings and more than 102,000 individual views, sportkingston is moving to its own website. As of today, Dec. 1, 2014, you can find my local sports blog at its new home, www.sportkingston.ca.

Created by Dave Cook of DC Sun Internet Technologies, the site is more colourful and, I hope, more interesting. You’ll still find the stories and opinion that I hope you enjoyed at the old site, presented in a more appealing way.

Please join me at the new site!

 

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An awkward time for Marshall Ferguson

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

It’s an awkward in-between, Marshall Ferguson says.

“It’s a weird spot to be in, to want to celebrate your career at the moment of your most crushing loss,” said Ferguson, the McMaster Marauders quarterback, a day after his team was defeated 20-19 by the Montreal Carabins in the Vanier Cup football game in Montreal.

Pausing at his family’s Kingston home, and getting ready to watch the Grey Cup game on television with former Frontenac Secondary School teammate Trent Winton, Ferguson said he had, indeed, spent some time reflecting on the final game of his five-year intercollegiate career.

“I’ve had some moments,” he said, “thought about a lot of things.

“I have replayed it a little bit, thought about things I would have done differently, things I wish we did differently as a team.”

McMaster led the national championship game 13-3 at halftime, and 19-10 after Tyler Crapigna kicked his fourth field goal of the game late in the third quarter. A touchdown in the fifth minute of the fourth quarter brought Montreal to within two points of the lead and a 13-yard field goal by L.P. Simoneau with a little less than three minutes to play put the Carabins in front for the first time in the game.

McMaster began the ensuing drive at its own 35-yard line and at the most important point in the game Ferguson took the Marauders 51 yards in six plays. The Marauders faced third down at the Montreal 24. Crapigna came into the game but the man who won the 2011 Vanier Cup with a field goal in overtime had his kick blocked, and the Carabins were able to run the final 51 seconds off the clock.

In defeat it’s sometimes difficult to think of positive things. Ferguson spoke of specific throws “I wish I had back,” and the odd play call where “I wish I would have reminded all of us to just keep things simple.”

“In no way were there bad calls,” Ferguson said. “I think Jon and Coach P (offensive co-oridnator Jon Behie and coach Stefan Ptaszek) called an incredible game. They really tailored the entire game plan around my strengths, which, as a quarterback, is all you can ask for—to be put in spots where you feel comfortable. I’m pretty thankful for that (but) I’m a perfectionist when it comes to accuracy and ball location and trying to read guys.”

It was on the latter point that Ferguson expressed regret. He threw two interceptions and though they were ultimately of no consequence—Montreal was two-and-out on each subsequent possession—it’s the kind of thing that gnaws at a quarterback.

“Both were on the same play and the safety baited me in the same way,” Ferguson said. “He showed me that he was 40 yards away from where I wanted to go with the ball, pre-snap, and as soon as the ball was snapped, he sprinted dead across the field to exactly where he knew I wanted to go with it. I got outsmarted by the safety, by their film guys, their coaches and their schemes, so that stings a little bit.

“There’s a corner throw to Danny Vandervoort in the third quarter that, as soon as I missed it, became a huge turning point because we punted the ball, they drove the length of the field and scored, then we got the ball back and went two and out … things like that I’ve definitely played over in my head.”

It is from such hardship, however, that people ultimately benefit, Ferguson believes.

“I guess that’s why we have knowledge and experience and why you grow from those moments and you become better,” he said. “Unfortunately, some of us run out of time, like myself and Ben (O’Connor, the former Frontenac teammate who also played with the Marauders), but the guys that are a part of that group, I genuinely believe they will be much better off and mentally stronger for having gone through that kind of environment.

“In Canadian university sport there is no more hostile environment than playing in front of 20-odd thousand angry French people. It will be difficult for them to ever have a mental breakdown when they’re playing at Waterloo in front of 50 people.”

