Week 10: November 11
win N.B. football title
Running back leaves hospital to help spark teammates
celebrate their 10-7 win over the Fredericton High Black Kats in
Saturday's New Brunswick High School Football League final at Rocky
Stone Memorial Field.
Just four days before the MacNaughton Highlanders
were to play for a New Brunswick championship, the outlook didn't look
They were underdogs to the defending champion and unbeaten Fredericton
High Black Kats long before a serious car accident injured four of their
top players on Tuesday.
But in one of the most exciting New Brunswick High School Football
League championship games in recent years, the Highlanders rode a wave
of emotions and captured the provincial 12-man division title with a
10-7 win over Fredericton High in front of about 2,000 spectators
Saturday night at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.
MacNaughton slotback/cornerback Dylan Hollohan and defensive back Morgan
Dickie both recovered from their injuries in the accident to get into
the lineup and each made big plays. All-star quarterback Eric Daigle,
who took nearly every snap all season long for the Highlanders before
breaking his throwing hand in the accident, wanted to help out his team
and played on special teams and at fullback. And running back K.J.
MacNeil, the most seriously injured of the four players, got out of the
hospital in time Saturday to watch the game and spoke to his team
briefly at halftime before MacNaughton went out and pulled off the
With the game tied 7-7 in the fourth quarter, the Highlanders, with
MacNeil's No. 28 on each of their helmets, marched down field and Nathan
Cormier - a workhorse at running back all night for MacNaughton - kicked
a 15-yard field goal with 4:07 remaining to lift the Highlanders to
their second Ed Skiffington Trophy. They also beat Fredericton High for
the 2004 title.
"It was a rough week, but on a positive note those four guys were
on our mind. K.J. told us at halftime to 'pull through boys, pull
through' and that really boosted our morale and the guys pulled
through," said Cormier, a Grade 12 running back who also handled
kicking duties for MacNaughton.
"When we were marching down the field for that field goal, it was a
combination of the guys seeing K.J. and also putting Eric in at fullback
that really led us down the field," added Highlanders head coach Ed
Wasson. "It brought just a little extra motivation to get the job
The game was a defensive battle between the top two teams in the
province with few offensive big plays.
MacNaughton had one late in the first quarter when Cormier broke loose
from the Highlanders' own end for a 95-yard run. That set up a 16-yard
touchdown pass from Grade 10 rookie quarterback Scott Kelly, playing in
place of Daigle in his first ever high school league quarterback start,
to Nick Kaminsky just inside the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Black Kats made the most of one of their few trips to the red zone late
in the second quarter. After repeated shots at the end zone, star
quarterback Andrew Hickey found Elliot Thompson on a six-yard touchdown
strike and the game was tied 7-7.
Fredericton High came into the game with the league's best offence led
by Hickey, the Western Conference player of the year, but it was
MacNaughton's defence which rose to the challenge Saturday.
Hickey, a strong scrambler, was able to roll out and find receivers with
short passes, but never did come up with the big play the Black Kats
needed. Series after series the Highlanders defence kept him in check.
Ed McNally. Justin Cook. Bryce Wade. Justin Merrithew. Ben Lass. They
all made big plays.
"Our defence played the game of our lives. We knew it was going to
be a defensive game and we knew Fredericton would be tough, but our
coaches prepared us for this game like something I've never seen
before," said McNally, a Grade 11 linebacker who was named
defensive player of the game.
"I've never felt like this ever before. I've won provincial
championships in hockey twice and this is way better."
Cormier was named the Highlanders' offensive player of the game, but he
had help on this day. Kelly, the Grade 10 rookie, played with the
composure of a veteran and gave his team a chance to win.
"Scott Kelly had a few reps at the start of the year and wasn't
sure how he'd do, but the coaches helped him out," Cormier said.
"His first game was for a provincial title and he pulled through.
That's something else."
Fredericton High had its chance for a comeback in the final minutes.
Hickey marched his team down field to set up a 40-yard field goal
attempt by Zac Cann with 44 seconds left to play. It was just short.
"I'm just in shock right now. We didn't play our best game today
and MacNaughton played really well," Hickey said.
"Their defence was just amazing. We hadn't faced anyone like them
this year. They saw what we had and adjusted well throughout the game
and did what they had to do to win."
Meanwhile, the Harbour View Vikings beat the St. Stephen High Spartans
28-21 in the 10-man division final.
