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Dec 10, 2017 - 2017 Lorne Park Football Banquet
2017 Lorne Park Football Banquet
The Junior and Senior teams put a bow on their historic 2017 football seasons with an evening of celebration at the 59th annual Lorne Park Spartans Football Banquet, put together by the Lorne Park Boosters.
The captains of both teams unveiled their championship ring designs, Lorne Park's ROPSSAA All-Stars were honoured, there was a pre-screening of the 2017 Junior and Senior highlight videos, individual award winners were presented with trophies, all players were presented with championship medals, and a lot of good food was consumed.
At Lorne Park, jackets and rings are only ordered when a team wins the Peel championship. With the last Junior ROPSSAA title in 2012, and the last Senior ROPSSAA title in 2014, there were no jackets or rings in the school these past three months for the first time since the fall of 1994. After a championship win, the team captains design both the jackets and the rings. The two ring designs were unveiled to parents and players at the beginning of the banquet.
For the first time in several years, ROPSSAA brought back their Football All-Star Team. Six Spartans were selected to the 24-man team, including QB Christian Smodis, OL Riley Birch, WR Will Manko, DL Cal Duncan, LB Luke Tejerina, and DB Chris Haggart. Additionally, Christian Smodis was voted League MVP, an incredible honour for the grade 11 pivot who quickly played his way out of Alex Lavric's shadow.
The Junior Football individual award winners were as follows:
Dave Turner Offensive MVP Award - Nolan Dillingham / Liam Bowman
Most Valuable Defensive Player - Max Ramsay / Max Henry
Manny Castillo Special Teams MVP Award - Francis St. Onge
Colin Guthrie Award - Zander Castro Wiese
Most Valuable Lineman - Dougal Graham
Coach's Award - Shadi Abdelmalik
Most Valuable Freshman - Liam Ventresca
Junior Team Managers - Spencer Robson, Bish Sunner, Maya Ivancevic and Sia Manolakis
The Senior Football individual award winners were as follows:
Offensive MVP - Will Manko
Defensive MVP - Chris Haggart
Most Valuable Lineman - Cal Duncan
Rick Millar Memorial Award - Rowan Hancocks
Doug Dixon Award - Jakob Page
Special Teams MVP - Luke Tejerina
Rookie of the Year - Christian Smodis
John Musselman Student Athlete Award - Duncan Rolston
Senior Team Managers - Maya Reynolds and Sydney Buchanan
Head of the Lorne Park Boosters - Christina Birch
For now, the locker rooms are empty and the football field is quiet as both teams celebrate their amazing accomplishments this season and catch up on schoolwork. But the offseason is always a short one at Lorne Park. Soon, graduating seniors will start considering their offers and committing to universities, and all returning players will be given their offseason workout schedules. As anyone who has won one can attest, the only thing more difficult than winning a ROPSSAA Championship is defending one.
Dec 8, 2017 - 2017 Lorne Park Championship Rings
2017 Lorne Park Championship Rings
The Lorne Park Spartans Junior Football Championship ring, designed by the team captains, is now avail to order by clicking the link below. All orders must be in by December 20th.
Dec 3, 2017 - A Perfect Finish
A Perfect Finish
The bells rang out on a crisp, fall day at St. Michael's, as ACDC bounced off the surrounding buildings at the field, it signified the entrance of the best Junior Football team in Ontario. The Lorne Park Spartans came to finish the job, finish the perfect season and finish what started as a challenge delivered to every LP football player at the banquet, the previous December. Can you be perfect? The answer delivered on Wednesday at St. Michael's was a resounding yes. The Spartans finished their final opponent, winning a hard fought Metrobowl Final 16 - 6 over Chaminade College.
The setting was a suitably dramatic and exciting one for a final, as the sizable crowds from both schools cheered on their teams and now all that was left was for the teams to do battle.