Undoubtedly there are highlights in a career that included being a part of three teams to reach the national final of which Ferguson surely can be proud. In the Vanier Cup season of 2011, he was thrust into the breach early in the season when starting quarterback Kyle Quinlan was suspended for three games—and the unknown Ferguson won them all, to keep his team undefeated. He appeared in the East-West Bowl showcase in 2013 and later that year he set a school record for touchdown passes in a season, no small feat at a school that has had two Hec Crighton award-winning quarterbacks in the past 15 years—Quinlan and Ben Chapdelaine.

At the time of the national championship game when it most counted—late in the fourth quarter—Ferguson completed his last six passes in a row.

One day Ferguson will be better able to reflect on a career with a more balanced perspective. For now, he’ll be heading back to Hamilton to finish the communication studies he began after completing his political science degree, looking to pursue a broadcasting career.

The story has been well told about the aftermath of the Yates Cup game, where he had no time to celebrate with his teammates because he had to get to the gym to broadcast the McMaster basketball doubleheader, and by all accounts he does a fine job as both a play-by-play man and interviewer.

“I’m not sure what I want to do,” he said. “All of that will get sorted out in the very near future but for right now it’s get back to Hamilton, and start working on paying back the student debt, which is the fun part of finishing your football career.

“I’ll be tying to find my way into an internship, or maybe going back to school to get a diploma or degree in broadcasting. Meanwhile, working away in broadcasting and trying to enjoy the little things.”

Frontenac comes from behind to defeat Richview in OFSAA Bowl football game

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

HAMILTON—It was, Mike Doyle said, a difficult decision to make.

“Rob’s meant so much to our program, to have to do that …,” Doyle’s voice trailed off, as he revisited the emotion of the moment.

It’s not easy to pull your starting quarterback out of a championship game, but by the end of the third quarter of Frontenac Falcons’ OFSAA Bowl football match here, it was clear that Rob Magee’s injured hand was getting the best of him, and he had to be replaced.

Doyle, the head coach, and Mark Magee, the offensive co-ordinator—and Rob’s uncle—huddled with their quarterback.

“It was a decision that we made with Rob,” Doyle said. “It was tough. He knew it was the right decision and Rob was a big part of making that call.”

It was indeed the right decision.

Rookie Brendan Steele, a starting receiver, went into the game immediately after the Richview Saints took a 10-point lead in the game at Ron Joyce Stadium. He completed his first five passes and engineered back-to-back touchdown drives that lifted Frontenac to a 24-20 victory.

It was the Falcons’ seventh win in a provincial bowl game, their third in the last four years.

It looked like it was slipping away, however, when Richview quarterback Sean Kelly connected with Jamoy Thompson for a 45-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute to play in the third quarter, a play that gave the Toronto District Secondary Schools Athletic Association champion Saints a 20-10 lead.

The Falcons were poor candidates for a comeback, with just 40 yards of offence in the third quarter, as Magee, after completing six of his first seven passes, missed five in a row, the one of them an interception, the second of his passes Richview picked off inside the Saints’ 10-yard line.

The ball was fluttering inexplicably awry out of Magee’s hand, and after the game it was revealed that Magee had cut himself with some glass at the base of his right—throwing—hand in accident a little over a week ago, damaging a tendon.

Enter Steele, who displayed an amazing degree of poise for the situation: a rookie thrust into a championship game his team was losing.

“Just brilliant,” Doyle said of the young quarterback’s performance. “He’s got a lot of courage. To walk in and go to the passing game right away? Outstanding.”

Steele gained first down on his first play, a 15-yard completion to Carter Matheson. The boost that one play gave to his team, Doyle said, was “immeasurable.”

“Just for his own confidence, and then all of a sudden the whole team just lifted up there,” he said. “It was great.

“People don’t really understand the importance of backup players in football, and how important it is, whether it’s a guard or a tackle or a safety or whoever goes down, that there’s a kid ready to step in and fill that spot. This is a perfect example.”

The play was one Coach Magee believed would work.

“They were playing cover 3, hold and (that play) was there all game. The corner was taking off and giving us the out. I just told Brendan, read the corner, and if the corner takes off, Carter will be open because the underneath cover guy can’t get there.

