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TISS Novice Boys Outrun Competition at OFSAA Cross-Country
TISS Novice Boys Outrun Competition at OFSAA Cross-Country
Posted on 11/10/2022

November 10, 2022It’s a provincial championship for Thousand Islands Secondary School’s (TISS) novice boys’ cross-country team!

The team, comprised of Jonah Hawes, Peter Ford, Cohen Merkley, Larkin Richards, Rayane Link, and Drake Sled, took home the title of 2022 Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) Cross-Country Novice Boys’ Champions over the weekend in Uxbridge, Ont.

“It's an amazing feeling and accomplishment,” says Ford, who notes that even though they were a small team compared to the Toronto area schools, they were still able to pull off the win. Placing first after that race was mind-blowing for the entire team and was very exciting. We've done cross-country since Grade 3 or Grade 4, and just going to other places and winning OFSAA is just incredible. 

Leading up to and including the victory, the atmosphere at the finish line was intense for not just the runners, but for the fans as well. From hugs to high fives and cheering, the runners, parents, coaches, and supporters celebrated with each other.

“I couldn't be prouder of these young men. That talent is there, and you cannot have an OFSAA banner without that talent, hard work, commitment, and perseverance,” says Pirates coach Randy Givogue. “It's nice to see them rewarded. And as a coach, you're especially proud when you have a team that commits to it, and you get to see them reap the rewards of their hard work.”  

“We had a pretty good season, with plenty of training, good coaching, and meets,” explains Hawes. “It was really exciting making it to OFSAA. While we were nervous to compete alongside tough competition, we all knew we were prepared for it.

Hawes adds that when they returned to school, the entire school community was congratulating them on the win and on bringing the title back to TISS. The last time the school won this title was in 2009.  

For cross-country, there is only one classification group. Whereas in other sports, like basketball or soccer, there’s ‘A’, ‘AA’, and ‘AAA’.

"In cross-country, it's very difficult to go into an OFSAA meet when you're from a smaller school,” says Givogue, who adds that larger urban schools have more advantages for selecting faster runners based on student population. “Plus, some public and private schools have sports-oriented curriculums where they can train more often throughout the day and includes diet planning and so forth. It can be intimidating for us as we're just a normal public high school.”  

The team saw a season of success, dedication, and hardship. From injuries and illness, all the way to balancing other sports outside of school, the team persevered until they crossed the finish line and had the banner in their hands. 

The banner, now proudly displayed at the school, will soon join the rest of the sports banners in the gym.

For media inquiries, please contact:   

April Scott-Clarke   Manager of Communications   Upper Canada District School Board   [email protected] 

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