The Spartans offense opened the game with a terrific drive, resulting in a td run by Liam Bowman. It was a play that could have set the tone for the entire day but the joy was shortlived as a single orange flag lying on the field brought the play back. It was a reoccurring issue early for the Spartans, as the game was called very tightly and the Spartan offense had to overcome an avalanche of calls in the first quarter. The team struggled early with adapting with calls being made for the first time this season on certain plays, but adapt they had to and they were able to put together a scoring drive with Liam Bowman breaking through the superb tackling of Chaminade's secondary with the opening score. It seemed like the Spartans had found their footing and were now ready to let its explosive offense start rolling but it was not to be on this day. As one would hope for a final, the competition was not about to just roll over and allow for a blowout win. The offense had to fight for every yard and it was an absolute fist fight. The game always felt on the edge of a blowout but the final play just wasnt there on this day. The team had played a perfect game on Saturday vs Myer and it is always challenging to play two perfect games in a row. The offense ended the half with a terrific drive, going almost the length of the entire field on a 99 yard drive. The Oline consisting of Zander Castro Wiese, Carter Parsons, Dougal Graham, James Spalding and Liam Ventresca began to impose their will and handle the formidable defensive line. But a tough call on a quarterback sneak and some tight defense on a goaline run by Chey Charles, left the Spartans with a one point lead heading into half. Charles who was such a weapon all season, kept the Chaminade defense keying on him, allowing for the offense to flow. Charles will be a dominant receiver at the senior level next season. Many great teams who blow teams out all season would not be ready to handle a close game but it is the ability to remain calm and confident in the face of a real fight and some adversity which made this team different and this team a champion. In the second half the offense came out ready to dominate and when gameday captain Nolan Dillingham, playing banged up, scorched the defense for a long touchdown run and a penalty that he had earned with his play, the team went up by 10 and it was enough on this day to secure the championship. The offense was clinical in the fourth quarter, squeezing all the air out of the ball with time consuming drives. The wide receiver crew of Braden Jauernig, Ben Rendeiro, Kam Coovadia all worked on their blocking all season and it paid off in the final and Nathan DeMontagnac once gain putting in double duty, showed his reliable hands in the underneath passing game, although his ball security is still an area for improvement. All four young men will be superb senior players. It was a display of efficiency and grit that proved to anyone watching that the team was more than just a high flying offense that couldnt win a street fight. Complimenting the effort, focus and execution of the players was the work of the coaches on the offensive side of the ball, Coach Parsons, Coach Milos and Coach Rukavina all deserve a ton of credit for having an offense that could score 50 or grind out a first down in the trenches. It was a mentally tough and physically dominant offense and it made the Spartans a nightmare to play this season, as opposing head coaches mentioned all season.
The defense had to be at peak performance with a collection of playmakers on the Chaminade side. The defense faced a well coached and speedy passing offense, with the ability to use a power run game as well. It was a formidable challenge but this group was not intimidated by anyone on the field. On the field, Lorne Park's defense dictates how a game is going to go for the opposition. As a starting unit, the defense had given up 13 points in 11 games and today was not going to be the first day it was not ready to ball. The defense absolutely came to play and it started on the defensive line. The strength began with nose tackle Zander Castro Wiese who really was the load supporting wall of the entire team. Castro Wiese simply dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Surrounding him was a collection of young men who simply would not allow for interior run or sweeps to be successful, it wasn't easy with physical crack blocks and hand fighting but Mason Tonks, Kofi Danso, Dougal Graham and Carr Hogan, absolutely held the line and let the linebackers do their work. Carr "Lightning McQueen" Hogan in particular had a monster game in the interior line, firing off the line and getting his hands up to block numerous pass attempts. Coach VanAlstine had to be proud of the work his lineman put in on this day. The linebacker due of Liam Jeewan and Max Henry had a lot of asked on them this day, to blitz, to read pass, and to watch for screens. It was a lot to ask of just two players, but both were superb all game, a tribute to the work Coach English had put in with them all season. Henry spent a great deal of the game getting pressure on the quarterback and taking away his deep throws, by speeding up his passing motion and Henry had a huge recognition and tackle of a screen play that would have gone for a long distance had he not swatted the ball down. Liam Jeewan who improved on every snap all season, showed his basketball skills with his footwork and vision when dropping into coverage, making several huge plays, including a textbook zone breakup of an underneath crossing route. And in the end it was the defensive backs who controlled the air and punished the receivers who made the mistake of coming down with a ball. Shadi Abdelmalik, again patrolling centerfield like a shark in shallow waters, just looking to pounce, took away any hope that Chaminade had of a homerun play. Cornerback Brady Farquharson delivered two dramatic interceptions, with a goalline pick in the first half that changed the momentum of the game and the pick to end the game. It was a dominant performance in the biggest game of the season. Nathan DeMontagnac also shone as a db, locking down Chaminade's best receiver all game, and delivering two huge plays, a massive hit to the running back on a sweep that might have gone for a td without the boundary being protected and an interception early in the second half that helped cool down any momentum the opposition was building. The final compliments have to go to the halfback assassin duo of Noel Hancocks and Max Ramsay. The punishment of the ferocity of their tackles and desire to win was what gave the defense its signature. They could play zone and outthink you or in the box and out hit you. They made the entire machine work and both were the type of players that a coach dreams of having, and to have both was simply an embarrassment of riches for Coach Moynihan.
