WHY FOOTBALL MATTERS

On behalf of one of our fellow executive members , Andrea Szyjka who found this article recently written by John Harbaugh Head Coach of the NFL Baltimore Ravens I would like to present a very poignant statement that is very apropos during the time of registration

The game of football is under attack.

We see it every day in the headlines and on the news. The medical concerns are pressing. The game has taken its share of criticism. President Barack Obama said that if he had boys he wouldn’t let them play football. Even LeBron James has publicly said no football in his house.

The question is asked over and over:  Why would anyone want to play football? And why would anyone let their kids play?

Here’s my answer: I believe there’s practically no other place where a young man is held to a higher standard.

Football is hard. It’s tough. It demands discipline. It teaches obedience. It builds character.

Football is a metaphor for life.

This game asks a young man to push himself further than he ever thought he could go. It literally challenges his physical courage. It shows him what it means to sacrifice. It teaches him the importance of doing his job well. We learn to put others first, to be part of something bigger than ourselves. And we learn to lift our teammates – and ourselves – up together.

These are rare lessons nowadays

We made progress. Rules changed. Society evolved. The game advanced.

We’re at another turning point in our sport. The concussion issue is real and we have to face it.

We have to continue to get players in better helmets. We have to teach tackling the right way, and that starts at the NFL level. Change the rules. Take certain things out of the game. It’s all the right thing to do.

But even with all of that, the importance of football hasn’t changed. In some ways, it’s more important than ever.

And I believe the most critical place for football is at the youth and high school levels. For 97 percent of football players, the pinnacle of their careers is the high school game. Few players ever go on to the college level. Even less make it to the pros.

For a lot of these kids, it’s not until it’s all said and done, and they look back on it several years later, that they realize the difference the sport made in their lives. They are proud of playing the game. Have you ever met anybody who accomplished playing four years of high school football, and at the end of that run said, ‘Man, I wish I wouldn’t have played’? It doesn’t get said.

We know that football players aren’t perfect. Nobody is. But millions of former players, one by one, can recount the life-altering principles they learned from football.

They know the value of football is the values in football.

That’s why high school football – and particularly high school coaches – play such a vital role in our society. Our football coaches are on the front lines of the battle for the hearts and minds of the young men in our society. The culture war is on and we see it every day. These young men are more vulnerable than ever.

How many youth and high school coaches serve as a father figure to their players? How many mothers look to the coaches of their son’s football team as the last best hope to show their son what it means to become a man – a real man? More than we’ll ever know.

Coaches teach our young people the lessons of life that very often they learn from no one else. Coaches have the kind of influence in our schools, and with our young people, that is difficult to come by.

Billy Graham once said, “One coach will influence more people in one year than the average person will do in a lifetime.” My dad also says all the time that it just takes one person to believe in a young man or young woman to change their lives. I couldn’t agree more.

Our culture teaches us to judge an activity by how it’s going to make us feel right now. But football doesn’t work that way. The game challenges and pushes us. It’s often uncomfortable. It requires us to be at our best.

Isn’t that what we want in our society?

Football is a great sport. Football teams can be, and very often are, the catalyst for good in our schools and our communities. Millions of young men have learned lessons in football that they could only learn through playing this game. Football has saved lives.

That is why football matters.

A very interesting article that I’m sure all of us can relate to.

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Ontario Prospect Challenge May1st-2nd

The Kiwanis Sports Park in St. Catharines is this year’s venue for the OPC Series of Amateur football games starting this Friday. (No Gate Fee – Concession Service available)
The Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) is an elite series of games that feature the best tackle football players from Ontario aged 10-19. The teams are made up of selected players from Windsor to Ottawa to Guelph to Sault Ste. Marie and are organized into 4 age groups:
Varsity  Ages 17 18; Junior Varsity 15-16; Underclass 13-14; Minor  Ages 10-11-12;And 4 geographical divisions: East vs Halton Peel and Central vs East
The Schedule at Kiwanis Sports Park St. Catharines featuring players from  Halton-Peel vs West (which includes Niagara) is as follows:
Friday May 1st Varsity 7:15pm
Saturday May 2nd   Underclass 10:45am,  Minor 1:00pm,   Junior Varsity 3:00pm
Ontario West Teams include the following Niagara Players:
Varsity: Colin O’Connor. Ryan Stinson, Blair Robertson, Jack Andrews, Mark Serravalle,Vincento Santo, Greg Corfield, Harlie Scapillato,  Blake Zarubiak, Teddy Mansell
Underclass: Sunny Wilbowo. Isaiah Mackay, Jacob Succar, Eric Neilson, Qwen Jones, Josef Fusek, Cort Day, Jesse Murphy,Andre Lafleur, Erik Timbers, Rob Shuert, Sammuel Gieldfelt, and Zack Bechard.
Minor: Andrewn DeAngelis, Sandro Perrni, Marshell McCray,
Junior Varsity: Jackson Maves, Wyatt Flagg, Carmine Spedaliere, Justin Cuip, Chase Osinga, Joshua Bush Brad Currell,
Minor: Andrewn DeAngelis, Sandro Perrni, Marshell McCray,
Eastern Teams will play all their games, Central vs East (Ontario) on Saturday  May 2nd at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa.
OPC secured Kiwanis Field as a back up as the City of Hamilton could not honour their contract to rent Tim Horton’s Field due to construction issues.

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UpDates

Equipment3
see map

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ONLINE Registration Now Closed

All new registrations for all levels will need to take place at the Niagara Regional Minor Football Office at 4478 Montrose Rd, Unit 1A, Niagara Falls, Ontario. see map on
Tuesday evenings 6:30 – 7:30pm

OnLine registration will no longer be available.

In case you missed seeing  this fabulous video of  The Niagara Generals 2014 Bantam Team winning the Ontario Championship. – Click here

 

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Stampeder At The Pen

 

Junior Turner Defensive Lineman with the CFL Grey Cup Champions Calgary Stampeders Meets & Greets fans at the Niagara Regional Minor Football Display in the Pen Centre in St. Catharines. Junior-Turner-at-the-Pen

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