Week 10: November 8
|MacNaughton Highlanders’ Cameron Wade avoids a tackle attempt by Saint John Greyhounds’ Cassian Ferlatte during second half action in the N.B. High School Football League championship game at Rocky Stone Memorial Field Saturday.||
MacNaughton Highlanders’ Darren Steeves intercepts a pass intended for Saint John Greyounds’ Chris Tilley during the second half of the N.B.High School Football League championship game at Rocky Stone Memorial Field on Saturday
Highlanders keep N.B. crown
|MacNaughton Highlanders’ Scott Fraser intercepts a pass intended for Saint John Greyhounds receiver Colton Caines during the second half of the New Brunswick high school football league championship game at Rocky Stone Memorial Field in Moncton Saturday. The Highlanders defeated Saint John High 33-14 to claim their third straight provincial football title.|
|Highlanders win N.B. crown
Football: Turnovers prove to be Saint John High's undoing in championship game
Published in the Telegraph-Journal on Nov. 10
Appeared on page B4
As a Grade 10 rookie, Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders running back Eric Rioux hardly saw the field in last year's New Brunswick high school football championship game.
One year later, he ran all over it and sparked the Highlanders to their third consecutive provincial championship.
Rioux rushed for 173 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Bernice MacNaughton overcame a slow start to defeat the Saint John High Greyhounds 33-14 and claim the Ed Skiffington Trophy for the fourth time in the last five years at Rocky Stone Memorial Field Saturday.
Rioux's best run of the day came when the Highlanders needed it the most. The two-time defending champions found themselves trailing 14-1 in the second quarter with the Greyhounds displaying an impressive offence.
On the very next possession after Saint John High scored its second touchdown, Rioux broke free and scampered 83 yards for a score to get his team back in the game.
The Highlanders never looked back from there and reeled off 32 unanswered points. The Greyhounds didn't score again.
"I just knew someone had to make a play and I wanted to be the one that went out there and changed the outcome of the game," said Rioux, one of 17 players back from last year's team that blanked the Fredericton High Black Kats 23-0 in the final.
The victory completed a perfect 9-0 season for the Highlanders for the second consecutive year. They have won their last 24 games, dating back to the 2006 season. The Greyhounds - making their first appearance in the championship game since 1981 - suffered their first loss of the season in their ninth game.
"It didn't go our way, but it was still a successful season,'' Greyhounds head coach Dave Grandy said. "We had quite a few turnovers and that was a major factor in the game. It was basically our Achilles' heel. In a championship game, you can't afford to turn the ball over.''
Saint John High had all the momentum in the early going. Bruising running back Caleb Jones and shifty runner Matt Doucet were able to rush for large gains and quarterback Dallas Ballard came up big on third-down conversions.
A Dave Flood blocked punt set up a 16-yard touchdown pass from Ballard to Chris Tilley late in the first quarter and Jones found the end zone on a 13-yard run midway through the second quarter to give the visitors an early 14-1 lead.
But as the Greyhounds went to the air in the second half, the Highlanders defence stepped up. Defensive backs Blake Stewart, Darren Steeves, Chris Roy and Cameron Wade each had at least one interception.
"We really had control of it until near the end of the first half,'' Jones said. "Throughout this year, there weren't too many teams that gave us that kind of challenge. We knew it was going to be a tough football game.''
Grandy said his team's mental miscues proved costly.
"MacNaughton's a good football team and they capitalized on our mistakes. We were up, but we let them get back into the game," said Grandy, whose team lost all-star linebacker Alex Hachey with a sprained ankle in the first quarter.
"It was quite tough, knowing it was the last game of my (high school) career,'' Hachey said.
"At the start of the year, I never would have dreamed of being in the final. We improved drastically as the season went on.''
Grandy said reaching the championship is another "notch in the program's belt,'' adding he was thankful to his players and coaching staff for making this year's run an enjoyable journey.
