Flames quarterback Brad Filip takes off against the Kenner Rams. Teammate Dillon Burns (No. 24) scored two touchdowns in the juniors' 40-14 loss.
There goes the undefeated season. Actually, staying close will be an accomplishment for the CDHS Flames. Their contest Sept. 21, a 40-14 loss at home to the Kenner CVI Rams, was the first football game to be played at the high school since the football program was disbanded more than 25 years ago.
“We’re quite proud of you,” Jack Greban, who coaches the offence, told his players following the lopsided defeat. “We will get better, I guarantee you that.”
“The score looks bad but we’re quite pleased,” he said later. With only 27 players on the junior team’s roster, “we have too many people going both ways and they’re very tired.”
Mr. Greban said he and the other coaches were happy with how well the team performed after having had just 12 practices to learn a new sport. “These are a great bunch of kids, they’ve come a long way. They work hard.”
The Flames could point to a number of positives: recovering three fumbles, making an interception, and blocking a convert. Then there was running back Dillon Burns returning a kickoff for a touchdown, and scampering across the goal line for a second time on a drive late in the game.
Mr. Greban, a retired teacher who coached in Toronto, and Doug Keene, a retired OPP officer who coached football at CDHS when it was last played there, gladly accepted the challenge of resurrecting the football program. The request came from parents such as John Sharpe and Steve McCarthy who took on the responsibility of finding the necessary funding for the purchase of uniforms and equipment. Their goal is to get the senior program going as well, with the help of a grant they’ll apply for from the Campbellford-Seymour Community Foundation.
“It’s great to see them out there,” Mr. McCarthy says. “They look like a million bucks (and) they all seem like they’re having fun. That’s what it’s all about.”
“We’re predicting a learning and fun season,” Mr. Keene says.
“The kids are enthusiastic,” said CDHS principal Mina Murphy who with phys ed teacher Seijo Saito have won praise from the coaches and their backers for the commitment they’ve shown to reviving the football program. “We really appreciate the community support ... to bring something together that will benefit our kids.”
CDHS will play four of its five games against Kawartha Pine Ridge opponents on home turf. The next one is tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 28, at 3 pm.