Ridleians on the Move – Orange trees, gothic arches, flamenco dancing in caves; Spain in March is magical.

On March 10th seven Ridley students accompanied by Mr. Nickerson departed on a 10 day journey to southern Spain to see and experience the distinctive cultural character of this ancient country.  Here are some highlights from their time in Spain:

Our first trip after landing in Mandrid was a journey through the Castilla-La Mancha province featuring vineyards, groves of olive trees and windmill-crested hilltops that brought to mind the wanderings of Don Quixote in the early 17th century. We stopped at a 15th century vento, or medieval fortified hostel that housed travelers such as Cervantes as he made his way from the south of Spain to Madrid. After stretching our legs, we loaded up and made our way further south through the mountains to the province of Andalucia. The rows of olive trees grew larger and stretched to the horizon, and the windmills on hilltops transform from ancient relics into enormous, sleek power generators.  By the early afternoon we reached Cordoba.

The bridge that took us across a swollen river to the renowned Mesquita was built by the Romans who founded the city in 152 BCE. The Mesquita (mosque) was built by the Muslims who invaded the south of Spain and established Cordoba as the capital of the Iberian peninsula in the 8th century CE. What makes this structure fascinating is the fact that the Christians arrived in the 15th century and did not destroy the mosque, but added a beautiful 16th century gothic-inspired cathedral to the middle of the enormous mosque interior. After a couple of hours spend wandering about the Mesquita and the surrounding market, we departed for Seville.

Seville, like most cities in Spain, has an old city that was once entirely surrounded with fortified walls, and our hotel was located near the ring road that runs outside the city walls.  Also founded by the Romans, Seville was once the key city for trade with the American colonies in the 15th century. The old town centre features a beautiful alcazar built in the Moorish style and a gothic cathedral. We spent a rainy afternoon touring these sites, the town bull ring and wandering through the narrow streets of what was once the old Jewish centre, then we departed for the coast.

After a noisy night, we headed out for a day trip to Morocco via the Straight of Gibraltar. The ferry took us to the Spanish town of Cueta, then we crossed the border into the real Africa where cows and goats wandered the streets and average income dropped to developing world levels. Our destination was Tetouan, a hillside town that featured an old, crowded market where you could buy clothes, freshly plucked chickens and lime for painting your house. The first stop was a carpet emporium filled with traditional Moroccan and Bedouin floor coverings, then we had a traditional Moroccan meal in a restaurant brimming with clashing patterns. The final stop was a herbalist lecture/sales pitch for everything from acne cream to ginseng roots. The noise, smells and distinctive feel of the Moroccan market made a strong impression on many of the travelers who remarked that this excursion into Africa was the highlight of the trip!

Ridley College Sports Update

First Boys Basketball
The senior boys basketball team won 2 quarters and tied one in the OFSAA final in North Bay but unfortunately lost the thread in the 2nd quarter when they were outscored 21-4 to lose 61-47 to a very talented and aggressive Forester Collegiate from Windsor. Ridley led 9-7 at the end of the first quarter but some key misses, questionable calls and a lack of focus disrupted the Tiger attack early in the 2nd quarter and the team never really recovered. With 3 minutes remaining in the game, Ridley was down only 9 points but that was as close as they would get. Cooper Rigg had 18 and Kristers Moisejs 11 points, both playing in their final game as Ridley Tigers led the scoring tonight. Special mention must also go to the other graduating seniors Jimmy Chueng, Kutiba Senusi, and Christian Ho. The Tigers finish the season with an overall record of 21-8.

First Boys Hockey

• Won the CISAA Silver Medal losing the championship series 2-0 to Nichols School

• March 4 CISAA Final at Nichols (L 5-1)

• March 7 CISAA Final at Ridley (L 6-5 in overtime)

Senior Girls Gymnastics

• Finished second in the overall competition at the CISAA Championship meet

• Level 2 Girls’ Gymnastics Team won their division at the Sir Winston Churchill Invitational

In a 3-school meet at Sir Winston Churchill yesterday, Girls’ Gymnastics put in a great day of competition.  In addition to winning the Level 2 Team Championship, the following girls had top-3 finishes:

Level 2:

  • Emma Hudson – 1st on bars and beam
  • Mariana Hinestrosa – 1st on floor
  • Kennedy Farr – 2nd on vault and beam
  • Morgan Aleven – 2nd on floor, 3rd on beam
  • Caroline Birkenshaw – 3rd on floor and bars
  • Shayda Shivafard – 3rd on beam

Level 3:

  • Faith Bell (LS) – 2nd on floor and bars
  • Stefanie Grigorovsky – 3rd on floor

Everyone put in a great day, with most having at least one personal-best routine.  Next up – OFSAA qualifier after March Break.


The Senior Swimming team won five OFSAA medals. Stephanie Lam brought home the gold in Breaststroke, Jesus Serrana Cendejas won a Silver in the 100M IM, the Senior girls Freestyle relay made up of Bethany Pile, Savannah Cowherd, Stephanie Lam and Jessica Grys won a Silver (losing only by a mere .15 seconds) and the girls relay team, Savannah Cowherd, Bethany Pile, Stephanie Lam and Erica Balcombe won a bronze for the medley relay. Well done swimmers! The swimming team finished 23rd of 282 teams in the province.