"Each year your goal is to get to this game and win this game and when we reflect on this season, we're happy to have made it, but we're disappointed with the loss."
Football crown up for grabs
Highlanders' QB leads squad against Saint John High in N.B. championship game today
By Sean Hatchard
Appeared on page C1
He's not all that big, but boy, has he sure proven he can play.
Big game? No problem.
At just 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, Scott Kelly leads his Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders into the New Brunswick High School Football League championship game today for the third straight year.
When the two-time defending champion Highlanders meet the Saint John High Greyhounds in the provincial final at 1 p.m. at Moncton's Rocky Stone Memorial Field, Kelly has the opportunity to quarterback his team to a third consecutive Ed Skiffington Trophy and complete his high school career without losing a single start under centre.
He is the only remaining player from the 2006 championship team. Big pressure? Not really.
The ultimate clutch situation came in the big game two years back when Bernice MacNaughton all-star quarterback Eric Daigle was one of four players injured in a car accident just days before the championship game against the Fredericton High Black Kats.
The Highlanders called upon Kelly -- just a wide-eyed Grade 10 rookie receiver then -- to make his first high school quarterback start. He ended up throwing a touchdown pass and helping Bernice MacNaughton beat previously undefeated Fredericton High 10-7.
"Looking back now, that was a pretty crazy situation. Somehow it all worked out in the end," Kelly, now a Grade 12 senior, said this week.
"That was definitely the most nervous I've ever been before a game. Anything after that isn't too bad."
Kelly, the league's Eastern Conference offensive player of year, has tasted nothing but success with the Highlanders. Besides winning in 2006, he was also the starter on last year's team that blanked Fredericton High 23-0 in the final to cap an undefeated season and he's won all six of his starts in 2008 (he missed the final regular season game and a quarter-final with an ankle injury).
That's 16 high school quarterback starts, 16 wins.
"It's definitely not all about me," said Kelly, 17, who also quarterbacked the Moncton Highlanders to a New Brunswick bantam championship in 2005 in his only other football season. "I've been around a really good coaching staff here every season and the players I've had around me have made it much easier. I've been around awesome players my whole life."
Kelly's success hasn't surprised his head coach.
"When we started him in the final two years ago, we weren't looking beyond that game, but we knew then he had a special knack for getting it done," said Bernice MacNaughton bench boss Ed Wasson.
"He just dictates the game really well. He makes very good decisions and doesn't put you in any bad situations. He has a lot of heart and the will to succeed."
Standing in the way of the Highlanders today are the Greyhounds, a team that tore up the Southwestern Conference and is also a perfect 8-0 on the season, just like Bernice MacNaughton.
The last team to win three consecutive New Brunswick championships was the Harrison Trimble Trojans from 1999-2001.
|Hounds must be perfect to win
By Kevin Barrett
Published in the Telegraph-Journal on Nov. 8
Appeared on page C10
SAINT JOHN - If the Saint John Greyhounds are going to win the provincial high school football championship today against the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders, they'll need a near perfect game on both sides of the ball.
That from Riverview head coach Guy Messervier, whose Royals were the only team to face both the Greyhounds and Highlanders this season.
Saint John and MacNaughton tangle today at 1 p.m. at Rocky Stone Field in Moncton and while the Royals lost by similar margins to both teams, Messervier gives the Highlanders, the two-time defending provincial champions, a slight edge overall.
"MacNaughton gave us the most trouble, not so much defensively but offensively," said Messervier. "MacNaughton is better equipped. They can really throw the ball as well as run the ball. They are a more balanced team."
On Oct. 10, MacNaughton downed Riverview 26-3 en route to a perfect 8-0 record this year while last Saturday, Saint John downed Riverview 21-8 in the provincial semifinal as they moved to 9-0.
"Saint John did some things on defence," said Messervier. "They put a lot of people in the box on the run and we could not take advantage of that with our passing game but I know MacNaughton will."
