Volume 12 Week 5

Thursday, Dec. 13


Posted Dec. 16

Posted March 16


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney




(Posted 8:30 a.m., June 2)
Court ruling sends Louis-Riel girls to OFSAA soccer championships
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

When 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.

The 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

The 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.

When 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.

The 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 tournament.

After 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.

After 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.

"Given 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.

The 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.

“I don’t know what you’re all doing here. You’ve got a long, long drive," he said, which was immediately met by shrieks of joy and the words "courtroom dismissed".

Fournier 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.

The 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 and disappointed.

They 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.

In 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.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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