A pair of minor football players complete some practice throws.
CORNWALL, Ontario - The NCAFA football season is set to begin this weekend. We caught up with the four head coaches for the Cornwall Minor Football Association to get their view on what the upcoming season may hold for their teams.
It’s hard to tell hard to tell what a football season can hold for children so young but Commercial Truck Centre Tyke Wildcats head coach Dave Gould was optimistic. “We have a couple kids that we’re expecting big things from,” he said, namely RB Cam Geary and LB Charlie Gould.
Football is still a fringe sport in Cornwall making it hard to attract players but there’s a bright side. “We don’t have a lot of players sitting on the sideline,” said Gould. “It gives all the kids a chance to play and play a lot.”
Todd Sabourin has come over from coaching in the Alexandria spring league and St. Lazare to man the Health Within Mosquito Wildcats, bringing about ten players with him.
“We should have a really strong defensive core,” said Sabourin, “our quarterback, Alexxi Paquette, has a real gun on him…we’ve got some good speed.” That speed will come from players like wideout Eric Cumberbatch on offense and linebackers Jah Robertson and Maximus Sabourin on defense.
“We have a lot of returning kids...we expect big things,” said Longevity Acrylics Peewee Wildcats head coach Rod Simpson.
QB Tyler Nasr will be a key player. He’ll be throwing to SB Hayden Sylvester who Simpson describes as the most naturally gifted athlete the Wildcats have ever fielded.
The defense, led by big DT Devin MacNeill, also looks to be strong.
Varsity players Chris Millward (WR’s), Travis Gaspe (LB’s) and Jesse St. John (RB’s) are helping out the peewee coaches this year. St. John will be leaving for Queens University soon but both Millward and Gaspe will be around the whole season.
Marc Renaud is another new head coach to his age group. Formerly the RB coach for the Varsity Wildcats and the current head coach at La Citadelle HS, he’s just getting to know his Bantam 5th Wheel Truck Stop Wildcats.
Foremost among Renaud’s charges, and the one on which his team’s fortunes will hinge upon the most, is QB Alex Douglas. Douglas served as the backup QB for the OV squad during the summer and did well in limited action.
The Wildcats season begins this Sunday at Joe St. Denis Field beginning with the tykes and mosquitos taking on the East Ottawa Generals at 9 and 11am respectively, followed by the peewee’s and bantam’s squaring off against the Nepean Redskins at 1 and 3 p.m.