It was a perfect day for baseball as the 1st annual Leaside Classic was held on Friday, June 17 at Rolph Road School for the boys and at Bennington Heights for the girls.
The idea came from St. Anselm’s School principal Richard Walo. “Baseball had been dropped this year from the Catholic board’s inter-school program, but many of our kids told me they wanted to play it, so I thought this would be a little friendly competition with the other Leaside schools. These kids all play together – at Leaside hockey or baseball or soccer; this time they get to represent their school.”
Walo approached his fellow principals at Rolph Road, Bennington and Bessborough and “they were all enthusiastic. Northlea was not able to participate, so we invited Eglinton Jr. Public School to round out the field.”
Each school’s team was composed of students from grade four, five or six. The tournament was a round-robin with each team playing all four other teams once, plus a consolation game and championship game at the end.
“It’s been really cool playing against my friends Will and Dex from Rolph Road, and Dax from Bennington, who are on my Leaside soccer and hockey teams,” said St. Anselm’s grade six student Sean Smolej, of Randolph Rd. “When we play against other Catholic schools, I usually don’t know any of the other kids.”
Sean’s mom, Trish Berry, watched all five of her son’s games. “It’s great that Richard [Walo] took the initiative to organise this tournament – it’s been a really fun day and the kids have had a great time.”
The team from Rolph Road won the girls’ championship; Eglinton School took the boys’ side.