First Girls Hockey
First Girls Hockey team lost the CISAA Semi Final to the eventual championship winners Bishop Strachan. It was a hard fought battle with the final score being 5-2. Sarah Robichaud put the Tigers on the board first, assisted by Eleeza Cox, and Kara Power. The Bobcats were able to score twice in the second period to take the lead 2-1. The Tigers had a number of scoring chances, but were not able to put the puck away. Fueled by momentum, BSS put two more goals on the board midway through the third period. With over three minutes remaining, goaltender Karlyle Robinson sprinted to the bench for an extra attacker. The Tigers were able to score on the man-advantage to cut the Bobcat’s lead in half. The Tigers continued the to gamble with the empty net, but unfortunately BSS was able to score, putting the CISAA finals out of reach for Ridley. Congratulations to the girls on a very respectable season. The coaching staff wishes to give an extra thanks to our seven graduating seniors for their heart and leadership, and entertainment on long bus rides…

First Volleyball

• Lost CISAA Quarter Final to Trinity College School 3-2

U16 Boys Hockey

• Lost CISAA Quarter Final to Lakefield College 4-2

Ontario Ergometer Championships

The Ontario Erogometer Championships were held in the Ridley College Field House on Sunday. We had 5 rowers in the Top Ten, and many personal best times (compared to the Canadian Indoors or the February 6 “test”).

Junior Men – 2nd Nick Stasiw (6:48.5, better by 11.8 seconds!!)

Senior Women – 4th Madison Leitch (7:21.3, better by 7.3 sec.)

Senior Lightweight Women – 6th Madeline MacDonald (8:00.3, better by 5.8 sec.)

Senior Men – 5th Connar Boyd (6:29.8, better by 3.1 sec.)

Senior Men – 6th Colin MacKay (6:32.2, better by 3.9 sec.)

Junior Squash

• Finished 6th at the league championship tournament

Senior Squash

• Finished 6th at the league championship tournament

For more information on Ridley Athletics, including team websites visit:


Ridley College Has Talent!

The Lower School students in Grades 5-8 held a talent show in the Mandeville Theatre this week. There were musicians, singers and dancers – 12 acts in total.  First place in the junior division was awarded to Madeleine B. and Liana B. who performed a duet and second place was a tie between Ally C. who performed ‘Defying Gravity’  from the musical Wicked and Tony N. and Callum C. who performed Green Day’s ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ on the piano and drums.  For the senior division first place went to Gracie L. who wrote and performed an original song and second place was awarded to the dance group of Joseph A., Tamara B., Alyssa E. and Siena V.  Check out the talented students in action:

Ontario Ergometer Championships at Ridley College

The Ontario Erogometer Championships were held in the Ridley College Field House on Sunday.  We had 5 rowers in the Top Ten, and many personal best times (compared to the Canadian Indoors or the February 6 “test”).

Top Ten results include:

Junior Men -2nd Nick Stasiw (6:48.5, better by 11.8 seconds!!)

Senior Women – 4th Madison Leitch (7:21.3, better by 7.3 sec.)

Senior Lightweight Women – 6th Madeline MacDonald (8:00.3, better by 5.8 sec.)

Senior Men -5th Connar Boyd (6:29.8, better by 3.1 sec.)

Senior Men – 6th Colin MacKay (6:32.2, better by 3.9 sec.)

To read more about the Ergometer Championships and to see a short video visit:
For more information on Ridley Rowing visit:

Ridley College Student Maddie H. Earns Sears Award of Distinction

Ridley’s entry in the 2011 Sears Drama Festival was a challenging Canadian play by Sharon Pollock entitled ‘Blood Relations.’ It is based on the historical trial of Lizzie Borden, a woman brought to trial but ultimately acquitted for the murder of her parents in the sleepy town of Fall River in the summer of 1892.

With a cast and crew of 10 Ridley students, ‘Blood Relations’ was performed at Welland Centennial School on Thursday, March 3 as part of the Sears Drama Festival. Maddie H. most fittingly earned a Sears Award of Distinction for her convincing and chilling portrayal of “The Actress” in the play. Congratulations go out to this amazingly talented and dedicated group who were involved in this production in addition to all their various sports and academic responsibilities.

Under 14 Hockey Wins CISAA Championship!!

The U14 Hockey Tigers capped a very successful season in style today with a decisive 9-4 victory over Country Day School in the finals, played at Ridley in front of an energetic crowd. The number two seeded Tigers defeated number three Villanova in a well-played semi-final by a score of 5-3 to earn a spot in the championship game. Nicholas Prestia led the attack with 3 goals, with singles going to Mitchell Young and Mitchell Mendonca. CDS defeated number one seed RSGC 4-3 in the other semi-final to advance to the finals.

In the final game, Ridley broke open a tight game with a goal in the final seconds of the second period. This seemed to spark the offense, as five more goals were added in the third. Prestia added four more in this game, with Mendonca potting two. Luke Court, Jan Kwan and Alex Herbert rounded out the Ridley scoring. The coaches are very proud of this team. Strong play all season produced a 10 win, five loss overall record and Ridley’s first hockey title at this age level in many years. Check out some highlights from the game:

The Reviews are In for Ridley’s Production of Hairspray!

The Reviews are in for Hairspray – check out the CAPPIE reviews published in the St. Catharines Standard:

“Energy and enthusiasm” – MARECHAL KOOP, EDEN HIGH SCHOOL


“Slick and Splendid Musical has it all”- ISAIAH KLASSEN, EDEN HIGH SCHOOL


“Culturally diverse cast outstanding” –MELANEY TURNER NOTRE DAME COLLEGE SCHOOL

http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=30 3628&auth=MELANEY%20TURNER%20NOTRE%20DAME%20COLLEGE%20SCHOOL

The Cappies, “Critics and Awards Program,” is a program through which high school theater and journalism students are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers.   At the end of the year, the student critics vote for awards that are presented at a formal Cappies Gala.

Tigertales – A blog about life at Ridley