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Young Spartans Shine at Nelson Shoot-Out

Apr. 27, 2017

Young Spartans Shine at Nelson Shoot-Out

Yesterday, the Lorne Park Spartans travelled to McMaster University in Hamilton where 20 of the best football programs in Southern Ontario battled it out at the Nelson Lords Touch Football Shoot-Out.

"This tournament has become a staple of our offseason program", said Spartans head coach Scott Price.  "Teams in this tournament are perennial football powerhouses, like Nelson, Thomas More, Corpus Christi, the Kerry Blues, Myer, Power, Vanier, Macnab, and so they play with the focus on getting better for next season.  That means it's your younger guys, you work out of traditional football formations instead of it being a typical touch tournament.  Everyone here gets it."

The Spartans, who were fielding a particularly young team, didn't disappoint, advancing to the final four after going undefeated in group play.

"It was such a great experience for our young guys", said Price.  "More than half of our starters were [grade] 9s on both sides of the ball, which bodes very well for us going forward."

Sophomore QB Christian Smodis was on fire all day, throwing touchdown passes to six different receivers, including two grade 9s and three grade 10s.  This will be the first season since 2012 without Alex Lavric at the helm for the Senior Spartans, and they'll be looking for Smodis to fill those big shoes.

"Christian made some nice reads today, and he was throwing the ball really well", commented offensive coordinator, Ben Grant.  "It would have been easy for him to lock onto our grade 11 players like Will Manko and Jakob Page, but he was making honest reads, making the proper football play."

The Spartans opened with a 33-22 win over Corpus Christi, then following it up with a nail-biter, beating Brantford 35-30 on the last play of the game.  In the afternoon, Lorne Park continued their winning ways with a 41-14 win over Michael Power, and a 34-27 victory over Jean Vanier.

The Spartans eventually fell in the semi-finals, losing a tight battle with tournament champions, Sir Thomas More.

WR Will Manko was named the Spartans Offensive MVP for the tournament, with DB Davyn Webster-Cho taking the Spartans Defensive MVP honours.

The St. Roch Ravens were the only other Peel team at the tournament, and though they were unable to get out of the group stage, they also represented ROPSSAA well, winning the Consolation Championship.

 

 

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