In thanks to their efforts during the pandemic, Ridley College has made a triumphant return to sport.
“I’m so grateful for all the time, energy and love our coaches put into their programs, especially our directors of Prep sport, all because they believe in providing our student-athletes the best possible development, exposure and experience here at Ridley,” said Courtney Smith, Ridley’s Director of Athletics. “The last few years have been difficult, but because of their work behind the scenes, we’re in an incredible position to thrive this year. We’re still feeling a few effects from the pandemic but we continue to work together to find creative solutions.”
“We had over 17 student-athletes commit to post-secondary sport last year. For a high school of only 500 students, that’s an impressive stat any day, let alone during a pandemic. Whether it was our guidance team, faculty, advisors or coaches, Ridley never stopped trying to support our students’ dreams and they never stopped trying to reach them. That’s one of the most special parts of our culture at Ridley.”
Athletics didn’t stop in the summer either when, for 16 days in August, student-athletes, coaches, families and fans flocked to the Niagara Region to experience a celebration of Canadian sport during the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.
Ridley College was well represented with nine student-athletes and one coach participating: Presley Daschuk ’24 (rowing); Talia Nixon ’23 (volleyball); Sammie Balfour ’23 (softball); Jack Petrunick ’19 (rowing); Lauren McPhail ’23 (volleyball); Shane Keagan ’22 (rowing); Niko Schramm ’20 (rowing); Eli Djordjevic ’23 (basketball); Topaz Nnani ’22 (basketball); and Coach, Dereck Schwandt (rowing).
During the rowing finals, Shane Keagan ’22 captured one gold medal with Team Ontario’s men’s eight crew, while Niko Schramm ’20 took home two gold medals with Team Ontario’s men’s eight and men’s quad crew. On the court, Eli Djordjevic ’23 won silver with the British Columbia basketball team.
“I always feel so grateful to work at a place that truly embodies community. From our student-athletes competing to the various members of our staff and faculty that volunteered, Ridley College had an impactful presence at the Canada Games,” Smith said.
Looking ahead, a full return to competition across all sports is expected this fall.
“I’m excited and proud to say that we have full seasons planned for all of sports programs, both in Canada and across the US,” Smith said.
Ridley will see a number of their Prep programs expanding their schedules this year, to ensure maximum exposure for student-athletes pursuing post-secondary sport (Prep Boys Hockey – Two Nations Prep Hockey League; Prep Boys Basketball – NEPSAC Power 5 Conference). Ridley’s Prep girls hockey team continues to be the only academic institution invited to join the OWHA’s U22 Elite League, the highest junior level in Ontario.
As well, to broaden the opportunities available for their younger basketball players, Ridley will be participating in the Ontario Basketball Association’s Development League. The OBA Development League was created to complete the developmental pathway for grade 9 & 10 high school student-athletes and for current OSBA member institutions.
On the water, Ridley rowers will be busy this fall.
“Ridley Rowing is looking forward to another highly competitive season,” coach Dereck Schwandt said. “This fall there are approximately 26 returning athletes and an additional 27 new athletes on the team. Six crews will be competing at the upcoming Head of the Charles Regatta. The fall season will conclude with the whole team travelling to the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga, NY. The team is excited to returning to these events after a three-year hiatus.”
“Ridley is a very busy place, especially when it comes to athletics. But busy is what we love here. It means we’re engaged in the things that matter.”
Dear reader. If you liked this story or one of the 4,500 other stories found on our website, please consider hitting the Support Us button on the right-hand side of our home page and making a PayPal contribution to our website. Your support would be much appreciated. If you are a business owner, please consider advertising on our site. Our rates are reasonable and we provide plenty of exposure for your business. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.