The Greyhounds are attempting to complete a perfect 10-win season and win the first AAA football title in school history. They won the 2003 10-man divisional title but their drive to the biggest game in a generation was backed by the dynamic ground game of Caleb Jones, the South Division player of the year and all-star and Matt Doucet, Jones' teammate who was also an all-star and has scored eight post-season touchdowns.
"These two guys have been amazing all year," said Saint John head coach Dave Grandy. "I tip my hat to those guys, they work hard."
Jones, in Grade 12, and Doucet, in Grade 11, both were members of the team in Grade 10 who developed through experience and dedication and form an important part of the team.
"Our core group of guys are very dedicated and have been around for a while," said Grandy. "The passion for the game is very strong for them."
While Messervier leans toward MacNaughton, he says the power of Jones and the speed of Doucet make them difficult to stop.
"They have great backs and they go back and forth," said the Royals coach. "You don't quite know who is going to get the ball"¦We had one of the best defences in this conference and we had our hands full trying to stop those guys."
Earlier this week, Jones was named the best payer in the South Division of the Southwestern Conference. He says as the week progressed and the hype for the game grew, it was important for all players to remind themselves to remain focused.
"Everyone is getting a little more excited than other weeks but we have to approach it as if it is just another game," said the six-foot-two, 210-pound Jones. "You have to keep in the mindset that you are there to do a job."
The initial role as underdog should prove as a good motivator for Grandy now in his eighth season on the coaching staff, his third as head coach. He is 20-4 as a head coach.
"We have a huge test ahead of us but we have been playing pretty decent ourselves all year," he said.
Saint John has never won the provincial title and is 0-2 in the championship contest, the last a 28-15 setback to Tantramar in 1981.
MacNaughton is 25-1-1 since the start of the 2006 campaign and owns titles from 2006 and 2007.
They last played in 2006, when MacNaughton downed Saint John 46-0 in the provincial semifinal.
High school football faces structural challenges to continue growth
By Kevin Barrett, Varsity View
Published in the Telegraph-Journal on Nov. 6
Appeared on page B6
Saturday's provincial high school football final has all the makings of a memorable gridiron battle between two worthy opponents - the two-time defending champion Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders and the upstart Saint John Greyhounds, looking to win the Ed Skiffington Trophy for the first time in school history.
Both teams carry a divisional player of the year on their roster and both are unbeaten thus far this season - Saint John is 9-0 and MacNaughton is 8-0.
But as perfect as those records are, the football campaign was not without its problems.
Most notably was the age-old issue of competitive imbalance, one that is not unique to football, but this year, it was more pronounced than usual.
In the first five weeks of the season, 60 percent of the high school games were decided by more than 30 points, including two scores of 87-0 and 82-0.
It's become more competitive since but that's because the schedule maker appeared to know the relative strengths of the conference and slated important - or at least competitive - games for the final week of the season.
The imbalance, the football loop's main overall concern, is a direct result of the NBIAA's move to form one conference - a 12-man football league. That move happened because fewer than the required eight teams had expressed desire to play in a 10-man league, as had been the case in the past seven years.
The NBIAA was simply following its own mandate which calls for a certain number of teams - eight - to be registered before it can declare a provincial champion in that conference.
Last year was the final period of grace for a 10-man league that had been in existence since 2001.
When the season ended, there were five teams ready to go again in 2008 and it was hoped that newcomers Kennebecasis Valley and Sussex would bring the total to seven teams. If that happened, possibly another could be brought on board.
But JMA Armstrong of Salisbury folded in the off-season, citing difficulty in securing players, and the field was reduced to six. As a result, everyone got lumped together and many scores reflected the vast differences in programs.
Competitive disparity is difficult to eliminate in many sports because of the differences in school enrolments, but this football season, blowouts were most noticeable in the South, where established power Saint John played four teams from last year's 10-man division and Simonds, which went 0-5 in the 12-man conference.
