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HIGH ACHIEVERS: Ottawa teams win three national touch football championships

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

By Martin Cleary

WEEKEND WRAP: Three teams. Three divisions. Three national championships.

In a nutshell, that’s how Ottawa teams celebrated Thanksgiving weekend at the Mary Brown’s Canadian touch football championships in Markham.

Ottawa Piranhas captured their third Canadian title in as many years, winning the men’s Tier 1 class A final. The women’s A final went to Ottawa Pirates, while Bytown Boys took the men’s Tier 2 class B championship.

After posting 6-0 preliminary and playoff win-loss records to earn the class AA national title in 2020 and 2019, the Piranhas only defeat this year came in the playoff preliminary match, which prevented them from playing for a third straight AA title.

The Piranhas defeated Niagara Rhinos 24-21, Markham Mustangs 26-0 and Hamilton Hooligans 22-13 to finish first in their Pool D standings. A 21-18 preliminary playoff loss to Kelowna Blues dropped the Piranhas to class A, where they defeated Edmonton Frost 32-18 in the semifinals and the Hooligans 27-18 in the final.

Toronto teams kept the Pirates out of the running for the women’s class AA title, but they managed to defeat another Toronto squad for the class A championship.

The Pirates opened the three-day championship defeating Montreal Volts 12-0 and GTA Foxes 13-0 before losing to Toronto Rebels 27-0 in round-robin action. In its playoff preliminary game, the Pirates were edged 14-13 by Toronto Storm.

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The class A playoffs saw the Pirates use a pair of 15-12 decisions to defeat the Volts in the semifinals and Toronto Misfits in the final.

Bytown Boys opened strong with a pair of round-robin victories – 19-6 over Mississauga Warriors and 32-7 over Toronto Generals. But Bytown fell in its class BB quarterfinal 24-6 to Markham Mustangs.

Bytown excelled in the class B playoffs, turning back GTA Giants 25-0 in the quarterfinals, Mississauga Canes 21-6 in the semifinals and Markham Machine 12-6 in the championship match.


Happy birthday to Ottawa’s Michael Woods. The main man for the Israel Start-Up Nation World Tour cycling team turned 35 years old Tuesday.

After a sensational Olympic Games in Tokyo, where he placed fifth in a group sprint to the finish, Woods has returned to action in the past month and continued to be a top-10 finisher against the best in the world.

In the almost two weeks leading up to his birthday, Woods had three impressive one-day race results in what are considered high-ranking races.

Woods had his second-best showing in five outings during the 239-kilometre Giro Il Lombardia, when he finished ninth on Saturday. Il Lombardia is one of the five Monuments, which are considered classics because they are the oldest, hardest and most prestigious.

In the previous week, Woods was fifth in the 190-kilometre Milano to Torino race and third in the 195.3-kilometre Giro dell’Emilia. Woods won the Milano to Torino competition in 2019 and was second in 2016. He also was second in the 2019 dell’Emilia and fourth in 2018.

Four top-10 results, including a third in Stage 4, helped Woods finish fifth overall and sixth in the points classification at the eight-stage Tour of Britain in September.


Manotick’s Jamie Sinclair, who competes out of Charlotte, North Carolina, reached the semifinals of the strong 32-rink, triple-knockout women’s draw at the Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic in Calgary.

After winning five of its first seven matches, the Sinclair rink, which also included Monica Walker, Cora Farrell and Elizabeth Cousins, qualified for the playoffs by winning the C-division bracket. Sinclair defeated Korea’s Unchi Gim 6-2 in the quarterfinals, but lost to Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa 6-3 in the semifinals.

During preliminary play, Sinclair scored a rare career win by a 6-5 margin over Tabitha Peterson of the United States. Peterson, the 2021 world championship bronze medallist and a two-time American champion, advanced to the final and defeated Fujisawa 6-5 in seven ends.

Ottawa Curling Club’s Rachel Homan finished at 4-3 and missed the playoffs.


After spending the Tokyo Olympics on the indoor velodrome track and riding in the great Canadian outdoors for the national road cycling championships, Osgoode’s Derek Gee is back indoors.

Gee has been named to the 16-athlete Canadian team for the UCI track cycling world championships in Roubaix, France, on Oct. 20-24. A member of Canada’s men’s endurance team, Gee will only compete in the men’s team pursuit.

At the Canadian road championships, Gee won bronze medals in the men’s individual time trial and the road race.


The Carleton University Ravens men’s baseball team is two wins away from winning the OUA championship in Ajax. The one-day tournament is Sunday.

The Ravens, who were the surprise silver medallists at the last provincials in 2019, qualified for the OUA semifinals by going undefeated in their Regional Qualifier tournament on Thanksgiving weekend. Carleton played host to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and Queen’s University Gaels at Heritage Park.

Carleton defeated the Gee-Gees 5-4 and the Gaels 10-1 on Saturday and the Gaels 7-1 on Sunday. The Gee-Gees split their two games with the Gaels, winning 6-2 and losing 10-2. Ottawa and Queen’s finished with identical 1-2 records.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 48 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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