Looking back on the 2022-23 Winter Athletics Season
The winter athletic season at St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) was a success at many levels. A total of 263 student-athletes competed for 13 teams, across six sports, in a season that would see SMCS compete in nine different playoff championship events.
“Although deceptively long in running from November to March, the Winter Athletics window is a high-intensity season divided by the Christmas assessment and holiday periods,” says Alex Frescura ’92, SMCS Director of Athletics. “This creates an additional challenge for students to balance their academic and athletic responsibilities, and for coaches to prepare for two ‘starts’ to the season. Kudos to all for their perseverance and subsequent successes.”
After an exciting regular season, the SMCS Alpine Ski Team travelled to
Mansfield Ski Club for the CISAA Championship. In the U14 division, the team
worked to a third-place finish in the race and third overall in the league.
In the Open Division, Alex Wilcox placed ninth to lead the team to third
place in the race and a third place in the standings. In the School Trained
division, Charlie Hepfer placed seventh to lead the team to third place in
the race and third overall in the league.
At the OFSAA championships hosted at Osler Bluffs Ski Club, our High School Trained Boys team of Joshua Carroll-Leung, Robert Daga, Frank Zou, Charlie Hepfer and Jack Hepfer competed in the slalom event. An incredibly exciting 2nd run saw Charlie Hepfer move from seventh place in the standings to an OFSAA bronze medal! In the Giant Slalom event, Hepfer once again rallied from fifth place to take home another OFSAA bronze medal for the second day in a row. The team placed fourth overall in an incredibly competitive event.
Despite having a young team, the U14 Blue Raiders put forth a tremendous effort, jumping out to a 6-0 start to the regular season with several closely contested wins and an exciting last-second buzzer-beater at home against Upper Canada College (UCC). After winning the St. Michael’s U14 Basketball Invitational, the squad entered the Final Four as the #2 seed, but was unfortunately upset by Crescent in the semi-finals.
The Junior II squad competed in the very busy 12-team CISAA DII league. The boys competed hard in every game and showed tremendous improvement to make the playoffs.
The Junior DI squad had an excellent season of winning that included impressive tournament results at the Kennedy All-Ontario Catholic (Silver), the Saltfleet Storm Classic (Silver), and the Notre Dame Blue & Gold (Bronze). After a strong 6-2 regular season, the Blue Raiders defeated UCC 83-74 in the CISAA semi-final. In the final, the boys showed tremendous spirit in taking Crestwood Preparatory College (CPC) to the final minutes of the game to come away with a silver medal.
The Senior Blue Raiders started the season in fine form winning the Basketball Stars of America AAU, Adidas Pittsburgh Winter Tip-Off Tournament, and the Notre Dame Oakville – Vic Juzenas Invitational Tournament. Following the Christmas Break, the team continued right where they left off, taking home the Bronze at the 60th SMCS Dan Prendergast Invitational and a Final Four at the All-Ontario Catholic Tournament in St. Catharines. In CISAA play, the Blue Raiders followed their strong regular season with an exciting one-point win over St. Andrew’s College (SAC) in the semi-final. The team earned the CISAA silver medal following a championship showdown with CPC.
Following the programme’s first CISAA gold medal in 2022, the team graduated a talented group of veterans. This provided the opportunity for an influx of new talent. Ten curlers in all represented the school in both the CISAA DI and DII divisions. The squads had a great showing in the SMCS CISAA Early Bird Bonspiel and showed positive development throughout the season.
This year’s CISAA U14 season was a tale of two teams, the SMCS Blue and SMCS White teams specifically. During the regular season, Team White had the upper hand running through all competitors with a near-perfect 8-0-2 record while Team Blue finished 7-3 in the standings. In a see-saw championship battle that captivated everyone in the SMCS arena, Team Blue won 5-4 in overtime to capture the hardware.
In Junior DI action Team White had an excellent season finishing as the #3 seed for CISAA Frozen Four and eventually bowed out in the Semi-Finals. Team Blue carried a perfect regular season record right through to a commanding 7-2 championship win over CPC.
The Senior team’s 75-game schedule took them to showcase tournaments in Canada and the U.S., as well as local competition in two leagues. Although bowing out in the CISAA Semi-Finals, this team worked hard in every competition they played in.
After a strong CISAA season, the Blue Yetis advanced to the OFSAA Championships at Devil’s Glen. The team placed fifth on the day and co-captain Liam Minion snatched himself a bronze medal. Day two of the championships saw the boys compete in Snowboard Cross at Beaver Valley, finishing tied for fourth overall.
The Blue Sharks managed to place fourth overall in the CISAA All Divisions Boys’ Team and third overall in the Boys’ Open division. Yichi Zhang won two gold medals and one silver medal, Ted Wayland won one gold medal and Thomas Arciero and Ethan Poon both won a silver medal! The team went on to represent SMCS at the OFSAA swim meet in Windsor. Jordan Knudson, Edward Wayland, Jeffery McLean, Spencer Schultz, Ethan Poon and Thomas Arciero were among 2,300 athletes in the pool over the two-day event.