Vikings get the job done
Harbour View uses balanced attack to capture 10-man
SAINT JOHN - Harbour View Vikings coach Mike
Murphy says when his players lined up with championship medals dangling
from their necks he felt tears surfacing at the corner of his eyes.
"Just looking at those kids, I was so happy for them," said
Murphy. "They were smiling, cheering and yelling, they could hardly
contain themselves and that's when I almost teared up... All I needed
was to watch the expressions on their faces and enjoy the moment. They
really worked hard."
With a glimmer of determination in their eyes the Vikings took down the
St. Stephen Spartans 28-21 for the New Brunswick High School Football
League's 10-man championship Saturday in Moncton.
Last week in an interview, Murphy said if his team played as good
defensively as the Spartans they would win the game hands down. And
that, he said, is exactly what happened.
"We just took away their big plays, we took away their passing
game, and even though they have a strong running game with Joel Wilcox,
that hurt us, but we never let them have a big run," said Murphy.
"It was the best I ever saw our defence work."
But defence was not the only thing the coach said was bang on.
"St. Stephen's defence could not focus on any one player and that
was really the key," said Murphy. "We just had so many options
with John McNabb as fullback, Mike Curwin and Jeremy Monaghan at
tailback, plus Jordan Blizzard as quarterback that really just gave us
four good runningbacks and made us hard to defend because when they
brought the pressure on the outside we could just sent someone up the
middle, and they had the speed to do it."
Blizzard faked it to the middle and ran it outside for five yards to
score the first touchdown of the game. Monaghan kicked for the one point
conversion making the score 7-0 after the first quarter.
The Vikings took the lead in the first quarter and kept it throughout
the game. In the second quarter McNabb scored on a five-yard run up the
middle and Monaghan kicked the conversion.
"McNabb carried three guys into the endzone with him," Murphy
But before the halftime whistle blew, the Spartans made a comeback as
Daniel Marshall scored on a seven-yard sweep around the right.
Quarterback Matt Sode kicked the conversion to make it 14-7 at the half.
In the third, Monaghan scored on a counter play for 12 yards and kicked
his own conversion.
"We called him (Monahan) the thunder from down under because he was
from Australia," said Murphy. "He is the toughest kid I've
With a 21-7 lead, the game wasn't over yet. Player of the year and
Spartans running back Joel Wilcox took control of the game and scored a
touchdown around the left side for five yards, and had his conversion
With a 21-13 lead into the fourth, Monaghan made another strong move,
scoring on a 12-yard sweep and converting the play to make it 28-13.
Murphy never likes to play the game like he's winning, but said early in
the fourth, he could taste the victory.
With 18 seconds left on the clock Wilcox scored again and ran in his
conversion for two points. The score stood at 28-21 but the Vikings got
posession of the ball and ran out the clock for the win.
"I think my heart bounced more than that football in the end,"
said Murphy, adding it was the longest 18 seconds of his life.
"Then there was a pandemonium, they were jumping together out in
the field and I was afraid someone was going to get hurt because they
just went nuts, jumping, screaming, hugging, thousands and thousands of
Hickey, Haley earn major football
Quarterback Andrew Hickey of Fredericton High School Black Kats and Will
Haley of Oromocto High Blues were among the major award winners in the
New Brunswick High School Football League this season.
Hickey was named player of the year in the western conference of the
league while Haley was presented with the Bill Glendenning Award for
academics and sportsmanship.
Among the west conference all-stars were Kats Hickey, OL Ben Thompson,
WR David Carr and Elliott Thompson, DL Fraser Boldon and LB Dan Reid.
Named from OHS were OL Brett Dingley, WR Zach Smith and Chris Hillier,
DL Will Martin and LB Matt Harmon. Selected from Leo Hayes High Lions
were RB Mitchel Cormier and LB Jake Thomas.
Spotlight shines on
Rookie quarterback gets the call for Highlanders in
today's title game
MacNaughton Highlanders quarterback Scott
Kelly winds up for a pass during practice ealier this week.
Highlanders host the Fredericton High Black Kats in today's provincial
final at 4:30 p.m. at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.
Scott Kelly didn't expect to get much sleep last
On the eve of his first ever New Brunswick High School Football League
quarterback start in the biggest game of his career, the Grade 10 rookie
had a lot on his mind.
