“We had success in a number of programs, but in many ways, it was great just to see the students competing again,” says MacKay.
At the Upper School, teams won three varsity championships: in golf, tennis and baseball. In tennis, Andrew Li and Dima Kulakov also earned a bronze medal in doubles at the OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) championships.
The teams also had success in the junior division. In track and field, UCC won the CISAA (Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association) junior championship and the golf team also earned top CISAA junior honours. At OFSAA, the track and field juniors won two events: the mile and the 3,000-metre run.
Both the varsity and junior rowing teams earned some bragging rights at the national championships. UCC teams earned silver in the men’s senior lightweight fours and bronze in the men’s junior eights.
In softball, the Year 8 students won the U14 championship, which “shows promise for the coming years,” says MacKay.
The rugby squad came close to winning a championship, losing in the final to Appleby College. The lacrosse U14 also lost in the final to St. Mike’s, while the varsity team lost to the same opponent in the semi-final.
The cricket team “didn’t have much of a season,” says MacKay, because two other independent schools folded their programs and there was no league competition. “I’m hoping they revive their programs, because cricket is the oldest sport at the school.”
UCC also named its Athletes of the Year for each grade in the Upper School:
Year 8- Elliot Lascelle;
Year 9- Chisom Ochube;
Year 10- David Jiang and Carl Roux (co-winners);
Year 11- Charles Price; and
Year 12- Lucas Fiorini.
“Thinking back on the last couple of years, I know how hard it was on the students without sports as an outlet,” says MacKay. “I’m so glad we could have programs and compete against other schools, and, as a coach, I know that I look forward to the season, too.”
At the Prep this spring, “the biggest takeaway is that we got to see the return of sports after two years,” says Victoria Altomare, director of Prep athletics. “For some, it was their first time having the opportunity to represent UCC, which was very nice, and for Year 7s, it was an opportunity to make a memory of the Prep before they go on to the Upper School.”
In Years 5 to 7, softball was in full force and “everyone performed wonderfully,” says Altomare. The Year 7 team was second in the CISSA final, losing to their Year 8 UCC peers. There was also an intramural softball program.
In track and field, the Year 4s had the opportunity to learn new skills in running, jumping and field events, a good introduction to the sport. The Years 5 to 7 competed in CISSA events where the Year 5s won the U-11 championship. The Year 7s earned ribbons in almost all the field, jumping and running events.
After a two-year hiatus, UCC once again hosted a Prep Games Day that provided students in kindergarten through Year 7 an opportunity for an afternoon of soccer and relay races and the chance to represent their colour houses. The afternoon culminated, as always, in the Kraft Check Bolt, a race run by qualifying students in Years 5 to 7. This year’s winner was Jeffrey Carrique, a Year 7 student.
The season also saw the return of tennis, touch rugby and lacrosse; Year 7 students were paired with Year 8s for the latter. The students competed in CISSA tennis and played mixed doubles with students from Branksome Hall.
Intramural athletes had the opportunity to play Ultimate Frisbee and gain experience from some coaching sessions with a player for the Canadian national team.
“Students were able to compete against other schools again,” says Altomare. “CISSA took away the emphasis on winning and it gave everyone a chance to get back into the groove of competition. Coaches, too, were reminded of how wonderful it felt to teach new skills and see their teams compete. It was really such a great feeling for everyone.”