“They didn’t change their coverage all game against that formation, so it was easy to call. It was a safe throw for him.”

Nonetheless, Magee said he had confidence Steele would perform well.

“He understands the offence and he’s a smart guy. He still needs to get stronger but he did a great job of leading today, which was really important because we needed that when we were down. It’s the same kind of leadership we had all year with Rob.

“It’s part of the message that we put out there as coaches: everybody needs to be a leader, even if you’re not a captain, and how do you lead? You lead with your play. (Brendan) comes to practice every day, he works hard and he listens well.”

The lead changed hands three times after Frontenac’s Braeden North opened scoring with a 36-yard field goal, the only scoring play of the first quarter. Between touchdowns by Richview’s Donald Shaw, Dustin Brogaard scored the first of his three touchdowns for Frontenac, and the teams went into the intermission with Richview leading 14-10.

Thompson’s touchdown—the convert failed—sent the Saints into the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead and with Shaw running amok, with 241 yards in the first three quarters, it appeared the Falcons would be hard-pressed to rally.

That’s just what they did, however, as Steele completed a four-play, 77-yard drive that ended with Brogaard’s one-yard TD run and then a six-play, 68-yard drive that ended with Brogaard breaking four or five tackles on a tremendous 19-yard run to the end zone.

After that, the Falcons defence took over, forcing turnovers on Richview’s next three possessions and finally solving the puzzle that was Shaw.

After his 21st carry of the afternoon, a 47-yard gain on the first play after Frontenac’s second touchdown, Shaw started to show signs of the workload. He was stopped for little or no gain on three of his next six carries and on the best of them, a 14-yard dash down the sideline, he had the ball ripped from his arms by Frontenac linebacker Alec Ferland.

That’s partly why, Saints coach Stath Koumoutseas said, Richview went to the air on its final two possessions, when the running game had been so successful to that point.

“When we went up 20-10 I thought that if we could just run the ball and control the clock (we’d be fine), but they came up with some deep balls that really got them back in the game and changed the momentum,” Koumoutseas said.

“It was a weird kind of game. We couldn’t really throw well in the first half and it was all relying on the run (but) we do have some skill guys and we thought we could open it up a bit by passing, and maybe go back to Donald, but he was wearing down. He had a lot of carries.”

Shaw missed last year’s OFSAA game after he broke his fibula on the second play of the Toronto city championship game. Wednesday, he finished the game with 328 yards on 28 carries, and with three pass receptions, he was involved in 67 per cent of his team’s offensive plays and gained 76 per cent of his team’s total yards. In addition to the two touchdowns, he had 10 of his team’s 13 first downs.

“He’s an outstanding kid,” Koumoutseas said. “He’s a leader in our school, and on our team. It’s been a pleasure to work with him the last few years. He’s a special kid.

“His speed’s really improved the last couple of years. He’s a power back but he’s got a combination of power and speed, so he’s strong, he can break a tackle, but he’s also got speed, where he can cut outside and find open lanes for a touchdown.”

Doyle was suitably impressed.

“He’s amazing. The middle of our line is as good as we’ve ever had, with Liam Haigh and Dillon Wisteard, but even when they got a good chunk of him, he bounced off. Now we’re making tackles on the second and third level on him, which was tough to do.”

Doyle said his players paid a bit of a price for having not played a game for 17 days since they won the Kingston Area championship on Nov. 8.

“The kids were a little frenetic in the first half, a little bit panic-stricken,” Doyle said. “They returned to old habits a little bit. After the three-week layoff they kind of returned to not seeing what was in front of them. It felt a little like back to square one for a while but we tried to calm them down at the half, (help them to) relax, settle in and come out seeing things better.

“They were able to get it back together in the second half. The defence firmed up. We still had some errors and they still made some big plays on us, but we were much tougher.”

Doyle, whose team lost three of its first four games this year, was delighted with the season’s outcome.

“It’s a fairy tale ending,” he said. “It’s amazing that these kids, after a 1-3 start, hung in and they can now call themselves OFSAA champions.”