Kelly's MacNaughton Highlanders play the defending champion Fredericton
High Black Kats in the 12-man division provincial final for the Ed
Skiffington Trophy today at 4:30 p.m. at Moncton's Rocky Stone Memorial
Highlanders are playing in the New Brunswick championship game for the
third time in their five-year 12-man division history.
The 10-man division Nick Desilets Memorial Trophy Game will feature the
Harbour View Vikings of Saint John and St. Stephen High Spartans at 1
p.m., also at Rocky Stone.
MacNaughton head coach Ed Wasson said yesterday Kelly will start at
quarterback in place of all-star Grade 12 starter Eric Daigle, one of
four Highlander players injured in a car accident earlier this week.
Initially, the team said all four players would miss today's game, but
Wasson said yesterday slotback/cornerback Dylan Hollohan and defensive
back Morgan Dickie have both recovered and will be in the lineup.
Daigle, who broke his throwing hand in the accident, will dress and may
see time on special teams and fullback.
Running back K.J. MacNeil, the most seriously injured of the four
players, remains in The Moncton Hospital in stable condition with head
Kelly, who played mostly slotback for MacNaughton this season, isn't a
novice. He quarterbacked the Moncton Highlanders to the New Brunswick
bantam championship a year ago.
"I'm feeling some pressure now. It was a big thing when Eric went
down, but I want to step up for him," Kelly, 15, said before the
team's final practice yesterday.
"Eric's a big part of the offence and it's some big shoes to fill,
but I'll do my best. I'll just do what the coaches tell me to do and do
the best I can."
Both the coaching staff and his teammates have confidence in their
"He'd be the guy I would choose from this whole team out of
everybody. At the start of the year he got me a little frightened and I
thought he might even take my spot, but he should do well for us,"
"Scott's a good athlete and good athletes make good plays out there
and that's what we expect him to do for us," Wasson added.
MacNaughton and Fredericton High have yet to meet this season, but know
each other well. Highlanders beat the Black Kats 13-9 for their first
ever New Brunswick championship in 2004, but Fredericton High came back
and eliminated MacNaughon in a semifinal last year en route to claiming
the provincial title over the Oromocto High Blues.
Black Kats finished first in the Western Conference regular season with
a 7-0 record. Highlanders were first in the Eastern Conference at 5-1-1.
Fredericton High is led by star quarterback and Western Conference
player of the year Andrew Hickey and a stingy defence which hasn't given
up a point in its last three games. Black Kats are 9-0 so far this
season and have outscored opponents 311-40. Highlanders have gone 7-1-1
and outscored opponents 273-40.
"I think they're going to be tough and a hard team to beat, but I
think we have a good chance," said Grade 12 linebacker Dan Barristo,
the lone remaining member of MacNaughton's 2004 championship team.
"More than anything, winning a championship takes a lot of heart
and we've showed a lot of heart this year and really want to win. Now,
it all comes down to this."
Highlanders will be thinking of their fallen teammate when they hit the
field today. The team visited MacNeil in hospital yesterday and
presented him with a signed team football and is hoping he is able to
attend today's game.
"K.J. is going to be in the back of my mind every time I get in
there and I'm just going to play my heart out because it's the last game
of the season and possibly the last game of my career," Daigle
"We'll be thinking of what happened this week and hopefully we can
turn bad things into good."
Hickey named best in West
Andrew Hickey has already won one major football
award this season. He'd like to make it two.
The Grade 12 quarterback leads the Fredericton High School Black Kats
into the New Brunswick High School Football League championship game
against the Bernice McNaughton Highlanders today at 4:30 p.m. already
wearing the title as the Most Valuable Player in the Western Conference.
Hickey was one of seven Black Kats named to the Western Conference
all-star team, along with offensive lineman Ben Thompson, receivers
David Carr and Elliot Thompson, linebacker Dan Reid, defensive lineman
Fraser Boldon and defensive back David Kingston.
Two players from the Leo Hayes St. Mary's Lions made the dream team,
including running back Mitchel Cormier and linebcker Jake Thomas, while
the Oromocto Art World Blues placed four players, including offensive
lineman Brett Dingley, receivers Zach Smith and Chris Hillier, and
defensive lineman Will Martin.
The Black Kats, who finished atop the Western Conference with a 7-0
record, will be seeking their second straight championship when they hit
the turf at Rocky Stone Field in Moncton today.
