HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

With Dave Makela

 

For Release: May 11th, 2000

 

The advent of another track season is upon us, with the City Championships fast approaching next Wednesday and Thursday.

Entries to this year's meet, the S.D.S.S.A.A.'s 59th annual, will feature the surprising total of 690 athletes. Why surprising? Well everybody, including yours truly, figured the meet would be down in numbers from last year's 685, perhaps as low as the 1995 total of 640. But, as the history of participation in the S.D.S.S.A.A. often bears out, the level of participation tends to remain steady in spite of declining enrolments at the high school level.

How does this happen? It seems to be that in any given year the number of schools entering lower numbers matches close to the number that register increasing numbers. Using this year as an example, while schools such as Sudbury Secondary, Heritage and Champlain entered fewer athletes, other schools such as Notre Dame, Northeastern and French River increased their compliment.

As it stands presently, the top three schools in terms of participation in this year's meet will be: Lo-Ellen Park at 107, Notre Dame at 94, Lockerby at 73 followed by Champlain and Macdonald Cartier at 54.

The question on everyone's mind for this year's competition is: will Joe Bacon's Lo-Ellen team be able to increase their string of thirteen consecutive City championships, an incredible feat that includes fifteen out of the last sixteen overall titles? They certainly have the numbers this year, but remember those talented Knights needed a strong performance on day two of last year's meet to hold off a stiff challenge from the Lockerby's Vikings.

Events begin next Wednesday morning at the Laurentian Track and continues until Thursday at 4pm. Qualifying athletes will advance to the N.O.S.S.A. Championships hosted in the Soo on May 25th and 26th, and winners there may advance to the provincial championships, O.F.S.A.A., June 1st to 3rd in Windsor.

Those of us who know what it takes to guide and manage a high school track team salute all the schools that will be entering athletes in this year's meet - good luck to you all!

 

I had the great pleasure of making a few presentations at O.F.S.A.A. badminton this past weekend at St. Charles College and was struck by the compliments directed towards the local organizing committee from visiting coaches.

"Best run ever", "fond memories", "hope it comes back to Sudbury", all were characteristic of the comments I was party to in the short time I was there. Warmest congratulations to conveners Clyde and Gundi Sheppard and their cheerful, enthusiastic crew of volunteers.

Once again, you have proven Sudbury to be one of the hottest sports destinations in Ontario!

 


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