(Ottawa Sooners Bantam team – Winners of the Ontario Provincial Football League and the World Youth Football Championship – North Atlantic Regionals. Photos: Tammy Carter.)
The team calls the Megadome Sooners-CECCE d’Ottawa located at Stittsville’s Paul Desmarais Secondary School their home and 26 Ottawa Sooners Bantam players who play there have won the World Youth Football Championship – North Atlantic Regionals in Philadelphia. The team won the Ontario Provincial Championship during the summer to qualify the team to compete in the North Atlantic Regionals.
With a 32-6 win over the Ridge Red Devils of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, in the Regionals, this all-important win earns the Bantam Sooners the once in a lifetime opportunity to compete in the World Youth Football Championship (WYFC) at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The Bantam Sooners are the first Canadian team to qualify for the WYFC being held from December 11 to 15, 2019 and the team is ready to take on the United States.
The team roster is represented by players aged 13 and 14 from across the Ottawa region and from as far away as Cornwall —
- Stittsville-Kanata team members: Dylan Allarie; Dante Clark; Wes Fahey; Nathan Ferrar; Martin Kassahun; Josh Kibbee; Owen Kibbee; Sheldon Marcus; Malcolm McEvoy; Cyril Shinagrov; and Joshua Thelen
- Barrhaven-Nepean team members: Joe Cama; Rocco Crupi; Owen Lavigne; Jerry Momo; Logan Paulin; and Jacob Saumier
- West Carleton team members: Simon Briggs; Keegan Brunet; and Carter Kaspardlov
- Richmond team members: Jack Ashby-Jacobs; Darcy Castellarin; and Caleb Munro
- Gloucester team members: Jackob Branton and Dylan Nakamura
- Cornwall team member: Xavier Uhr
“This is a special opportunity for our 26 players, the coaching staff and the Ottawa Sooners Football Club”, stated Head Coach Warren Steeves. “In reality, this is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for these kids, who will never forget these moments.” “The chance to play for a U.S. National Championship is one thing for U.S. teams but something monumental for a Canadian team to compete against our American counterparts,” added Head Coach Warren Steeves. “The iconic Pro Football Hall of Fame is a dream come true for retired NFL players and a dream come true for our players.”
“Get the word out and let’s get these players a chance to bring home a US championship title and memories for a lifetime!!” said excited Mom, Tammy Carter.
Coach Steeves went on to emphasize, “While the players and staff are incredibly excited by this opportunity, the length and distance of a trip of this nature was not budgeted for, so we are looking for local businesses and partners for help us raise the money to make this trip possible … any little bit helps, sharing the link helps and is greatly appreciated by players, staff and parents.”
As the timeline to departure is extremely tight, sponsors are being sought to provide financial support to the team in offsetting some of the travel costs. If you are a business owner or work for a business or an individual that would like to support the team, a GoFundMe page has been set-up by Team Manager, Christine Lavigne. To support the team visit — https://www.gofundme.com/f/ottawa-sooners-u14-football-team or you can email Christine at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ottawa Sooners, established in 1960, have been a mainstay of the Ottawa football landscape. The Sooners were National Junior Football Champions (1974, 1979, 1984, 1992), ORFU League Champions (1970) and Quebec Junior Football League Champions (1997, 2001, 2002).