Football's brothers in
The St. Stephen Spartans hook up with Harbour View
Vikings in Saturday's 10-man division final
St. Stephen quarterback Matt
Sode is one of the key figures for the Spartans in Saturday's
provincial final against Harbour View.
SAINT JOHN - They have grown up together,
learned about life and football side by side and when the St. Stephen
Spartans step on any field, they fight as a family. And they usually
"Everybody on the field is like a brother to me," said running
back and provincial player of the year, Joel Wilcox. "Everybody on
the team is willing to give a 110 per cent every play because they want
it and they want it for the person next to them and they are willing to
put their body on the line."
With a 7-1 record, the Spartans are having the best season in their
history and when they face the Harbour View Vikings Saturday for the New
Brunswick High School Football League's 10-man division championship,
they plan to keep up their streak.
"As far as I'm concerned, we are the best team in the league and
the world as far as connection," said Wilcox. "The fact that
this is going to be my last game with all of these players is going to
make me want it that much more."
The Spartans beat JMA Armstrong in the semifinal 48-0. When the game was
over, coach of the year Tom Hart felt relieved. He said he went in
expecting to win and expects to win on Saturday.
On Sept. 30, they lost to the Vikings 34-27.
"They (Vikings) played well in the fourth quarter and they didn't
give up, they just went in and took it," said Hart. "We
weren't being aggressive enough, we were sitting back too much and
letting them come to us."
But Hart said his team learned from the loss and worked on attacking
blockers up field before they pick up speed.
Their hard work paid off, and on Oct. 28 they beat the Vikings 35-12.
Hart said his team is good at many things but team unity is his squad's
"We've had most of these guys since Grade 9 and 10, and every year
they are getting better and better and working harder," said Hart.
"We execute very well offensively, and defensively everyone has a
job to do and they do them. We are disciplined. Our team motto is every
play, every day. We go 100 per cent every day whether in a practice or a
With only 22 players on the team, most players have to play offensive
and defensive positions, and some play the whole game on both sides of
The key to their wins is their peak physical condition. Hart said he
works them hard in the weight room and his players practise hard, even
in the off season.
All-star quarterback Matt Sode said they just wear their rivals down
until they win.
Sode averages 100 passings yards a game and has rushed four touchdowns
and thrown for seven.
"We don't just have one player who comes through every play, we are
well rounded and we can put players in different positions and they'll
know their jobs," said Sode. "We don't have to worry, we are
When it comes to naming his team's best, Hart said he could nominate
half his team. But the name on the tip of his tongue was Wilcox.
"He's strong for us running the ball offensively and making tackles
As a running back, Wilcox averaged about 110 yards a game and scored 11
touchdowns. He is also the team's leading tackler, averaging about 10 a
"If you score a 30-yard touchdown, you know it is because your
teammates are making the right blocks," said Wilcox. "It's
such a great feeling knowing everyone is working to get that victory.
They (team) are always saying 'good play, good play,' but I'm always
saying 'I couldn't do it with out you.' It's a team sport not a one man
There is no doubt the team has the best defense in the league.
With 64 tackles and nine sacks, defensive all-star Brad Copping was also
one of Hart's picks.
"He's a big help to us, he's really just shut down some
teams," said Hart. "A lot of teams have a hard time handling
him. It takes two or three blockers and sometimes that's not
St. Stephen made it to the final last year and lost to Kennebecasis
Valley. This year, they are more prepared and more talented.
"We want it this year because we didn't lose a lot of players from
last year, but everybody on the team can remember how it felt to be in
the final game and how it felt to lose and they know how much everybody
wants it," said Wilcox.
Trojans capture top high
SAINT JOHN - The Harrison Trimble Trojans
didn't finish atop the New Brunswick High School Football League's
Eastern Conference standings. But they did capture two major awards.
Nicholas Kukkonen was named player of the year while the Trojans'
coaches received recognition as the coaching staff of the year.
In the Western Conference, Fredericton quarterback Andrew Hickey was
named most valuable player, while the Saint John Greyhounds' sideline
staff was named coaching staff of the year.
Following is a list of all the awards.
