Tim was a tough linebacker and all-around player in his youth and has never left the game he loves, even for a moment, and you will find him in the midst of the huddle whenever and wherever there is a group of youngsters with some energy to burn off.
Yes, Cormier is not only president of the Sackville Minor Football Association but is head coach for the three age level groups and he says his goal is to help develop boys to become successful young men, while teaching them the true meaning of team play. And, by the way, along the way he has been mainly responsible for producing league and provincial champions.
Cormier is quick to pay tribute where tribute is due. He has nothing but praise for the Mount Allison coaching staff, who has taken time from their regular duties to who volunteer time and again conducting clinics for the young people, while offering use of Alumni Field for scrimmages.
But that is far from all. In his eyes Titan coach Scott O’Neal must accept the plaudits for not just building outstanding championship teams at Tantramar but also being the man who offers support to the minor players, encouraging them to improve every day and be prepared to join the high school team when they graduate from pee wee football.
There had been some opposition to O’Neal’s decision to absorb the peewee grads into the Titan squad, thus eliminating the bantam program, but Cormier says this has proven to be a “stroke of genius”.
As each season begins, several Grade 9 boys work out diligently even though they expect to take a back seat to the seniors on the team. However, the coaches usually find ways in which to work them into the lineup, with a few even earning starting roles and going on to prove to be team leaders.
The third aspect that has played an appreciable role in creating a reputation for Sackville as being a “football town” was a decision a few years ago to develop one system to be used from atom up though the ranks, including the Titans and Mounties. From the very beginning coaches teach one system, which prepares the boys for each step as they progress. So we see this year four Titans moving across town to join their counterparts on campus with a solid background and a head start on other rookies from various parts of the country.
Cormier has announced registration for the coming season will commence this week and he expects a slight increase in numbers, while registration fees will continue unchanged for the past five years.
During spring camp, a record number of 120 youth turned up and while it’s likely some will opt for alternative activities, he believes there should be at least 75 when the final tally is made.
This season an emphasis will be placed on the flag group for kids from kindergarten to Grade 4. Obviously, coaches will be mainly teaching the basics and it’s unlikely there will be any serious competitions scheduled. The Atom program has proven more than successful for kids in Grades 5 and 6, while the peewees (Grades 7-8) have gone on to capture several provincial titles.
The atoms and peewees compete in the Greater Moncton Football Association and annually more than hold their own by taking the title and moving on. However, last season the atoms turned to the Saint John league for competition after the Moncton executive banned tackling.
Cormier says the decision was a wrong one and has been reversed with the local team returning to the fold.
Titan fans this season will observe names like Parsons, Smith, Phinney, Carpenter and Estabrooks – all graduates of the minor system who could have an impact on the high school squad.
With all his other duties, Tim Cormier must have some help. He says the system has some outstanding coaches, including former Titans Isaac Cormier and Laurie Holmes, and a host of volunteers who do make his job easier.
The executive consists of treasurer Stacey Cormier, Laurie Holmes, vice president, and Ian MacIntyre, zone representative.
Cormier says winning and losing seems to be cyclical – strangely an area will produce a strong group of athletes for part of a generation and then the level falls off. He feels it will be a season or two whereby the coaches in the local minor system will be faced with extra work in order to maintain the winning tradition.
But he and others are facing the coming season with enthusiasm and are eager to see the pigskin flying through the air.