 

Coming soon: My fresh, new site to follow club, high school and university sport in the Kingston area. Watch for http://www.sportkingston.ca, launching Monday, Dec. 1.

Sydenham captures National Capital Bowl

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

In a game where the teams took turns showing remarkable resiliency, the Sydenham Golden Eagles defeated Peterborough’s Crestwood Mustangs 40-27 Wednesday in the National Capital Bowl senior AA football game at Mary Ann Sills Park in Belleville.

The win capped a 10-game undefeated season for the Golden Eagles, and the regional championship is the first in school history.

“I struggle to come up with a couple of easy descriptors,” said Eagles coach Mike Love, asked to characterize the nature of his team.

“We had the fewest players we’ve ever had,” he continued, “but it was a tight, close group that played for each other. They helped each other; they pushed each other—they made each other better.”

From such a group came not just spurts of excellence Wednesday, but the will to overcome the misfortune that befell them in between.

By the time the game was seven minutes old, Sydenham was on top of a 24-0 lead, after scoring each of the first four times it had the football. “Probably the worst possible start a football team can have,” Mustangs coach Shane Oldfield said.

Or perhaps the best.

“We came out like gangbusters,” said Love, whose team scored a touchdown on the second play of the game, scored again on its second possession, scored a third TD after successfully executing a short “moonshot” on the ensuing kickoff and then kicking a field goal the next time it had the ball.

Almost as remarkable was Crestwood’s performance in the second quarter, when the Mustangs capitalized on some breakdowns in the Sydenham secondary to score 21 straight points, and make it a 24-21 game at halftime.

“It was a roller-coaster first half,” Love said.

Crestwood, with second-half choice, opted to receive the kickoff and—after all 45 points in the first half were scored with a moderate wind at the backs of the respective offences—Sydenham then chose to play into the wind in the third quarter.

It was risky, in that with the momentum the Mustangs built in the second quarter, giving them the wind may have only enabled them to keep that going.

Rather than dwell on their misfortune, however, the Eagles instead scored two touchdowns and their defence forced Crestwood to punt after just two plays each of the first two times the Mustangs had the football.

One of those touchdowns consumed five minutes of the clock, and it came on a drive that was sustained by a successful gamble on third-and-five at the Crestwood 40-yard line, a play Oldfield called critical in determining the game’s ultimate outcome.

“It was a huge turning point,” Oldfield said. “If we’d stopped them at that point, the game could have ended quite differently.”

Love agreed.

“Not only did it get us back on track,” he said of the third-quarter outburst, “we did it against the wind, and took that (advantage) away from them.”

“Going into the fourth quarter we have the wind and we’re leading by 19 points. That’s pretty tough to (overcome).”

Crestwood completed scoring with a touchdown with just four seconds left in the game.

As easily as Sydenham allowed Crestwood to get back in the game in the second quarter, it was remarkable how the Eagles were able to regain their composure during halftime.

“Our focus all year was not to give up big plays, and we gave up three of them (in the second quarter),” said Love, whose team was burned for one long touchdown and a big play on each of the other two scoring drives.

“We were pretty disappointed in ourselves after the second quarter. We got back to what we do well, which is making teams complete drives. If teams are going to score against us, we want to make them work for it.”

Oldfield noted some “really key adjustments” that Sydenham made in the second half that stymied the Crestwood passing attack.

“I don’t think we played particularly well, especially in the early part of the ball game,” he said. “We showed flashes of brilliance but against a good team like Sydenham, that’s not enough. You have to play the full 48 minutes.

“Except for the second quarter, Sydenham played exceptionally well.”

Sydenham mixed the pass and run game, with quarterback Dylan Fisher throwing three touchdown passes to Sam Moyse—the first for about 50 yards, another covering about 40 yards—while tailback Brodie Latimer scored two touchdowns along the ground.

“It wasn’t just one thing,” Love said. “We had a pretty good mix of run and pass. Brodie was a rock and Dylan (in addition to the touchdowns) completed a couple of passes on second-and-long to keep drives alive.”