Offensive lineman of the year - Shawn Moores, MacNaughton; Defensive
lineman of the year - Preston Spence, Tantramar; Offensive player of the
year - Stephen Bohan, Tantramar; Defensive player of the year - Mike
Miller, Riverview. Eastern Conference all-stars: Offensive linemen -
Shawn Moores, MacNaughton; Brendan Wallace, MacNaughton; Dylan Tower,
Tantramar; Jordan Dole, Riverview; Tyler Gillcash, Harrison Trimble.
Quarterback - Eric Daigle, Harrison Trimble. Running backs - David
Arsenault, Harrison Trimble; Dan Fawcett, Riverview; Pierre Mouawad,
L'Odyssee. Receivers - Nick Kamensky, MacNaughton; Stephen Bohan,
Tantramar; Kevin Monaghan, Moncton; Calum Hardie, Tantramar; PK - Scott
LeBlanc, L'Odyssee; Punter - Andrew Lewis, Riverview. Defensive Linemen
- Justin Merrithew, MacNaughton; Preston Spence, Tantramar; Mark
Franklin, Harrison Trimble; Shawn Wallace, Moncton; Corey Gillcash,
Harrison Trimble; Linebackers - Ben Kinden, Harrison Trimble; Scott
MacDougall, Tantramar; Justin Cook, MacNaughton; Mike MacLeod,
Riverview; Tom Budd, Riverview. Defensive Backs - Nicholas Kukkonen,
Harrison Trimble; Devon Joyce, Tantramar; Bryce Wade, MacNaughton; Mike
Miller, Riverview; Punt returner - Greg Diamond, Riverview.
Most valuable offensive players - Kevin Morrell, Hampton; Joel Seale,
Saint John. Most valuable defensive player - Aaron Gordon, Saint John;
Offensive lineman of the year - Chris Zeuchner, Saint John; Defensive
lineman of the year - Matt Lamont, Hampton. Western Conference
all-stars: Offensive Linemen - Jared Goguen, Kennebecasis Valley; Chris
Zeuchner, Saint John; Mike Hickey, Hampton; Ben Thompson, Fredericton;
Ben Thompson, Fredericton; Brett Dingley, Oromocto. Quarterback - Andrew
Hickey, Fredericton; Running backs - Kevin Morrell, Hampton; Mitchell
Cormier, Leo Hayes; Eric Saulnier, Saint John. Receivers - David Carr,
Fredericton; Elliot Thompson, Fredericton; Zach Smith, Oromocto; Chris
Hillier, Oromocto; Joel Seale, Saint John. Kicker - Chris Chesworth,
Saint John. Defensive Line - Fraser Boldon, Fredericton; Will Martin,
Oromocto; Matt Lamont, Hampton; Mike Adams, Hampton. Linebackers - Mike
Flynn, Kennebecasis; Jake Thomas, Leo Hayes; John Livingston, Saint
John; Matt Harmon, Oromocto; John O'Brien, Hampton; Dan Reid,
Fredericton. Defensive backs - Dave Kingston, Fredericton; Aaron Gordon,
Saint John; Chris Ogden, Saint John.
Trojans' Nick Kukkonen
named player of the year
Harrison Trimble QB/defensive back also selected to
12-man division all-star team; he'd trade awards for chance to play in
Saturday's championship game
defensive co-ordinator Steve Laird instructs the defensive line during
a practice at the Dundee SportsDome yesterday. The Highlanders face
Fredericton High Black Kats for the provincial high school football
crown on Saturday afternoon.
Nicholas Kukkonen finished his New Brunswick High
School Football League career with a player of the year award under one
arm and an all-star selection under the other.
But he'd trade it all in for a chance to play in Saturday's 12-man
division provincial final at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.
"In a minute," said the Harrison Trimble Trojans Grade 12
quarterback/defensive back who was named the 12-man division Eastern
Conference player of the year as well as an all-star defensive back at
the league's award banquet last night.
"That's what everyone works hard for all year and no matter how
much hardware you win, it's definitely a lot better to be playing for a
Saturday's New Brunswick 12-man division final will feature the
MacNaughton Highlanders taking on the defending champion Fredericton
High Black Kats at 4:30 p.m. for the Ed Skiffington Trophy. Harbour View
Vikings of Saint John and St. Stephen High Spartans will meet in the
10-man division Nick Desilets Memorial Trophy Game at 1 p.m., also at
Fredericton High star quarterback Andrew Hickey was selected the Western
Conference player of the year and all-star quarterback.
