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Winterfest basketball

Winterfest lives up to its name

Upper Canada College’s Winterfest brought out enthusiastic crowds to cheer on its basketball, hockey and swimming teams from the Prep and Upper Schools on Jan. 24.

The two marquee events were the varsity basketball and hockey games, which were preceded by a 3 p.m. Upper School spirit assembly in Laidlaw Hall to get the students pumped and primed to root for the home teams. The pep rally featured videos, cheering instructions, games (in which the losers had their heads partially shaved) and a rousing version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to cap things off.

The Hewitt Athletic Centre stands were full of boisterous fans dressed in blue and white who were equipped with thundersticks, rally towels, flags, signs and other paraphernalia that the BBC was selling outside the door, and the crowd helped propel the varsity Blues to a 56-46 win over Crescent School.

The varsity hockey team took on Nichols School from Buffalo, N.Y. and the crowd also got to enjoy the Prep Ice Chips and Cookie during the first intermission and a head of house skating race in the second break. UCC opened the scoring against its American opponents and held that 1-0 lead through most of the game until, with 1:09 remaining and the Nichols goalie replaced for an extra attacker, Nichols tied the game up. It remained deadlocked as the seconds ticked down and ended in a 1-1 draw.

There were lots of other UCC athletes in action as well, and UCC teams came out on top more often than not. From the games that had submitted scores as of the time this article was posted, we can report wins for UCC’s U10B, U12B, U13A, U16A and U16B basketball teams as well as the U12 (Grade 5) hockey team. UCC’s Grade 8 team defeated its Grade 7 team.

The Prep and Upper U14 swimming teams made waves in the pool during their respective meets..

It wouldn’t be Winterfest without food, and there was lots of it sold by students, outside vendors and the concession stand at the William P. Wilder ’40 Arena and Sports Complex. It was a very nice touch when the man who gave his name to the arena along with a very generous donation to fund it came out to centre ice before the varsity hockey game for a ceremonial puck drop. The game marked the fifth anniversary of the opening of the arena, which has had more than 2.5 million visitors in that time.

Brutally cold temperatures couldn’t keep parents and Old Boys away from the College for Winterfest, and the warmth felt inside the school’s sporting venues for its athletes is something to be proud of.

For a fantastic slideshow from the Winterfest assembly, courtesy of the Blues Booster Club’s ace photographers, please click here. Also, see Winterfest photos below: