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Spring Scrimmage in the Steel City

Jun. 11, 2017

Spring Scrimmage in the Steel City

 

On Friday, the Lorne Park Spartans travelled to Hamilton to take on the OFSAA Champion St. Thomas More Knights in a scrimmage that would conclude their spring camp.

Despite the fact that the Spartans boast 15 returning starters, there were a lot of new faces on the field.  "We're pretty experienced on both sides of the ball", said head coach Scott Price, "but with both our rugby teams just wrapping up their provincial tournaments five days ago, we've got a number of guys banged up who didn't dress today.  The good thing about that is we get a chance to see some of our younger guys in gear against a talented team."

On the offensive side of the ball, WR Will Manko and RB Jakob Page set the standard for the Spartans.  Manko led all receivers in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, while Page made the most of his limited carries, patiently running behind his veteran offensive line.

QB Christian Smodis turned in a solid performance in his Senior debut after logging some impressive numbers in 7-on-7 tournaments in Niagara Falls and Hamilton earlier this offseason.  "It was good to get Christian some meaningful reps at this level", commented offensive coordinator Ben Grant.  "He's been working with most of the receivers for a few months now, but it's a different game with pads on."

Defensively, with five or six projected starters on the sideline, Coach Price got a chance to see a number of incoming juniors contribute.  Under the tutelage of veterans Steven Orzel and Rowan Hancocks, sophomores Evan McCullough and Davyn Webster-Cho came up with some big plays.  "We were pretty short up front today", said Price, "actually most of our offensive linemen were playing both ways, which isn't ideal, so we struggled a bit against the run, but our young guys looked great for where they are in the learning process."

Preseason training camp starts up on Wednesday, August 23rd, with practices running from 9am-11am through to the start of the school year.

The Spartans are looking to rebound this season after falling to St. Marcellinus in the Semi-Finals last year.  It was the first time Lorne Park missed out on the Championship Game since 2012.

ROPSSAA Tier 1, arguably the toughest league in Ontario, will have a similar look this season, though Meadowvale and St. Augustine are expected to drop to Tier 2, while the David Suzuki Grizzlies will likely be promoted following their Tier 2 Championship win last season.

 

 

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