"It's disappointing not to get to the final, but the best of luck
to those two teams. It should be a great battle between two very good
teams and will be very entertaining to watch," said Kukkonen, whose
Trojans lost to MacNaughton in a provincial quarter-final.
"Both teams have a lot of power on offence. Andrew Hickey is a
great player, just a phenomenal athlete and we played against
MacNaughton all year and they've definitely got some weapons of their
own to throw at Fredericton."
Other Eastern Conference double winners were Mike Miller of the
Riverview High Royals, Shawn Moores of the MacNaughton Highlanders and
Stephen Bohan and Preston Spence, both of the Tantramar Titans.
Miller won the defensive player of the year award and was also named an
all-star defensive back while Moores took home offensive lineman of the
year honours and an all-star selection.
Bohan picked up the offensive player of the year award and was named an
all-star receiver and Spence claimed the defensive lineman of the year
award and was also selected an all-star.
Richard Phillips of Riverview High won the Bill Glendinning Award for
sportsmanship and academics while a league service award went to Randy
and Anne Geddes of Sackville.
Harrison Trimble, led by head coach Perry Kukkonen, captured the
coaching staff of the year award.
Other Eastern Conference offensive all-stars included quarterback Eric
Daigle of MacNaughton, running backs David Arsenault of Harrison
Trimble, Dan Fawcett of Riverview High and Pierre Mouawad of the L'Odyssée
Olympiens, receivers Nick Kaminsky of MacNaughton, Callum Hardie of
Tantramar and Kevin Monaghan of the Moncton High Purple Knights,
offensive linemen Brendan Wallace of MacNaughton, Tyler Gillcash of
Harrison Trimble, Adam Saule of Riverview High and Dylan Tower of
Tantramar, kicker Scott LeBlanc of L'Odyssée and punter Andrew Lewis of
The Eastern Conference defensive all-star team is rounded out by
defensive linemen Mark Franklin and Corey Gillcash of Harrison Trimble,
Justin Merrithew of MacNaughton and Shawn Wallace of Moncton High,
linebackers Tom Budd and Mike MacLeod of Riverview High, Justin Cook of
MacNaughton, Scott MacDougall of Tantramar and Ben Kinden of Harrison
Trimble, defensive backs Bryce Wade of MacNaughton and Devon Joyce of
Tantramar and punt returner Greg Diamond of Riverview High.
Meanwhile, the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars of Salisbury had three players
selected 10-man division all-stars. They were running back Justin Scott,
defensive lineman Tyler Amos and linebacker Justin MacPherson.
Spartans, Vikings lead awards list
MONCTON - It figures that the top 10-man football teams in the New
Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association would lead the league's
annual all-star parade.
And that's just what happened as the St. Stephen Spartans placed eight
players on the 10-man division all-star squads and the Harbour View
Vikings and Simonds Seabees placed six players each during the loops
annual banquet Tuesday night.
Further, the league's player of the year went to Joel Wilcox of St.
Stephen and the defensive player of the year was his teammate Brad
Copping while Harbour View took two of the top individual awards
(offensive player of the year Jordan Blizzard and top offensive lineman
The St. Stephen coaching staff, led by head coach Tom Hart, earned the
nod as coaching staff of the year of the year.
St. Stephen and Harbour View will tangle Saturday at Rocky Stone field
in Moncton at 1 p.m. for the provincial crown. The 12-man division final
takes place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday between Fredericton and MacNaughton.
It is also slated for Rocky Stone Field.
Following are the individual and all-star awards:
Player of the year - Joel Wilcox, St. Stephen
Offensive player of the year - Jordan Blizzard, Harbour View
Defensive player of the year - Brad Copping, St. Stephen
Offensive lineman of the year - Josh Fergus, Harbour View
Defensive lineman of the year - Alex LeBlanc, Simonds
Coaches of the year - St. Stephen
League services awards - Harold and Ann LeBlanc, Rick Doiron
Quarterback - Matt Sode, St. Stephen; Jordan Blizzard, HVHS
Lineman - Josh Murphy, St. Stephen; Josh Fergus, HVHS; Raymond Cormier,
Running backs - Justin Scott, JMA; Joel Wilcox, St. Stephen; Stefan
Wood, Simonds; Jared Hamm, Simonds; Mike Cote, Rothesay.
