The Durham Lords fall varsity sports season concluded with the men’s rugby team winning the Ontario Colleges Athletics Association (OCAA) bronze medal Nov. 13.
This was a strange year for fall sports for Durham College. Teams did not play last year due to COVID-19, so there was significant turnover in personnel for a few sports.
“In the 2019-20 season we had one of the best in the college’s history, so to be able to capture three provincial medals this year went beyond, I think, what expectations were after the huge period away,” said Sports Information and Marketing Coordinator, Jordon Hall.
Here is a look back on how each team performed this season.
Gold – Softball
The women’s softball team were underdogs heading into the OCAA Championship tournament in Windsor. They went undefeated up to the finals and then beat the hosts, St. Clair College 8-7 in extra innings to win the gold medal.
Silver – Women’s Rugby
The women’s rugby team was dominant from the very start winning six games in a row. The Lords were undefeated until losing to Humber College in the championship game.
Bronze – Men’s Rugby
Men’s rugby was another team that was very successful before the pandemic, winning the OCAA championship in 2019.
This year the Lords made it to the semi-finals, losing to Georgian College, the team they beat to win gold in 2019.
Durham finished its season by beating Humber College to win the bronze medal. “We were hoping for gold, but we still kept it consistent with a medal…it was kind of our rebuild year,” said third year player, Liam Spafford. The team had 18 new players.
The men’s soccer team won the National Championship in 2019. This year the team had 21 new players, said head coach Dave Ashfield.
“The most important thing was to keep expectations at a reasonable level for this year because we were going into an unknown,” said Ashfield.
The team went 4-3 and lost in the quarter-finals to St. Clair College in penalty kicks. A victory in that game would have sent Durham College to the championship tournament.
The women’s soccer team had 14 players playing in their first season in the OCAA.
Midfielder Brianna Kelly says this year was difficult because of injuries. The team had to start the season with a shorter bench, she says.
“We had a strong team with a lot of rookies including myself. Alex (Bianchi) our coach, was super dedicated and pushed us, he wanted us to reach our full potential,” says Kelly.
The Lords season ended with a 2-1 loss to Humber College in penalty kicks. The team finished with a 4-2-2 record.
The baseball team had a record of 8-9. Their season came to an end after losing a playoff play-in game to Seneca College.
“Not a disappointment, but we didn’t reach our end goal I would say. We did have some strong seasons from some of our guys,” said head coach Darryl Reid.
Infielder, Tyler Chong won the OCAA rookie of the year. He posted a .386 batting average.
Rugby – Medals
The men’s rugby team was another team that was very successful before the pandemic, winning the championship in 2019.
This year the Lords made it to the semi-finals where they would lose to Georgian College, the team they beat to win gold in 2019.
They finished their season by beating Humber College to win the bronze medal. “We were hoping for gold, but we still kept it consistent with a medal… it was kind of our rebuild year,” said third year player, Liam Spafford. The team had 18 new players.
The women’s ruby team was dominant from the very start. They went undefeated up to the gold medal game.
The Lords won six games in a row and were undefeated until losing to Humber College in the championship game.
Both Durham Lords basketball and volleyball will begin in the first week of January for men and women.