By Martin Cleary
Like sister, like brother.
Dani Roth started a new family tradition at the 2022 OFSAA badminton championships, when she won the girls’ A doubles championship with St. Peter Catholic High School teammate Katie Fong.
Reath Roth, who is Dani’s younger brother, figured he could do that as well, even as a Grade 9 Colonel By Secondary School student-athlete in a varsity sport open to players of all grades.
And he did.
“She drove me to be competitive and made me want to win more,” explained Roth, who formerly trained with Dani, a first-year University of Ottawa health sciences student, when they started the sport four years ago.
Reath won his first four boys’ singles A-division matches at OFSAA in Port Hope to advance to the final, where he lost to Timothy Lock of the York Region and earned the silver medal.
“I expected to win OFSAA. I knew who the players were and how they played,” Roth said in a phone interview this week. “I expected to at least get to the semifinals.”
Roth, who stands five feet, five inches, but is quick and agile on the court with a powerful shot, needed to pace himself because of a knee injury. He said he has “jumper’s knee,” which is characterized by inflammation of the patellar tendon.
“In my early matches, I played and saved energy,” he added. “I was coming off an injury. I wanted to save my energy for the more important matches.”
A member of the R.A. Badminton Club, Roth is a notable player on the provincial and national competitive circuits. Earlier this year, he won a boys’ singles bronze medal at a national circuit tournament in Quebec City. In 2022, he earned two silver and two bronze medals at the U15 level, spanning singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
Colonel By teacher-coach Scott Virgo called Roth “a young man mature beyond his years.”
“His dedication and focus to the sport of badminton is beyond unparalleled. He trained with the school team, then would go to the R.A. to train with his coach and then attend an adult club to play against players twice his age,” he wrote in an email.
“His tenacity and willingness to improve as an athlete and human being is a valuable asset to his journey. And with all his successes, he still demonstrates humility, which is an asset that cannot be taught.”
Besides Roth’s silver-medal effort, the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association team also won three other medals.
For the second straight year, Ashbury’s Jenny Liao reached the medal podium, collecting the antique bronze for fourth place in girls’ A singles. She took the bronze at the 2022 OFSAA championships.
In the B-division, Hasith De Alwis and Ellen Zhang were the gold medallists in mixed doubles, while Ryan Zhu and Harry Wang captured silver in boys’ doubles.
DOUBLE OFSAA SHUTOUT SOCCER WINS FOR LOUIS-RIEL, GISÈLE-LALONDE
Louis-Riel and Gisèle-Lalonde are in the running for medals, after the respective Rebelles and Titans won their opening two games each by shutouts at the OFSAA boys’ AA soccer championship in Bradford.
Louis-Riel recorded a pair of 2-0 decisions over Thousand Islands and Beaver Brae. Ryan Spaans was credited with both shutouts.
Marius Doucet scored both Riel goals against TISS, while Noah Mayard and Xavie Fournier were the goals scorers against Beaver Brae.
The Titans kept pace with the Rebelles in their pool, following the same formula as they posted 4-0 victories over King City and St. Charles. Hugo Bohlen didn’t allow a goal in either game.
The Lalonde goal scorers were Mateo Paradis, two, Gabriel Tardif and Zachary Yassine against King City and Adbu-Errahman Belacel, Yassine, Dan-Key Shima and Yassin Ethan against St. Charles.
John McCrae lost its opening two pool games at the OFSAA boys’ AAA soccer championship in Windsor, falling 3-1 to J.H. Newman and 6-0 to Aloysius.
City champion St. Mother Teresa remained undefeated after the first day of the OFSAA girls’ AAA soccer championship in Grimsby, compiling a 2-0 win over Frontenac and a 0-0 draw against Bishop Allen Academy.
St. Francis Xavier dropped its opening two games, 4-2 to St. Martin and 2-0 to Medway.
Garneau earned one point from its two pool matches at the OFSAA girls’ AA soccer championship in Cobourg as it tied Huntsville 0-0, but lost to Lorne Park 1-0.
Ashbury qualified for Friday’s medal round at the OFSAA boys’ A/AA rugby championship in Belleville and are scheduled to meet Henry Street in the semifinals. Depending how the Colts play, they could win gold, silver, bronze or antique bronze.
In its first two games, Ashbury defeated Holy Trinity 22-12 and Port Perry 17-7 to finish first in its preliminary pool.
Cairine Wilson is slated to play a ranking game Friday, following losses to LaSalle, 24-10, and F.E. Madill, 22-0.
At the OFSAA boys’ AAA rugby championship in Arva, Glebe was edged 8-7 by Saltfleet in the Gryphons’ first match.
St. Joseph won its opening game at the OFSAA Regional baseball tournament in Toronto by a 5-4 score over St. Theresa, but then lost to Bishop Allen 12-0 and St. Michael 7-6.
The Jaguars missed the medal round, but were scheduled to play extra games against St. Theresa and Crescent on Thursday.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 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 High Achievers “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @martincleary.
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