And in the third and equally valuable facet of the game, the special teams were dominant as they had been all season. The kickoff unit, led by Chey Charles impressive leg, boomed a kick when needed and squibbed when it was smarter, but always successfully and the tackling and breakdowns were precise, as was needed against two very talented returners. But the special team mvp of the day was definitely Francis St. Onge who converted both his point afters, an overlooked but vital part of the game, it gave the Spartans the lead heading into the half. But St. Onge really stood out with two field flipping, game changing punts, that pinned the opposition and allowed the defense to play to its strengths, forcing Chaminade to try and drive the entire field. It was a terrific and clutch performance from St. Onge.
A final recognition must also go to all the players who did not get into the game on Wednesday but without whom the team would not have been there. The strength of the LP program is in the number of players who come out for the team. The loyalty and dedication shown by the players who would not get a lot of playing time in the playoffs but who helped the team prepare did not go unnoticed.
As the season has now come to an end, a deeply felt thank you must go to the work of the Team Managers: Maya Ivancevic, Sia Manolakis, Bish Sunner and Spencer Robson. These four amazing young men and women were absolutely vital in the success of the team this season. From helping to organize road trips so nothing important was forgotten before or after the game; filming the games; getting supplies, equipment during practices. They were all so conscientious, reliable and efficient it made for a stress free season in many ways. Their dedication in any weather and the time they volunteered was and is deeply appreciated.
As the final recap, I would like to thank Coach Grant for all his work with the website, and once again Christina Birch for her amazing gameday photos and to all the parents and guardians and family members who have been so great cheering us on at home and on the road and being so flexible and understanding with everything we ask of their sons.
The team now prepares to play no one! As all have been defeated. It was an incredible grind of games in a short period of time and the rest the guys get now is well deserved.
The Lorne Park Football Banquet will be held on Thursday, December 7 at 6:00pm at Lorne Park. It is a terrific celebration of all the hard work all the junior and senior players put in during the season. Parents and family are invited and encouraged to attend. All players already have a ticket; additional tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased by sending money in with a player by Monday or purchased at the door by sending me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, confirming your intent to attend. The dress code for the banquet is semi-formal.
To all who read these recaps, thank you for your support and thank you for being a part of the perfect Lorne Park 2017 football season.
Nov 27, 2017 - Spartans Earn Spot in Metro Bowl Final
Spartans Earn Spot in Metro Bowl Final
Cold northern winds and a hint of snow blew across the perfect St. Michael's field; surrounded by the towering buildings and the noise of the city it was the setting for a terrific display of football from the Lorne Park Spartans. Lorne Park came out ready to earn their spot in the final, and a full team effort resulted in a 46 - 0 victory over Niagara's football power, AN Myer.
It was clear from the start of the game, that the offense was going to be too much for Myer to handle on this day. The offensive line took on the size and speed of Myer with courage and skill and simply would not let the opponent dictate how the game would go. Carter Parsons and Zander Castro Wiese once again were absolutely dominant, opening lanes for Bowman and Charles and giving Dillingham time to let deep pass routes develop. The return of Liam Ventresca was a huge addition for the unit as well, and Ventresca was superb in his comeback game. A special notice must also go to lineman James Spalding who had to take on a superb athlete from Myer as his counterpart on the defensive line. Spalding wasnt always successful but his work helped the team jump out to an early lead. The offense which has been a force all season was in top form on the cold Saturday afternoon in Toronto. Liam Bowman was once again absolutely dominant on turf, finding lanes and punishing would be tacklers with his cuts and stiff arms. And although many on the team want to yell at him, he has never been anything but an absolute leader on the field. His determination to turn every run into a scoring play feeds the team's energy and it is a huge part of the success the team has experienced this season. Chey Charles, not to be outdone by his counterpart in the backfield was a difference maker for the Spartans in the semifinal as well. Charles who is deadly in the pass game and in goaline packages, helped set the game out of reach. The organizers of the day chose Nolan Dillingham as MVP for the game and the reason continued to be his superb passing and running combinations. Dillingham had gorgeous throws to Nathan DeMontagnac and Francis St. Onge who both had terrfic catches in the endzone.