Some of the results were not pretty and that could be a snag for a sport, where momentum in some areas, especially the Fundy Minor Football Association, continues to expand and develop.
It's one reason why Hampton is strong as evidenced by past provincial champions at the peewee level and another strong team this year.
This weekend, teams from Lancaster and Hampton will vie for provincial peewee and bantam titles.
Football is one of those sports, at university as well as high school, that has a certain cache value with the general public. As a result, there is more interest and coverage, with potential graduates opening potential opportunities at the university level.
That development is not the point of high school sport, some will argue, but it is very much a reality in football.
But without a forum for competitive games, a marquee sport is in danger of regressing.
Sure there are challenges as the growth potential appears limited to form an eight-team 10-man division as the current football base is reflective of the minor systems in place in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John and the general areas around those cities.
There is no representation from the North, nor is there much from rural areas of the province.
This is where the sport must look to expand and it is imperative for organizers, primarily with Football New Brunswick, but also the NBIAA, to make it happen or programs that barely survived this year will struggle to make the grade next season - and the season after and so on.
Saint John's appearance in the provincial final is reflective of the grass-roots system in place in the city and is a positive example that the 10-man division worked as just five years ago, it was the Greyhounds who took that provincial title and jumped to the 12-man class, where it houses one of the most successful programs in the province since 2004.
St. Malachy's, a long-standing losing program, has turned things around dramatically in the last couple of years. Again, a result of development in the 10-man arena.
So here's hoping that, if four, five or six teams want to play 10-man division football next season, the NBIAA allows it. And here's hoping the Football New Brunswick takes advantage of that base to look at building its programs so that schools in places such as Woodstock, Edmundston, Bathurst, Miramichi and others feel it is a good thing to enjoy the cool crisp air of autumn and mix it with some high school action on the football field.
|Matt Doucet of Saint John High School runs the ball against Riverview in the New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association High School Football semifinal last week. Doucet and the Greyhounds take on Bernice MacNaughton in Saturday's provincial final.|
|Greyhounds hoping for history
By Kevin Barrett, Varsity View
Published in the Telegraph-Journal on Nov. 6
Appeared on page B6
When the Boston Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, one of the popular Internet destinations for fans was the Sons of Sam Horn website, where among the message threads was one that simply started with the words, 'Win it For"¦"
Considering the Sox' pain and anguish for 86 years, it was understandable that this concept exploded on the net, with people wishing, hoping, begging the Sox would win it for everyone and anyone who had endured any of the team's tough-bad luck before it finally won in 2004 against St. Louis.
On a smaller scale, a 'Win it For...", case could be made for the Saint John Football Greyhounds, looking to capture their first New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association's High School Football League title.
Possibly, a Facebook group might start with a similar theme as the Greyhounds hook up with the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders Saturday at 1 p.m. at Rocky Stone Field in Moncton.
It might gain momentum across the city as no team from Saint John and area has ever won the Ed Skiffington Trophy as the provincial high school 12-man champions.
Therefore, the Greyhound interest this week is alive beyond the school's walls, especially within the ranks of the Fundy Minor Football Association, which extends from St. Stephen to Sussex.
"Everyone is definitely excited, and football has been picking up some momentum around here the last few years," said Greyhounds coach Joel Cox, who played high school at Simonds, which advanced to the 1991 final.
"I think it is time."
So if the Greyhounds need to win it for someone, names such as former Saint John coach Fran Hughes, who coached the team in 1981, come to mind.
As do former Simonds High coach Mike Upward, whose influence in the city's football development for years is undeniable.
Or any player on that Greyhounds team in 1981, or the one in 1979 that lost to Moncton.
Or any members of the five impressive Simonds squads that were also agonizingly close.
Or the many members of the Fundy Football executive, former Saint John and area coaches or those involved with the Maritime Football League, who have won provincial and regional crowns and helped develop the sport in the region.
Or the 2003 Hampton Huskies, the last team from the Southwest to advance to the final.
