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Sackville's football Titans again targeted

Sackville Titans head coach Scott O’Neal, shown speaking to players at last year’s spring training camp, demands a lot from his players to ensure they are able to play the game safely.
Sackville Titans head coach Scott O’Neal, shown speaking to players at last year’s spring training camp, demands a lot from his players to ensure they are able to play the game safely. - Scott Doherty

Local squad cleared of any wrongdoing following complaint

SACKVILLE, N.B. – It was learned recently on social media that a group of coaches had submitted a complaint against the Tantramar Titans.

Headed by Moncton Purple Knights coach John Allanach and supported by others, including Guy Messervier of Riverview Royals, Mark Teed of Harrison Trimble High School and co-coaches Marcel Metti and Kris Kennedy of Ecole l'Odyssee, the complaint was filed with the New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association (NBIAA) against the Titans’ coaching staff and the team.

The concerns dealt with violations outlined by the governing body and listed three items: Football New Brunswick head-out-of-the-game rule, fair play and intent to injure.

The complaint was accompanied by a video which, in the final analysis, gave no indication wrongdoing had taken place.

The ensuing investigation cleared the Titans of any wrongdoing.

This was the third time the local team has been termed a “fair play” team – first when the officials of an unfortunate incident in a game with l'Odyssee wrote the Titans had played well within the rules and later the NBIAA issued a statement saying the three-time champions had not stepped over the line.

The investigating committee consisted of three executive members of the NBIAA one from Football New Brunswick, one from the Canadian Football Association and two from Football Canada.

The report from the NBIAA said football games were consistent with football played at this level across the country, adding Tantramar plays aggressively and showed some strength in skills outside of the other teams.

When contacted, coach Scott O’Neal declined to comment on the complaint, saying he was too busy preparing the Titans for another run at the championship.

The local team received widespread coverage last season following a tough opening half when the l'Odyssee coach claimed nine of his players had sustained injuries, with several showing signs of concussion.

However, long time coach and mentor Sonny Wolf, writing for Canada Football Chat, pointed out most of these “injured” boys suiting up for the next game suggested it was no doubt more intimidation than injury that caused the game to be ended at half time.

This incident gained national attention with a two-page layout in the Globe and Mail.

After initial reaction, those with knowledge of football agreed injuries occurred because the opposing team was no match for the Titans.

Coach O’Neal refuses to put a player on the field until he is absolutely ready to face and deal with competition. As a result, not one Titan missed even one game last season due to injury.

O’Neal, his staff and the team take the game seriously and they encourage their athletes to improve year-round by working out, eating properly, keeping their marks up, going to camps and tryouts for Team NB. Meanwhile many coaches obviously are not putting such support, time and effort into their programs, possibly resulting in injuries. Therefore, these coaches are not prepared to compete against the Sackville school. Instead of doing this they seem to be vilifying those who do.

Because of complaints – many from coaches of ill-prepared teams – the Titans are sometimes accused of unfair tactics.

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