There’s a baker’s dozen of banners to be hung from the rafters at Richview this school year.
Head of phys. ed. Stath Koumoutseas jokes about having to hang them, including the ones belonging to the six teams that made OFSAA.
Ask him if he expected so many city championships and he’ll admit it’s a miracle.
“I think you never expect it,” he said. “You always teach the kids to be humble and work hard, and don’t worry about the end result.
“If you work hard things will just fall into place,” he added. “We did have a strong group of senior kids last year, a really strong group.”
Among that crowd were basketball captain Scott Morrison, star wide receiver Damian Cameron, flag football captain Alexa Bennett and hockey/soccer double threat Sam Day. All were athletes of the year for 2010-11.
Outside of the foursome, the baseball team’s depth was lauded, in particular Marc Clauser and Connor Whitney. Koumoutseas acknowledges he had some concerns going into last year.
“The reason why there was some trepidation last year was for three straight years we always had an ace,” he said. “We had a strong, strong pitcher.”
When Richview won the Tier 1 title in 2008, they had Andrew Hyde on the mound. In 2010, Matt Cambria led the way.
“The kids looked at that and thought we were in trouble, but we had more depth pitching-wise than any year before,” Koumoutseas said. “We came within one game of the Skydome, making the final four of the Prentice Cup.”
They lost their semi-final match to a team from Ancaster 2-0. By that point Richview had played 10 games in five days.
“I’ve never been in that situation,” he said. “Even a major league baseball team — there’s no way they would be able to play 10 games in five days.”
As for the girls, their soccer team, with the leadership of Day, went to OFSAA making it as far as the quarterfinals. There’s optimism in a past interview with Day, as Carly Sythes, Kristian Kletke and Rachel Passarelli look to keep their coach Ria Dinadis happy.
On the hardwood, the boys senior basketball team claimed bronze in North Bay. Morrison will be missed this year, but T.J. Rutty, Patrick Street and Chevon Brown will be back.
Football will see the return of quarterback Izvor Gnjidic, running back Wayne Moore and slotback Jason Cerqueira, but the like-glue hands of Cameron will be missed.
“I’ve never worked with a receiver that I can honestly say in a game situation never dropped a ball,” Koumoutseas said. “Damian, over three years, never dropped a ball.”
The other two squads registering provincial success were the ski team, helmed by teacher Adrian Nunes. The girls flag football team also had a great year but lost a heartbreaker to Agincourt 8-7 in the city finals.
Bennett lauded her football teammates and said she had a divine time at Richview.
“It was one of the best experiences of high school for me,” she said.
Teachers and students alike will miss the leadership of departing players. Cameron is off to Western, Morrison heads to Queen’s, Bennett travels north to McGill and Day goes coastal, attending Dalhousie.
“These kids are amazing and make it real easy to coach,” Koumoutseas said.
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