With the offense, rolling the defense set out to take care of their side of the ball, and take care of it they did. Myer had playmakers and were not an easy team to keep under wraps but the defense was suffocating and precise all game. The defensive backfield was ready to go with an avalanche of interceptions led free safety Shadi ET Abdelmalik whose smooth footwork and lightning fast speed made him a danger to every deep pass Myer attempted. Nathan DeMontagnac, playing both ways again this game, had the closest shot at a defensive pick six, with a terrific play and return on a pass attempt to Myer's best receiver. Brady Farquharson also got into the action, showing the drive, length and aggression that earned him a starting position on the defense. It was a terrific performance by the db's in the air and gameday captain Noel Hancocks was absolutely solid in run support. Myer had a dual threat quarterback as well and it was the work of linebackers Max Henry, Max Ramsay and Liam Jeewan who contained the quarterback and made him pay the price on every run he attempted. Ramsay in particular had a huge sack to help end a drive by Myer and end any chance of a score by the opposition. The defensive line had a terrific day as well, with Kofi Danso having an outstanding game at outside end and Mason Tonks was reliable and focused as any coach could ask for on the opposite end of the line. The duo set the edge all afternoon and sent plays back into the waiting tackles of the linebacker flow. It was an impressive performance by the defense and a tribute to their talent and focus, as the team only had a few days to prepare in this compressed and exciting playoff run.
The entire team celebrated the victory, winning the Southeast Conference Championship, but the goal is still the game on Wednesday. The Spartans will now face off against the talented Chaminade Gryphons in the Metro Nowl Final on Wednesday, November 29 at 1:00pm, once again at the St. Michael's College School field. Tickets are available at the door for fans, with the cost again being 3.00 for students and 6.00 for adults.
Nov 24, 2017 - Spartans Win Metro Bowl Quarter Final
Spartans Win Metro Bowl Quarter-Final
On a perfect fall day, with the wind drying out the muddy field of Lorne Park, the Spartans battled against a terrific Nelson team in Metro Bowl Quarterfinal action on Tuesday. Both teams had gone undefeated during the season and the quality of the game was evidence of that, as both teams played physical and smart football, but on this day, the Spartans were better, coming out with a 35 - 7 victory, earning a spot in the Metro Bowl Semifinals.
The first half was a new experience for Lorne Park, as Nelson plays four down football, so the team had to adjust to the change in strategy and play. The offense got off to a slow start, which was to be expected against a well coached and athletic Nelson squad. The line held up well against the pass rush, but players had a challenge getting open and the run game was an uphill battle. But the offense was confident, knowing that it had too many weapons, too much talent and too much pride to not get going on home turf. An early turning point in the game came on a superb long run by Nolan Dillingham, a run that energized the team and let Nelson know what they were going to face for the rest of the game. Nathan DeMontagnac also delivered a galvanizing moment with a terrific catch and physical finish to his run on the sideline that let Nelson know that the offense was not going to be pushed around. The team, playing behind for the first time this season, would not be denied at the end of the first half, banging in a score to tie the game. The first half of four down football survived, the team was now ready to get going. The second half would be all Lorne Park, as Francis St. Onge delivered 6 with his trademark double catch in the endzone, Chey Charles punished the two way players with his inside runs and Liam Bowman, as has been the case all season, simply would not be denied the endzone. Bowman's touchdown runs solidified the lead and had the team feeling like its own self again. Although often overlooked, it was a superb game from the Spartan's offensive line unit. Zander Castro Wiese, was an absolute game changer on both defensive and offensive line, his skill, strength and will changed the momentum of the game. Carter Parsons and Dougal Graham, who never came off the field, were also standouts, helping give Dillingham the time to throw and delivering the blocks on runs. Kam Coovadia also had a big run for the team as it began to put the game out of reach.
