8:30 a.m., June 2)
ruling sends Louis-Riel girls to OFSAA soccer championships
By Fred Sherwin
most people refer to the "agony and ecstasy" of sports they're usually
refering to the action taking place on the playing field and not in a courtroom,
but such was the case late Wednesday afternoon when Ontario Superior Court Justice
Douglas Rutherford granted the Louis-Riel senior girls soccer team an injunction
to play in the OFSAA provincial championships which get underway in Hamilton today.
Rebelles were barred from competing at the OFSAA tournament after their coach
Joe Fournier informed the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association
(NCSSAA) just prior to last week's city championship that he had mistakenly omitted
one of his players from a pre-season roster.
Members of the Louis-Riel Rebelles senior girls soccer team celebrate after an
Ontario Superior Court justice garnted them an injunction to play in the OFSAA
provincial scoccer championships in Hamilton, Ottawa Sun Tony Caldwell/Photo|
girl in question played for the team last year and was included on the scoresheets
that were sublmitted to the NCSSAA for the five regular season games she play
in this year.
Fournier admitted his mistake, he assumed that the NCSSAA would sanction him rather
than his team by way of a possible suspension. Instead, they informed him that
the team had to forfiet all of their games including their semi-final win over
the Colonel By Cougars.
ruling cleared the way for the Cougars to play the Glebe Gryphons in the city
championship which they won 2-1. Since Glebe was already slated to represent the
NCSSAA at the OFSAA Quad-A championships, Colonel By earned a spot in the AAA
discussing his options with Louis-Riel principal Martin Bertand, Fournier appealed
the ruling to the chair of athletics, the board of reference and the board of
appeal and came up empty. They then discussed their situation with the school's
legal council Andrew McCleary and the decision was made to argue their case for
an injunction against the NCSSAA ruling before the Ontario Superior Court.
hearing from four witnesses including Bertrand and two Louis-Riel players, Justice
Rutherford rendered his decision based on what he called the unfair treatment
of a team due to an honest mistake made by their coach.
what I consider irreparable unfairness to a whole team of good performers who
have worked so hard to excel, I consider that the court should try to fix the
harm here, Justice Rutherford told the courtroom which was occupied by all
19 members of the team and their supporters.
players did their best to suppress their excitement over the ruling until Rutherford
concluded his remarks by commenting on their continued presence in his courtroom.
dont know what youre all doing here. Youve got a long, long
drive," he said, which was immediately met by shrieks of joy and the words
called OFSAA officials immediately afterwards to inform them of the decision and
they agreed to honour the ruling, leaving Colonel By, who are still city champs,
having to back their bags and head home.
Cougar players were told about the decision early this morning. Colonel By head
coach Pat Lacasse told W1310 News in an exclusive interview that they were upset
planned to have a team breakfast before heading to Kingston to cheer on the school's
senior boys team at the OFSAA AAA championship on their way back to Ottawa.
the meantime, the Louis-Riel Rebelles weren't expected to pull into Hamilton until
the wee hours of the morning. Their first game was scheduled for 9 a.m.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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