"It confirms that our tide is rising," said Bruce Watts, a vice-president with Fundy Minor Football. "It is confirmation that we are doing the right things in terms of teaching skills and bringing kids along."
Teams from Hampton and Lancaster are also in provincial finals at the bantam and peewee levels Saturday and many of the Greyhounds are products of the Fundy system that starts in atom play.
"We are building a better program from the ground up where our players aren't starting to play football once they get to high school, which was the case in many previous years," Watts said.
The high school success in Saint John this season (9-0) gives optimism that this indeed, could be the year.
It won't be easy.
The Highlanders are highly skilled and deserving of their top ranking.
Since 2006, MacNaughton is 25-1-1 and in that span, the average score was 37-3.
But the Greyhounds, who have been close in recent years, defeated perennial contenders Fredericton in the quarter-final and then got past Riverview in the semifinal round.
Now comes the toughest test in an arena that's been difficult on Southern teams.
It's an anguish that's extended to Simonds, Saint John and Hampton, all who have almost pulled off the big win in high school football's biggest contest.
Simonds came the closest, falling 28-21 in double overtime to Fredericton in 1991.
"It a championship week and there was all kinds of hype built up around it," Cox said. "We had been there the year before and we were going back to avenge our loss to the Black Kats."
The last time the Greyhounds advanced to the final was 1981 and thanks to Dave Burns, head coach at Tantramar, and Tom Keaveney, athletic director at Saint John High, for providing details on that contest, which Tantramar won 28-15.
That year, the Greyhounds hosted the championship at Shamrock Park before more than 3,000 fans. They earned that right by downing Tantramar 35-0 on the last regular season game to finish first at 5-2.
It came two years after Saint John upset Tantramar in the semifinal and then fell 27-1 to Moncton in the final.
The 1981 squad included former Saint John councillor John Ferguson as well as quarterbacks David Baxter and Brad Clarke, running backs Steve Johnson, Rob Stoney, Don Porter, Sean MacDonald and Sean Sullivan and a tough defence led by Ross Britton, Rob Scott and Don Porter.
"We had just about everything that year," Hughes said. "We had a great offensive line, a good defence and four very good running backs."
But after taking an early 7-0 lead, the Greyhounds could not match their previous intensity and surrendered four consecutive touchdowns and didn't recover.
"Looking back, that quick score probably hurt them as they had scored so easily against us the last time," said Burns of the rematch.
It should be noted many players from both teams went on to Mount Allison and played roles in leading the Mounties to the 1984 Vanier Cup final. Three of those were Greyhounds - Scott, Mike Calvin and Billy Gullliver.
"They were a tremendous bunch of players with a lot of heart," Burns said. "I remember looking at them after the game and they were heartbroken. They so wanted it for their school and the City of Saint John."
Now comes another group, led by player of the year Caleb Jones, scoring sensation Matt Doucet and defensive player of the year Alex Hachey, attempting to do the same thing.
"There is almost a city or Saint John and area feel to this, with a lot of people wanting us to go up there and be successful," Cox said. "Hopefully, we can bring this home for our fans and for everybody."
Hughes, among others, is making the trip to this year's final.
"It's a must," he said.
|MacNaughton High head coach Ed Wasson directs the team during practice at Rocky Stone Memorial Field yesterday.|
|Highlanders chase three-peat
Bernice MacNaughton, Saint John High clash in provincial football final Saturday
By Sean Hatchard
Published in the Times-Transcript on Nov. 6
Appeared on page B1
Perry Kukkonen knows a high school football powerhouse when he sees one.
The president of the New Brunswick High School Football League is the last coach to lead a team to three consecutive provincial championships when he guided the Harrison Trimble Trojans to a three-peat in 1999-2001.
The Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders can equal that feat Saturday when they meet the Saint John High Greyhounds for the Ed Skiffington Trophy in the New Brunswick championship game at 1 p.m. at Moncton's Rocky Stone Memorial Field.