The defense was again faced with stopping a superb offense but they were ready for the challenge. Nelson's smash mouth offensive style in the first half was a test of the team's desire for physicality and stamina but there was never any doubt. The defense took glee in the opportunity to play such physical football, making every Nelson player pay the price on every carry. Max Henry, Liam Jeewan and Max Ramsay controlled the middle of the field and met the power package head on, down after down in a brutal first half. The defense spent most of the first half on the field, but they would not allow excuses or fatigue to stop them from doing their job. Nelson scored early on a beautiful deep ball, that was well defended but expertly caught and turned into a touchdown score, but they would not let up another point the rest of the game. Gameday captain, Shadi Abdelmalik patrolled the deep portion of the field, keeping the deep pass weapon of Nelson in check and finally after a few close calls closed the door with an interception. Nathan DeMontagnac, also doing double duty had a tough assignment but kept his man on an island...most of the time. Aaron Aria, despite a potential mismatch, had his side locked and Noel Hancocks continued to be the silent assassin of the team, absolutely punishing any Nelson player who came his way. However, no discussion of the defense is complete without the praise that must go to the defensive line, who held the line of scrimmage all afternoon, not easy against a power offense. Carr Hogan and Dougal Graham were outstanding as guys going both ways. It is a lot to ask of them and they both do it with skill and determination and Mason Tonks, the lineback\lineman hybrid had the play of the game for the defense, snatching the Nelson quarterback's lateral pass out of the air and screaming down the middle of the field; there was no chance anyone was going to catch Tonks on this day, and there was no chance anyone was going to be blocked in the back. It was a terrific moment for a key cog in the defense and it sealed the win for the Spartans.
The win was a sweet one, as Nelson is one of the best football programs in Southern Ontario. The Metro Bowl Quarterfinal MVP was awarded to Zander Castro Wiese who inspired and grinded in both trenches for the team.
The team now moves on to play another football power, A.N. Myer in the Metro Bowl Semifinal on Saturday, November 25 at 2:00pm at St. Michael's College School at 1515 Bathurst Street, Toronto. It is an incredible achievement for the boys to have made it this far and all fan support would be greatly appreciated at the game. Tickets, which can be purchased at the gate are $3.00 for students and $6.00 for adults.
Nov 18, 2017 - Spartans Achieve Perfection
Spartans Achieve Perfection
With a cold November rain and wind whipping across the pristine turf of Centennial Stadium, the Lorne Park Spartans finished the job, completing a perfect season with a hard fought 35 - 9 victory over St. Marcellinus on Thursday. The win completed a sweep for the Football program in 2017 and a return to the podium for the first time for the Junior program in 5 years. The Spartans marched on to the field with the confidence of a team that knew it was good and knew it was ready for the big stage. As they waited on the 45 for their opponent to join them, the team felt at home at the Stadium. As the starting lineups were called out, with varying auditory success, the Spartans were relaxed and anxious to finally play ball.
As is the case sometimes, the score was not representative of the competitiveness of the final, as long time rival St. Marcellinus were well prepared for the game. The Spartan offense got off to a slow start with a turnover on the first series but there was no panic on the Spartan sideline, as the confidence of a great regular season calmed everyone's nerves. The pass rush of Marcellinus was a significant issue for the Spartans, but superb offensive line play from Carter Parsons, Zander Castro Wiese, Dougal Graham and Liam Ventresca helped settle things and let the offense get its balance. One of the key moments in the game came early, as the offense drove the length of the field, taking nearly the entire first quarter for a score. It helped calm the nerves and the team settled into the familiar position of being in front, as they did not trail in a game this season. The gusting winds definitely slowed down the high flying passing attack of the Spartans but the superb blocking of Ben "big shoes" Rendeiro and Francis St. Onge helped the team gain ground on the drive. But as is the always the case in winning football, big players make big plays in big games and the Spartans big players, Nolan Dillingham, Liam Bowman and Chey Charles simply refused to lose, it was clear to everyone at the game. Each had a touchdown for but it was the effort and drive they showed on every play, fighting for yards, taking on significant contact without losing the ball and scorching the defense when a seam appeared was the difference maker. Dillingham simply dominated the defense with his runs, finishing off each with the physicality that is so rare for a qb but a trademark of the Lorne Park quarterback and gameday captain. Chey Charles once again showed why he is a key component of the offense with his smooth running style and his leadership on the field, his confidence and swag was contagious for the offense and it gave them an edge that is often missing from that side of the ball. And as Coach Moynihan knew, Nate "six" DeMontagnac had a huge touchdown catch for the Spartans. No one on the team is more money in the endzone than Nate and he had a highlight catch, fighting off pass interference to come up with the touchdown catch. The second half was a struggle for the team, as it was down two offensive linemen but solid work from Jacob Kacira and Mayar Turunji kept things going ok for the team. It was a terrific full game performance by the offense.
