Nov. 4 Niagara College report
Competitive golf was the last thing on Lorelle Weavers’ mind when she enrolled in the golf management program at Niagara College.
“I came home from Chicago State University after two years in the NCAA and I was just really burned out and I hadn’t had a great experience,” the recent inductee into the Niagara College Knights Hall of Fame. “You don’t really hear the bad stories until they happen to you and then you hear about other people who have had them.”
At Niagara, she felt like she wasn’t even interested in golf any more, but she ran into Niagara’s Ray Sarkis, who convinced her that Canadian college golf was very different from the NCAA.
Weavers was the only female who tried out that year and she spent the season traveling with the men’s team.
“It ended up being great,” she said. “Life was simple and life was good and I kind of focused and did my own thing.”
She ended up being the only Niagara golfer to qualify for nationals that year and she and coach, Cameron Thin, headed to Quebec City.
“We played in this soaking wet, miserable weather for a national championship and it got rain-shortened by a day,” she said. “I was leading by one shot after the second round and we showed up for the final day and there were ducks floating down the first fairway.”
Thin and Weavers have become close friends and Thin, the head pro at the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club, gave her first job in the golf industry.
“I always cherish that time we spent together (in Quebec) and that is the time that will stand out the most.”
Weavers played at Niagara College from 2014 to 2017 and her storied career included: an Ontario Colleges Athletic Association silver medal, an OCAA All-Ontario team, a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association gold medal, OCAA All-Academic, CCAA All-Canadian, and CCAA Academic All-Canadian awards and Niagara College’s Top Female Scholastic award and Tournament Sport Player of the Year awards in her first season; winning two of the three OCAA invitational events, OCAA gold, OCAA All-Academic Award, CCAA Academic All-Canadian, CCAA Scholar and All-Canadian honours in her second season; and, OCAA gold and CCAA All-Canadian award in her final season.
The induction ceremony was held last Saturday as part of the 2019 CCAA Scholar brunch held at Niagara.
“It was lovely, there were lots of old faces and it was nice to see all the coaches at Niagara College who were very supportive of the national championship,” she said. “Most of them reached out to Cam or myself and it was nice to see them again.”
The 25-year-old Burlington native now works as an assistant golf pro at Rattlesnake Point in Milton. The golf season just ended and she will be spending her winter working at an indoor golf simulator in Oakville.
With a 70-hour work week in the summer as an assistant pro, it doesn’t leave much time for Weavers to play competitive golf.
“It was on my list of things to do but the season is just so busy and I do a lot of teaching,” she said. “I didn’t have the time to work on my game and feel like it was in a spot where I could be competitive.
“I decided that I enjoyed the teaching and that’s how I wanted to spend my time.”
Joining Weavers in the hall were men’s golfer Josiah Dixon and the 1999-2001 men’s volleyball team.
During Dixon’s 2015-17 career, the golf management student: won an OCAA individual bronze medal, OCAA team gold, CCCA team silver and CCAA Academic All-Canadian and CCAA Scholar recipient in his first season; and, OCAA and CCAA team golds and OCAA All-Star and Knights Tournament Sport Athlete of the Year awards in his second season.
The 1999-2000 men’s volleyball team became the first Knights league sports team to capture a West Region title, an OCAA gold medal and qualify for the CCAA national championship. Led by rookie sensation Graeme Gaunt, they led the league in every category with 679 kills, 192 stuffed blocks, 74 service aces and a total offence of 945 points. It finished the season with a 15-1 record, a 16 match-winning streak and ranked fourth in the nation.
In 2000-2001, the team went undefeated in OCAA play on the way to OCAA West Region title and OCAA titles. Niagara went into nationals ranked third but ended up fourth with an overall record of 22-2.
The volleyball squad is the third team named to the hall, joining the 1969-70 women’s basketball and volleyball teams. There are now 64 members in the hall.
Niagara’s men’s basketball team dropped an 84-81 decision to the nationally ranked Sheridan Bruins in its home opener last Friday night.
“This was a solid effort by our guys and we proved that we can compete with any team in the league,” Niagara head coach Phil Mosley said. “We are seeing progress each week and understand that we must bring a consistent work ethic every time we step on the floor.
“Our veterans played outstanding and with more game experience, our new guys will find ways to contribute as we move forward.”
Leading the way for Niagara were: Jordon McDonald, 23 points and 10 rebounds; Johnnie Richardson (Saint Paul), 17 points; Lequan Hylton, 12 points, five rebounds and six assists; Rahim Bardi (Governor Simcoe), nine points; and, Deysean Thompson, eight points.
Niagara (1-3) hosts Mohawk (2-2) Thursday at 7 p.m.
Niagara’s women’s basketball team fell to 0-4 on the season last Friday after dropping its home opener 86-61 to the Sheridan Bruins (1-2).
Top performers for Niagara were: Kaisen MacKinnon with 13 points and five rebounds; Francine Smith (Denis Morris) with 10 points and five boards; Mackenzie Schroeder (Eden), nine points; and, Beth deBoer, eight points
Niagara hosts Mohawk (1-3) Thursday at 6 p.m.
Niagara’s men’s volleyball team opened last week with a 3-1 (27-25, 21-25, 20-25, 34-32) loss to the Humber Hawks in Etobicoke. The Knights were led in kills by first-year outside hitter Owen Pols (Wainfleet) with 13 while Elijah Bugiardini topped Niagara with 10 digs.
“I thought that was, by far, our best game of the season to date, including preseason,” head coach Tommy Sloan said. “We executed our offensive plan incredibly well and contained their spin servers for the most part. Humber is a tough match up size-wise for us but I thought we took advantage of our opportunities and played with confidence.”
Niagara rebounded with a 3-1 victory (24-26, 25-13, 25-22 and 25-21) over the Conestoga Condors. Top point getters for Niagara were Samuel Otten (29), Bugiardini (20) and Colin Prelaz (16).
Niagara (3-1) is at Mohawk (1-3) Saturday.
Niagara’s women’s volleyball team also fell to Humber, losing 3-0 (25-14, 25-17 and 26-24).
The Knights were led by Anica Haberstock with six kills and Madelyn Berg (St. Catharines) with eight digs.
“Tonight we ran into a really skilled and physical Humber Hawks volleyball team,” Niagara head coach Steve Dow said. “Tonight was a great learning opportunity for us. We learned that we can play with some of the best teams in the province.
“Our job as a coaching staff is to continue to get our girls the confidence to do it for longer stretches of time.”
Niagara then rebounded with a 3-0 victory over Conestoga (25-23, 25-21 and 25-17).
Top point getters for Niagara were Kristen Oudman (17), Haberstock (12) and Welland Natasha Desjardins (12).
Niagara (3-1) is at Mohawk (1-3) Saturday.
Coverage of the Niagara Knights is made possible with the support of the Niagara College Department of Athletics & Recreation. For more information, please visit www.goknights.ca