The two-time defending champion Highlanders are in the provincial final for the third straight year and the fifth time in the last seven years. "What they have done in a short amount of time is pretty impressive. It kind of reminds you of those great Fredericton High teams that won six years in a row (1988-93)," Kukkonen said this week.
The names change each season, but the results remain mostly the same at Bernice MacNaughton, which has won three provincial championships (2004, 2006-07) since the school joined the league's 12-man division in 2002.
Fifth-year head coach Ed Wasson said a strong bantam program is a big reason behind the team's success. Keeping the same coaching staff over the last five seasons has helped, too.
Standout quarterback Scott Kelly, the Eastern Conference offensive player of the year, is the only player remaining from the Highlanders' 2006 championship team. Seventeen players are back from last year's team, which defeated the Fredericton High Black Kats 23-0 in the final.
"Your team changes 50 per cent each year and at the start of the season, you really miss those guys that graduated. But if you end up playing in November, you couldn't imagine playing with anyone else but your current guys," said Wasson, whose team is riding a 23-game winning streak that dates back to the 2006 season.
"My first year here I just wanted to survive, but our coaching staff has really bonded over the years. It's a great sense of accomplishment to enjoy the success we've had, but it's really nice to be able to share it with a different group each season."
Bernice MacNaughton is up against a team Saturday that has rolled over its competition this season. The Greyhounds -- making their first appearance in the provincial final since 1981 when they lost 28-15 to the Tantramar Titans -- won all eight of their games, averaging over 50 points in their eight wins.
The Highlanders weren't bad either, also going 8-0 overall on the season as the top team out of the Eastern Conference.
Kelly and the running back tandem of Eric Rioux and Jordan Haley lead the Highlanders offence. All-star linebacker Ben Leger, halfback Cameron Wade, the Eastern Conference player of the year, and free safety Blake Stewart anchor a defence that has allowed just 30 points in eight games.
The Greyhounds are led by South Division player of the year Caleb Jones, his running back partner Matt Doucet, who has eight touchdowns in three playoff games, and linebacker Alex Hachey, co-winner of the division's defensive player of the year award.
Saint John High also made the championship game in 1979, but fell 27-1 to the Moncton High Purple Knights. The Greyhounds are looking for their first 12-man division title, but won the 10-man crown in 2003.
|High school football awards handed out
Published in the Times-Transcript on Nov. 6
Appeared on page B7
Two players from the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders were among the big winners at the New Brunswick High School Football League's Eastern Conference awards banquet last night.
Bernice MacNaughton halfback/backup quarterback Cameron Wade was selected the Eastern Conference player of the year while starting quarterback Scott Kelly took home offensive player of the year honours.
Wade, Kelly and the two-time defending champion Highlanders play the Saint John High Greyhounds in the New Brunswick championship game Saturday at 1 p.m. at Moncton's Rocky Stone Memorial Field.
Riverview High Royals linebacker Nevarre Sokolowski won the defensive player of the year award, Dan Lutes of the Moncton High Purple Knights earned offensive lineman of the year honours and Moncton High's Jerome Lariviere was named defensive lineman.
Moncton High also won the coaching staff of the year award. Head coach John Allanach and his staff guided the Purple Knights to the playoffs for the first time 2003.
Dave Burns, a long-time coach with the Tantramar Titan, was the recipient of the league's service award.
The Eastern Conference offensive all-star team featured quarterback Kelly of Bernice MacNaughton, running backs J.P. Bowie of Riverview High, Brad Doiron of Moncton High, Matt Turple of the Harrison Trimble Trojans and Sebastien Dion of the l'Odyssée Olympiens, receivers Scott Fraser of Bernice MacNaughton, Anthony Pickard of Riverview High, Matt Simon of Moncton High and Miguel Vercheure of Harrison Trimble, offensive linemen Lutes, Shawn Clements and Corey Lirette of Moncton High, Dave Peddle of Bernice MacNaughton, Mike Barkhouse of Riverview High, Tyson Gillcash of Harrison Trimble and Brandon Strong of Tantramar and special teams player Thomas Blight of Bernice MacNaughton.