The defense had its hands full as well, with a motivated Marcellinus team who were driven to make up for the earlier season loss to Lorne Park. They came out running out of a power formation, giving the Spartans D some fits as they had not played a team all season that controlled the line of scrimmage. But the defense was up for the challenge, they responded with calm confidence and bone rattling tackles from half backs Noel Hancocks and Max Ramsay. The biggest change in the second matchup was having to control QB Chad Owens on the turf, his speed and cuts were a major challenge for the linebackers but they kept Owens under wraps and were able to keep Marcellinus off the scoreboard in the first half. Max Henry and Liam Jeewan had the unenviable task of not over pursuing and they did their job admirably. Jeewan also shone in pass coverage, making two fantastic plays on passes in the second half, to stop a drive that unfortunately was extended through penalties and flags, putting Marcellinus on the goalline. It would be the only score of the game for the opponent. The defense came up huge time and time again, showing resilience after giving up yardage and tightening up as they moved closer to their own endzone. The series of the game was a goalline stand in the fourth quarter, with a terrific pass breakup by Aaron Aria and great penetration by the defensive line. The secondary kept the passing game under control, giving up short passes but never a deep play. The defense simply accomplished what they did all season, providing the ball to the offense with good field position and stops all game.
The championship was won with top performance in all three areas, offense, defense and special teams. Chey Charles absolutely buried Marcellinus with his booming kickoffs, and the kick off team followed each up with perfect breakdown and wrap up. The kickoff return team, put away all onside kick attempts with confident hands and thankfully one quick whistle. St. Onge went perfect on point afters, one being an absolutely terrific effort by holder DeMontagnac and St. Onge to convert on a tough snap; and on the back breaking play of the game, Liam Bowman and the punt return team, absolutely put the dagger in, with a 110 yard punt return, a run that electrified the crowd and the team. Bowman's acceleration and vision and a monster clean block from LB Mason Tonks resulted in the play of the game, with a lone Marcellinus player who managed to track Bowman down, but was unable to react to the cuts he made in the final 20 yards.
The boys earned this championship. Starting in April of last year with the lbs, dbs and wrs practicing for and playing in two seven on seven tournaments; with the returning tens putting in work the last week of August; with every day of practice, every moment of fitness; lunch time meetings/practices and with their commitment to the program.
A special notice must also go to the superb coaching staff that makes the team the machine it has become. Offensive coordinator Mike Parsons was the mastermind behind the high powered offense all season and his football knowledge, coaching ability, and positive attitude was a huge part of the team's success all season. Wide receivers coach Milos Arsic created a tough, skilled group of receivers who knew their job, could run tight routes, block effectively and catch the ball when it needed to be caught. Offensive line coach David Rukavina, a long time coach and friend of the program at Lorne Park, absolutely saved the day by coming in to coach the absolutely vital position of offensive line. Simply put, the team would not have been able to win without his help. On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker coach Brian English had a squad that was flowed to the ball, could drop into pass coverage and who hit with aggression, his work with them and the punt return team was crucial. And on the defensive line, coach Brian Van Alstine created a group who could hold the line with power or speed to the quarterback. His football on a stick was also a great addition to every practice. Running a successful program without these men volunteering their time and expertise, simply is not possible. A coach could not ask for a better coaching staff.
A huge thank you as well to the team photographer and all around superstar for the program Christina Birch who made all the additional aspects of being on the team, from swag to fundraisers to the pictures for these stories happen.
In a lunch time meeting in the lecture hall in June, Dillingham, a receiver in Grade 9, agreed to take on the responsibility of being quarterback, with a guarantee from Coach Moynihan that it would mean he would lead us to a ROPSSAA championship and Dillingham fulfilled this guarantee. It was the goal from the banquet the previous year and hard work and dedication made sure the talent of the team was not wasted.