Receivers - Kyle McCormick, St. Stephen; Marshall Vail, Simonds; John
Punter or place kicker - Jeremy Monahan, HVHS.
Lineman - Alex Leblanc, Simonds; Tyler Amos, JMA; Brad Copping, St.
Stephen, Craig Miller, HVHS
Linebackers - Justin MacPherson, JMA; Mike McSorley, St. Stephen; Aaron
Wilson, HVHS, John Oliver, Simonds; Jared Dewar, Rothesay.
Defensive backs - Steve Richard, St. Malachys; Andy Mawhinney, Simonds;
Luke Dinsmore, St. Stephen.
UNB to partner with
city on new 'turf' field
A weekend of soccer play at University of New
Brunswick's Chapman Field was a good reminder of why the university
decided a year ago to embark on a redevelopment plan to install
artificial turf at the facility.
Cold, damp weather and tough competition in the six-team Atlantic
University Sport men's Soccer Championship, won by host UNB Varsity
Reds, left the grass field a chewed up mess.
UNB athletic director Kevin Dickie says a year ago in September when he
left coaching in Saskatchewan to join the university as athletic
director, he was handed a thick file that backgrounded the possibility
of the university installing the city's first artificial turf field.
But the file had languished and needed work, so he started over, Dickie
During the past year, the university has been crunching the numbers,
working on potential partnerships and creating a concept plan for the
"In order to have a project that is as significant as this, you've
got to have the finances in place," Dickie said. "We're 80 per
The plan received a major boost recently, when city council quietly
voted behind closed doors, to purchase 3,000 hours of play on the two
new proposed soccer fields. The decision has to be ratified during the
2007 budget vote, but it was approved unanimously.
Dickie said he's had an outstanding working relationship with the city's
community services director Wayne Tallon who has been working to
fast-track the plan. The potential partnership with the city is an
exciting one, Dickie said.
The concept plan is to install two artificial turfed fields and -
depending on cash flow - create some form of an indoor environment for
sports play. Ancillary buildings are contemplated as part of the total
package, other sources have indicated.
"Whatever our ultimate vision is, we need the finances and the
partnerships to be forged," Dickie said. "The project won't
happen without that final piece of the puzzle being confirmed."
While soccer is the main potential user of the artificial turf, Dickie
sees room for traditional sports such as rugby and football
and nouveau energy-burners such as ultimate frisbee players to
share time on the fields.
Dickie's waiting on word from a couple of sport user groups before
putting a final package together for senior university officials.
"The university knows what the business plan requires from our
(own) investment and from partners," Dickie said. "We're
trying to get it on the rails by next summer. That's the goal, for
Community services committee chairman Coun. Bruce Grandy said the city's
proposal to purchase field time isn't just going to help UNB. It would
allow the city a change to take some of its fields out of play and
repair them, Grandy said.
Fredericton hired Amulet consultants Ltd. for a professional review of
its sports fields and few of the fields got passing grades when the
soccer capacity analysis was presented to council this past July. The
capital city lacks artificial turf which soccer and minor football
associations have long argued would extend play and allow the city to
market itself for more competitive and championship play.
Grandy said city council is welcoming the community partnership with UNB
because it's for the betterment of all parties. "They're providing
infrastructure and we're going to agree to pay for use. We wouldn't own
it or tell them how to run it," Grandy said.
Amulet's report to the city estimated the capital cost of developing an
artificial field at $1.8 million. While development costs are high,
Amulet's report said artificial turf has a 20-year plus lifespan and
offers the possibility of year-round play depending upon cold weather.
Unlike soil, sand or filled turf fields, the annual maintenance costs
are about $2,000 instead of $25,000 to $30,000 annually for natural
Hickey name synonymous
with football excellence at FHS
With all due respect to the Bardsley, Johnson and
Edwards families, the winner of the high school version of Family Feud
goes to the Hickey family.
To be fair, all four families have made significant contributions to the
rich tradition of winning football at Fredericton High School almost
from the day it was first brought into the school back in 1985. Each
have contributed four sons to the venture over a stretch that has seen
the team win 12 provincial titles with sights set on lucky 13 this
Head coach Larry Wisniewski doesn't want any part of labelling one as
the "First Family" of FHS football. But as the Kats vie for
their second straight provincial title Saturday in Moncton against the
Highlanders of Bernice MacNaughton, he knows he's got a quarterback who
gives his team a pretty good chance winning.