The Eastern Conference defensive all-star team included defensive linemen Jerome Lariviere of Moncton High, Nick Bauer of Bernice MacNaughton, Colin Miller of Riverview High and Maxime Daigle of the Mathieu-Martin Matadors, linebackers Sokolowski of Riverview High, Ben Leger of Bernice MacNaughton, Chris Cornect of Harrison Trimble, Max Milner of Tantramar, Justin Cormier of Mathieu-Martin and Mike LeBlanc of l'Odyssée, defensive backs Wade of Bernice MacNaughton, Cameron Wilson of Riverview High and Mark MacDougall of Tantramar and special teams player Matt Archibald of Riverview High.
|Greyhounds back named top player in conference
Published in the Telegraph-Journal on Nov. 5
Appeared on page B6
SAINT JOHN - Caleb Jones' outstanding year with the Saint John Greyhounds was rewarded Tuesday when he was named the South Division player of the year in the New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association's Southwestern Conference. Jones, a towering and powerful running back, was also named to the division's all-star team during a banquet Tuesday at the Thistle-St. Andrews Curling Club.
He is one of 10 Greyhounds named to the divisional all-star team, recognition of their perfect 9-0 record thus far. Saint John will travel to Moncton Saturday for a 1 p.m. matchup with the two-time defending champion Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders for the NBIAA championship.
Saint John middle linebacker Alex Hachey was named to the defensive all-star team and shared the defensive player of the year award in the division with Chris Reid of St. Malachy's.
St. Malachy's quarterback Trevor Harrison took home the top offensive player award in the South.
St. Malachy's head coach Phil McGarvey and his coaching staff were named the coaches of the year while Tom Hart of St. Stephen took home the league volunteer award for his work coaching the St. Stephen Spartans.
Joe Pilmer of St. Malachy's was the defensive lineman of the year while Kirk Arsenault of St. Stephen was the offensive lineman of the year.
Eight members of the Saints were named to the all-star team, led by Harrison.
They were joined by five players from St. Stephen, four from Simonds and two from Harbour View.
In the West Division, running back Mitchell O'Neill was named the offensive player of the year for his work with the Hampton Huskies.
Teammate Alex Locke was named the top defensive lineman.
The coaches of the Sussex Sonics were named the coaching staff of the year.
A.J. Durling of Fredericton won player of the year honours while teammate Andy Gillingham was the top offensive lineman. Mitch Dingley of Oromocto was the top defensive player.
Six members of the Huskies were named to the all-star team. That parade was led by 10 players from Oromocto and eight from Fredericton. There were also three players from Leo Hayes and Sussex and two from Kennebecasis Valley named as all-stars.
The Eastern Conference all-stars will be announced tonight in Moncton.
Justin Nason (Saint John), Kyle Orr (St. Malachy's), Kirk Arseneau (St. Stephen), Jeff Cook (Simonds), Nick Brien (Harbour View), Chris Fox (Saint John), Caleb Jones (Saint John), Chris Moore (St. Malachy's), Matt Wells (St. Stephen), Matt Doucet (Saint John), Chris Tilley (Saint John), Walker Blizzard (St. Malachy's), Cody Boucher (St. Stephen), Nick Noel (St. Malachy's), Cassian Ferlotte (Saint John), Cory Cyr (Simonds), Trevor Harrison (St. Malachy's).
Dave Flood (Saint John), Joe Pilmer (St. Malachy's), Jake Nixon (St. Stephen), Sean Craig (Saint John), Bradley Saunders (Harbour View), Alex Hachey (Saint John), Chris Reid (St. Malachy's), Scott Bell (St. Stephen), Derek Butler (Simonds), Alex McGarvey (St. Malachy's), Blake Johnston (Saint John), Mike Boyle (Simonds).
