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The joys of modern technology.

Not a day goes by where I don’t find myself kept in the loop of the local sports scene thanks to the advent of text messages and email, or Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, or even DMs courtesy of Twitter or Instagram.

Some might well find this constant barrage a curse – but I choose to look at it as a blessing, an ability to remain connected to all that is happening in Sudbury Sports giving the obvious limitations of in-person coverage.

Sure, on this much busier than normal summer weekend, making a trek to Foothills Farm (Rick Smith Memorial Horse Show) or the Rick McDonald Memorial Park (Sham-Rick Fastball Shootout), or to Kivi Park (Conquer the Crater) or to the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex (MK23 Memorial Tournament), or even to the Idylwylde Golf & Country Club (site of the 75th anniversary of the Idylwylde Invitational) is do-able, though that would still only scratch the surface of all that is on the go as we near the beginning of August.

Daily updates are flowing in fast and furious from Halifax and Dartmouth, site of the 2023 North American Indigenous Games. In addition to earning gold in three relay events, Ben Schell added two more individual gold medals (50m/100m backstroke), a silver (200m backstroke) and a bronze (200m breaststroke).

Even more important for the Sudbury Laurentian Swim Club product is that personal best times were being established left, right and centre, with his 50m back dropping from 29.00 to 28.35 in the heats, and then unofficially just below the 28 second plateau in the final.

Courtesy of Chris Mask comes the news that A.J. Guitard, the top local finisher at OFSAA Wrestling back in April has added a NAIG gold medal to his collection, capturing the 100 kg weight class while girls soccer head coach Ghislaine Goudreau and team chaperone Bradie Granger are keeping us in the loop as Team Ontario U16 prepares to face Alberta in the finals this weekend.

Track and field coach Robert Esmie is understandably proud of the performances of 13-year old Blaire Rickard, champion in the 10-14 shot put with a toss of 9.05 metres. Golfer Mackinly Sobush finished fifth with three solid rounds in the books while GSSC Impact representatives Tyler Thibodeau and Lukas Morin will face Saskatchewan with bronze medals on the line Friday afternoon.

Almost exactly the same distance from Sudbury but travelling south and west instead of due east, Sudbury Voyageurs’ graduates Gavin Roy and Scooter Rienguette are enjoying a summer of baseball in Kansas. Leading his team in runs scored and doubles, Roy recently represented the Kingman Islanders at the Sunflower Collegiate League all-star game while Rienguette enjoyed his best start of the summer last weekend, tossing seven innings of two-hit ball and striking out 11 helping his team to a 5-0 win over the Newton Sluggin Rebels.

The Northern Chill Volleyball Club continue to place club members in the provincial program as newcomer to Team Ontario Olivia Nicholls joined 2022 returnee Mia Lemay-Evans at the elite OVA (Ontario Volleyball Association) training camp in North Bay last week, the pair now in Thorold competing at the 2023 Canada Cup.

After dropping a preliminary round game to Mississauga Dixie Black (4-0), the GSSC Impact U14 girls have worked their way back through the re-entry round of Ontario Cup play, edging Aurora FC 2-1 in late June and taking down Milton FC Blue in penalty kicks (1-1 – (6-5)) last weekend on the road.

Joanna Ajueze netted the regulation time goal for Sudbury and was one of six Impact girls who converted on the PK, joined by Abby Dagostino, Mia Beites, Lia Gallo, Ryann Chevrier and Isabel Renelli while keeper Leah Salo came through with two key saves to propel the locals into a round of sixteen showdown on July 29th at home opposite the Burlington Force Soccer Academy Elite.

The Sudbury Zambronis are safely through to the Men’s “D” quarter-finals at the 2023 Men’s B-C-D National Championships in Mississauga, having beaten Saskatchewan Viper Kings 7-2 out of the gate, dropping a close 5-4 decision to Wiserhood later that same day but then tripling the Kilbride Selects 9-3 on day two of competition.

Heading to the Canadian Trampoline & Tumbling Championships for a second straight year, Hector Loiselle has “levelled up”, as he referred to it, now part of the junior bracket as he heads west for the second summer in a row, the competition taking place in Edmonton this week.

Their flyover now safely installed at the Walden Cross-Country Trails site, members of the Walden Mountain Bike Club Wolfpak racing team are anxious to welcome many of the Ontario Cup elite to a course that long-time organizer Rob St Marseille describes as “super fun – but a very challenging course with four climbs, several open rock sections, fast descents and the stadium flyover bridge”.

The event takes place on July 28th and 29th, with the local contingent featuring the likes of Jody Waddell, Kristian Bischoff, Marc Larochelle, John Lalonde, Paul Guenette and Matt Hansford, just to name a few – along with a whole contingent of young WMBC riders.

And while maintaining those active connections is fun, re-connecting can be even more enjoyable.

Having spent a decade away from Sudbury pursuing his soccer dreams at St Andrew’s College and Michigan State University and then completing his academic pathway at Santa Clara University in California, former local star Michael Marcantognini is back in town, now officially sworn in to the bar in both Ontario and California.

Though it was nice to find out all the latest as the super friendly young man makes his way in the world of construction law, corporate and commercial law and civil litigation, it was also enjoyable to cover a broad base of soccer-related topics, including celebrating the appearance of Cloe Lacasse at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup of Soccer in Australia.

Truth is, the sport stories of Sudbury athletes can cover the entire globe – so best to use every means possible to stay informed.

Northern Hockey Academy