The kid's name is Andrew Hickey, the transplanted slot back-defensive
back extraordinaire of two seasons ago who saved his best game in his
rookie year for last, that being a 100-plus yard effort against
MacNaughton in what proved to be a losing effort in 2004.
He took over as the regular quarterback in Grade 11 and the Kats have
been on the prowl ever since, beating Oromocto High Blues 26-9 in last
year's final and marching into Moncton this week with nary a blemish in
nine starts so far.
To hear his own teammate David Carr tell it, Hickey was the straw that
stirred the drink in last week's 30-0 romp over Tantramar High Titans in
the semifinal game. Hickey threw for 203 yards, rushed for another 53
and scored a touchdown, prompting Carr to say: "He's aweswome. He
can find you anywhere on the field. He gives us so much
confidence....you never give up with him because if you can get open,
he'll get it to you."
When Wisniewski first joined Donny Davis and the Kats' coaching staff
back in 1988, he had a young WR who could catch a pass in a phone booth
and make big yardage. Wiz was in charge of the receivers and probably
wasn't too thrilled when Davis needed this particular WR to take over at
quarterback the following season.
The kid's name was Sean Hickey.
Like now, the Kats were defending champions back then, too, after having
lost two years previous to a Titans team that had the likes of Monty
Maurice who was all-Conference in just about every thing he did. Well,
Hickey and Co. earned their way to the title game which happened to be
played in the East, like this year. The Sackville-based Titans might
have been the home team, but it was Hickey and Co. walking off with the
spoils on that day, to the tune of 43-19. Who knows? His kid brother
might have been among the throng congratulating the black and gold in
Sean Hickey, of course, went on to spend his university career in
Sackville with Mount Allison Mounties, and in 1991, it was he along with
his former FHS teammates (punter) Ron Squires and WR Matt Khoury who
played leading roles as Mount A actually advanced all the way to the
Vanier Cup in Toronto. Despite Mount A losing the national final, Hickey
was named offensive player of the game.
In between now and then, there's been a wide receiver named Alex Hickey
and later a marquee running back who would spend five memorable years at
St. Francis Xavier University named David Hickey making their presence
felt wearing Black Kat colours. All had particular strengths, remembers
Wiz, and he need only gaze out at the practice field to be reminded of
what they were. That's because he calls the current-day standard-bearer
for the family the "composite" of his brothers.
Like Sean, Andrew can run out of trouble and throw the ball almost where
he wants. Wiz says he might not be as accurate throwing the ball and
doesn't see the field quite like Sean and might not have his natural
instinct for playing the position, but when it comes to toughness and
taking a hit and keeping on truckin', Andrew is without peer. Wiz says
nobody could cut and work his way through traffic like David Hickey. But
Andrew has his inside strength, the strong legs, and the will to carry
on, says Wiz.
"He's got a little bit of everything that his brothers had, plus
he's extremely physical out there. He's as tough as nails. He just
doesn't give up. And that makes him the kind of guy his teammates tend
to rally around," says the Wiz.
To add impetus to his point, Wiz talks about a special teams' drill one
day at practice. Says Hickey decided to get out there and do a little
blocking. Apparently he came upon one of the defensive lineman, one of
the team's premier players in Ben Thompson who goes about 260 pounds,
and knocked him flat on his back. Not once. Not twice. But three times,
says the Wiz, "until I told him to get out of there." He says
Thompson gained a new appreciation for his quarterback.
"I think what makes him such a good player is his versatility. He
can do so many things. And that's what I think he got from his siblings.
He wanted to be able to do what they could do, and I think he's learned
something from each of them."
And like his brothers before him, expect to see Andrew playing at the
university level in the not too distant future, says Wiz. He says he
might not have the height to play quarterback - Andrew is about 6' and
190 pounds - but he's got the toughness and instincts to be a
"dynamite" free safety, says Wiz. "He could also play
linebacker. Because he's so physical, he'll be a presence out
There's already been considerable interest from recruiters, most notably
McMaster of Hamilton and Bishop's of Lennoxville, Que. Wiz says don't be
surprised if Hickey winds up at one of those schools. He says Acadia and
possibly Mount A remain options as well.
David Ritchie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by
calling 458-6484. His weekly column appears Wednesdays.