Mike Bashall kicked all five converts, a field goal and two single points, one on a punt, the other on a kickoff, to account for the rest of the Sydenham scoring.

Coming soon: My fresh, new site to follow club, high school and university sport in the Kingston area. Watch for http://www.sportkingston.ca, launching Monday, Dec. 1.

Frontenac 24 Richview 20

First Quarter

FSS—FG, North 36 7:10

Second Quarter

Ric—TD, Shaw 3 run (Amor convert) 0:31

FSS—TD, Brogaard 1 run (North convert) 5:55

Ric—TD, Shaw 27 run (Amor convert) 9:16

Third Quarter

Ric—TD, Thompson 45 pass from Kelly (Amor convert failed) 11:08

Fourth Quarter

FSS—TD, Brogaard 1 run (North convert) 1:03

FSS—TD, Brogaard 19 run (North convert) 6:34

Frontenac     3          7          0          14       —        24

Richview       0          14       6          0          —        20

Attendance (Hamilton)—400.

Statistics

            FSS      Ric

First downs    17       13

Yards rushing                        131     338

Yards passing                        254     183

Total offence  384     510

Passes made-tried    14-22 7-15

Interceptions by        0          2

Fumbles-fumbles lost           1-0      3-3

Punts-average yards            3-22    4-28

Penalties-total yards 6-47    8-85

NOTE—Total offence equals yards rushing plus yards passing, minus team losses such as yards lost on broken plays.

Individual Statistics

Rushing

Frontenac—Brogaard 20 carries for 128 yards, 3 TDs; R.Magee 1-3.

Richview—Shaw 28-328, 2 TDs; Monestier 2-9, Kelly 1-1.

Passing

Frontenac—R.Magee completed 8 of 15 for 146 yards, 2 interceptions; Steele 6-7, 108 yards.

Richview—Kelly 7-15, 183 yards, 1 TD.

Receiving

Frontenac—O’Neil 5 catches for 135 yards, Matheson 4-54, Braby 3-47, Brogaard 1-12, J.Magee 1-6.

Richview—Thompson 3-98, 1 TD; Shaw 3-52, Canham 1-33.

Punting

Frontenac—Walker 3 for 67 yards, avg. 22.3, longest 29.

Richview—Thompson 4-112, avg. 28, longest 35.

Interceptions

By Frontenac—None.

By Richview—Thompson, Mazocca.

Quarterback Sacks

By Frontenac—Ferland.

By Richview—None.

 

Lure of coaching keeps Earle Morris active in the game he loves

One of a series of stories of conversations with ex-cadets from Royal Military College, as they reflect on their time at the college, their sporting endeavours and what they’ve been up to since graduation.

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

This was supposed to be a quiet winter for Earle Morris. After coaching the Team Canada women’s curling team through a grueling Olympic year, the ex-Royal Military College cadet was looking forward to stepping back from the grind.

Then, one day, the phone rang at his Ottawa home.

“There was this muffled voice at the end of the line saying, ‘Can I speak to Maureen, please,’” Morris recalled, so he passed the phone to his wife. “She talked for a while and she handed it back to me.”

This time, Morris recognized the undisguised voice on the other end as that of his son, John, a member of the 2010 Olympic champion Canadian men’s curling team. He’d recently been named skip of Team Canada for the 2014-15 campaign.

“He said, ‘Hey dad it’s John; I just talked to mom and she says it’s OK if you coach us.’”

The younger Morris no doubt recognized how tempting the opportunity to coach his son would be for his father, but he also understood the depth of commitment it was going to require and how that would impact his mother.

“He was really smart,” Earle said.

“I was going to try to take a year off because, though it’s always demanding, it’s really demanding in an Olympic year,” he continued. “You’re travelling a lot and the stakes are really high and you work so hard because there’s nothing more important than representing your country in the Olympics. We took it really seriously, I had girls who took leave of absence from their work and quit their jobs because we were trying to win an Olympic medal.”