Alex Locke (Hampton), Ryan Smyth (Oromocto); Mike Benson (Leo Hayes), Colby Parlee (Sussex), Andrew Palmer (Kennebecassi Valley), Josh Price (Fredericton), Jamie Sear (Oromocto), Mitch Dingley (Oromocto), Matt Papineau (Hampton), Greg Armstrong (Hampton), Steve Smith (Kennebecasis Valley), Tony Nash (Fredericton), Nathan Heather, (Oromocto), Tyler Gillis (Oromocto), Jordan Wilson (Sussex), Josh Blanchard (Oromocto).
Julien Vautour (Fredericton), Andy Gillingham (Fredericton), Travis MacKenzie (Hampton), Julien Varty (Oromocto), Ryan Hoyt (Oromocto), Michael Wilkinson (Leo Hayes), Corey O'Toole (Hampton), Mitchell O'Neill (Hampton), Mitch Player (Oromocto), Devin Kearney (Fredericton), Cody Stewart (Leo Hayes), A.J. Durling (Fredericton), Rob Goodwin (Oromocto), Mark Folkins (Sussex), Jeff Madsen (Fredericton), Charles Dupplessis (Fredericton).
|Star power: Both Tony Nash of the Fredericton High School Black Kats (37) and Tyler Gillis of the Oromocto High Blues, the man he’s tackling in this file photo, were named New Brunswick High School Football League Western Conference all-stars Tuesday. Both were named to the defensive squad.|
|Kats' receiver Durling named best in the West
High school football |All-star teams named
Published in the Daily Gleaner on Nov. 5
Appeared on page B1
SAINT JOHN - Fredericton High School Black Kats receiver A.J. Durling
was named player of the year in the Western Conference in voting
conducted among the coaches in the six-team division of the New
Brunswick High School Football League.
Durling's Black Kat teammate Andy Gillingham was named offensive lineman of the year in the Western Conference, while Mitch Dingley of the Oromocto Beaver Brokerage Blues was named the top defensive player in the division. Offensive player of the year was running back Mitchell O'Neill of the Hampton Huskies.
Durling and Gillingham were among eight Black Kats named to the Western Conference all-star team and saluted at a banquet Tuesday in Saint John. The other Kats named to the offensive team included quarterback Jeff Madsen and running back Devin Kearney, wide receiver/kicker Charles Duplessis and offensive lineman Julien Vautour. Defensively, linebacker Josh Price and defensive back Tony Nash of the Kats were named to the squad.
The Blues dominated the Western Conference all-star team with 10 selections, including six on the defensive side of the ball. Ryan Smyth, Jamie Sear, Mitch Dingley, Nathan Heather, Tyler Gillis and Nathan Heather were all named from the Blues' defensive unit, while Julien Varty, Ryan Holt, Mitch Player and Rob Goodwin of the Blues were named offensive all-stars.
The St. Mary's Leo Hayes Lions had three players chosen to the Western dream team, including offensive lineman Michael Wilkinson and wide receiver Cody Stewart on offence and linebacker Mike Benson on defence.
The West Division was a four team horse race this season, with the Hampton Huskies and Fredericton High each finishing with 4-1 regular season records and the Blues and Lions each at 3-2 on the year. The Sussex Sonics' coaching staff were named the coaches of the year in the division.
In the South, Caleb Jones of the Greyhounds was named the South Division player of the year. The 'Hounds' star running bck was also named to the South Division all-star team, one of 10 Greyhounds picked.
St. Malachy's quarterback Trevor Harrison took home the top offensive player award in the South. St. Malachy's head coach Phil McGarvey and his coaching staff were named the coaches of the year while Tom Hart of St. Stephen, a former FHS Black Kat took home the league volunteer award for his work coaching the St. Stephen Spartans.
The Eastern Conference all-stars will be announced tonight in Moncton.