Having said all this, the season is not over for the Junior Spartans! With the ROPSSAA title, comes an invitation to the Junior Metro Bowl, a playoff of the best junior teams in Southern Ontario. The Spartans now play in the quarterfinals taking on Nelson High School in the Cage at Lorne Park at 1:00pm on Tuesday, November 21. The team would love for fans of the team to come out and cheer them against the talented team from Burlington.
Nov 15, 2017 - Spartans Victorious in Semifinal
Spartans Victorious in Semifinal
The grip of winter began to take hold with a damp, cold Monday afternoon in the Cage. The Lorne Park Spartans were once again head to head with a talented and physical team from St. Aquinas, but this time in an elimination game, with the winner heading to the ROPSSAA Final.
The teams were very familiar with each other, having met up in the regular season finale and the familiarity caused some chipiness but it was a good competitive playoff game between two talented teams. The Spartans came out on top with a 47 - 6 victory but it was a much better football game than the score might suggest.
The offense had their hands full with an aggressive Cardinal pass rush and a muddy field for traction but once again the team could rely on the arm of Nolan Dillingham and the deep squad of quality recievers the team is lucky to have. It was a day of insane catches, kicked off with Braden Jauernig showing off his concentration and hands with a superb contested catch in the endzone. Few junior receivers would have the ability to catch a ball in double coverage but Jauernig is not like most receivers; he has impressed all season with his route running and focus and it paid off with the touchdown. Unbelievably it was not even the best catch of the day for him, as he followed it up with an absolute stunning highlight catch that any Senior receiver would be proud of, tracking down a deep ball thrown by a scrambling Dillingham. Not to be outdone, Francis St. Onge competed for the catch of the day with a terrific tip up and secured catch, that reminded Patriot fans in the crowd of the Kearse Superbowl catch. The catch was again a tribute to the concentration and effort of a Spartan receiver. The ground game was also a little slow getting started but it was once again the downhill running and superb vision of Chey Charles that started to break the defense down. Charles consistently earned yards that helped the offense get a rhythm. The offensive line worked well in a tough situation, the opponent was rushing without fear but Carter Parsons and Liam Ventresca both held their own and James Spalding continued to develop in both the pass and run game. As the team built in confidence, tailback Liam Bowman added the final shots with long scoring runs that helped build up the lead to the point of no return for the opponent. Bowman who leads the team in scores and most times booed by his teammates, put on a show and took over the semifinal, putting the team on his back.
The defense held up their end of the bargain with a strong performance. The linebacker unit of Max Henry, Liam Jeewan, Mason Tonks and Carr Hogan set the edge and controlled the run and prevented the skilled Cardinal backs any time to make a read or a cut. The defensive line also had a great day with gameday captain Kofi Danso, slicing into the backfield consistently causing problems for the Aquinas offense. Dougal Graham's skill and speed is so consistent, it can be easy to take it for granted but he is a special player and he once again showed why he is a force on the field, tracking down the quarterback and running backs, with speed rarely associated with a defensive lineman. And the final piece to the front 7 was rookie Liam Ventresca who showed why he is a player who will go on to great things on the football field. Ventresca has quick feet and heavy hands, and the Spartans are glad he is on our side. The defensive backfield had a good day, with Noel Hancocks absolutely crushing runs in pursuit mode and his blitzes caused consistent problems for the quarterback and the offense. Free safety Shadi Abdelmalik continued his ball hawking with a textbook high pointing and although Max Ramsay was not in a position to grab one on the day, Nolan is aware of his ball hawking prowess.
The oft discussed and soon to be awarded Pump Players of the Game were: Liam Bowman who took whom the offensive award with a 4 touchdown day, a case that is hard for anyone to argue with. The Pump Defensive Player of the Game was Noel Hancocks, who continues to make his way toward the title of best Hancocks playing at Lorne Park.
It was a slow start with some sloppy moments but a solid team win is not to be dismissed and this was a good team win in a semifinal. The Spartans are now preparing for the final, a rematch with a talented St. Marcellinus team on Thursday, November 16 at 11:00am at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke. Any adult over the age of 12, who would like to come cheer on the team need to purchase a $7.00 ticket through the team at school, as no tickets will be sold at the door. The team hopes that a great turnout from the school and community comes to cheer on the guys who have put in the work and time to try and achieve the goal.
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