Rachel Homan’s rink didn’t qualify for the Olympics—it was third at the Canadian trial—but it came back to win the Canadian championship and was runner-up at last spring’s world championship.

When John called he explained the men’s team would have a limited schedule and therefore would require a reduced commitment from its coach. “It was hard to say no, especially since it was my son who’s the skip of that team.”

Earle Morris was born in Rosthern, Sask. Raised by his grandparents until he was 13, he moved with his mother and stepfather, an NCO in the armed forces, to CFS Senneterre, in northern Quebec. From such unlikely origins the path to RMC began.

“I remember having lunch one day and my mom put a brochure in front of me, and said, ‘What do you think of this?’ I looked at the brochure and probably after about three minutes I said, ‘Looks good to me.’

“That was in Grade 9 and from that point on, I was going to military college. It was that simple. I’m from small-town Saskatchewan and pretty much anything would have caught my eye. It was a colourful brochure and there were guys in uniform. I’d just moved to the military base and I liked it because in small-town Saskatchewan you don’t have a whole bunch of facilities. The radar station at Senneterre had a gym, it had a pool, it had an outdoor rink. Life was pretty good. I said ‘Hey, if this is what it’s like, I’m on my way.’”

Morris began his studies in electrical engineering, but he quickly realized that wasn’t for him. “The marks were certainly indicating that,” he said, “and, truth be known, my interest always lay in fitness, sports and recreation.

“Not having done a bunch of homework, once I got there I realized, ‘Gee, I can’t get a phys-ed degree here,’ but I kind of liked the lifestyle. It was interesting; there was lots of sports and I was comfortable around the military so basically I saw that through.”

Morris graduated with a science degree, all the while doing what he could to position himself to be a physical education and recreation officer, an appointment he quickly managed to secure. “I did that for about 25 years and loved every minute of it,” he said. He later worked for Sport Canada and returned to DND as a reserve officer and consultant. He was part of creating the Forces’ personal support program and ended up as director of recreation and youth services.

Curling, he said, was always in the mix.

“My grandfather taught me how to curl,” he said. “As I grew up in Saskatchewan, I spent time around the curling rink, as most Saskatchewan kids do. He’d gone to the Brier so he was particularly good and I just developed a real keenness for it.

“I never got to play at Senneterre, then I moved to RCAF Station Edgar as a PMQ brat and I went to high school in Barrie. I only played one year in high school but that fire for curling never diminished.”

Morris was a varsity curler at RMC for all four years. It was there that his commitment to curling was cemented.

“When I graduated, I said, ‘You know what? There are curling rinks all across the country in the military, and I’m going to start skipping and really dedicate myself to this,’ because it’s something that I really enjoy.

As a player, Morris says he had “decent success”—he was the first of only two men ever to skip champions from three different provinces at the Brier—but where he ended up having his most success was as a coach.

“It all goes back to my love of the game,” he said. “Success can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it, but if you start by being passionate about something, and then you dream big as part of that passion, and you surround yourself with great people … and this is Canada. In Canada, anything is possible, especially in the curling area, because we’re the best curling country in the world. That was very apparent to me, that there could be good things accomplished.”

John Morris won a world junior championship with his father as coach, and Homan was a silver medalist at both the world junior and world women’s competitions.

There weren’t a lot of coaching mentors when Earle was in his competitive heyday. “Curling was late to get to coaching,” he allowed, “and there’s still a challenge in that area, because a lot of the great skips, the Jeff Stoughtons and Glenn Howards, they know more than most coaches. As a result, there aren’t a whole bunch of guys who do a whole bunch of coaching because these other guys know strategy probably better than most coaches.”

What led him to coach in a sport without a history of it?

“When I was a young phys-ed officer, I did a little bit of youth coaching in curling side, I coached some flag football in Chatham. I just enjoyed working with youth. As your family grows up, we were always proponents of being involved in sport. The next thing that happens is you say, ‘It looks like you need coaches,’ so you jump in and help.”

In that context, Morris found himself at various times coaching soccer, hockey, fastball—and curling.

“I found I really enjoyed working with youth and I found that I seemed to have a knack for it. I found that if you are passionate about the sport, and you’ve got relatively good people skills and then if you have played the sport at a high level, you are able to say the things and teach the things that are going to make a difference. It evolved that my teams would have success so I stuck with it.”

Morris recalls his time at RMC fondly.

“For the longest time it was easy to say it was the best time of my life,” he said. “There’s such an espirit de corps, a camaraderie that you get in the military, but also when you’re young and you’re involved in athletics, and you’re doing summer training and you’re socializing—man that was a nice package.”

In addition to curling, Morris was the goaltender on the junior varsity hockey team and he played intramural football. Later, a shortstop and pitcher, he was a member of two national Forces championship fastball teams.

“I had fabulous times playing sports and socializing in Kingston was great. RMC guys and the nurses at the nurses residence had a lot in common. We had uniforms, we had curfews, so we tended to socialize with them, and summer training in the military was a blast. I got to go to Europe one summer, for heaven’s sake.

“There are nothing but fabulous memories, especially for a guy who spent most of his life in a small town in Saskatchewan and northern Quebec. To come to a city like Kingston and live the kind of life that we lived—man, oh man, it was great.”

Morris and his wife, who have lived in Ottawa since 1983, have three children. Marie, the oldest, attended RMC and served as a health-care administrator. She recently retired as a major and now serves in the reserves. Sarah teaches high school phys-ed in Ottawa and John is a captain in the fire department in Rocky View, Alta., outside Calgary.

“As I’ve often said to anybody who would listen,” Morris said, “if I’m not the luckiest guy in the world, I’m tied for first place.”

Coming soon: My fresh, new site to follow club, high school and university sport in the Kingston area. Watch for http://www.sportkingston.ca, launching Monday, Dec. 1.

Sydenham, Frontenac play football finals Wednesday

Two teams that have been waiting to put the finishing touches on their respective high school football seasons will finally do so on Wednesday.

The Sydenham Golden Eagles, who had their National Capital Bowl game with Peterborough’s Crestwood Mustangs postponed on Saturday—when the City of Belleville declared Mary Ann Sills Park unplayable—will play that game at 2 p.m. at the multi-purpose facility on Palmer Road.

That game will follow the regional junior contest, between the Kingston Area champion La Salle Black Knights and the Fenelon Falls Falcons.

After an undefeated regular season, Sydenham whipped La Salle 47-0 in the KASSAA senior double-A final and then held on to defeat Brockville 31-28 in an eastern Ontario semifinal. The Golden Eagles played their last game Nov. 14, when they defeated Almonte 19-14 in the EOSSAA championship game.

Crestwood, the Peterborough champion, qualified by defeating Belleville Centennial, the Bay of Quinte champion, 16-2 in the central Ontario final, and St. Mark of Manotick, the Ottawa-Carleton winner, 34-17, in a regional semifinal, also Nov. 14.

Crestwood and Sydenham met in the 2010 National Capital Bowl at Rogers Centre in Toronto, where the Mustangs prevailed 16-13 in overtime.

Frontenac Falcons, meanwhile, will try to shake off the rust of a 17-day layoff—they last played when they won the Kingston Area AAA title over Regi Nov. 8—when they meet the Richview Saints in their AAA OFSAA Bowl Wednesday at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton.

The Falcons overcame a 1-3 start to win their last four games, including a 20-9 win over Regi in the county final. Since there are no AAA schools in eastern Ontario outside of KASSAA, Frontenac has been cooling its heels ever since.

Richview, meanwhile, is coming off a 15-0 win over Etobicoke in the Toronto District Secondary Schools Athletic Association final Thursday. The Saints, 3-1 in their regular year, won three straight playoff games, the last two by shutout.

Frontenac has been to an OFSAA Bowl eight times since Kingston-area schools first became involved in the provincial playoffs, winning six times. After back-to-back National Capital Bowl victories in 2011-12, the Falcons were beaten 32-1 by Lorne Park of Mississauga last year.

The Falcons’ game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.