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Team New Brunswick showcases talent at Football Canada Cup

Aidan O’Neal of Sackville runs the ball for Team New Brunswick during last Thursday’s game against Team Nova Scotia at the Football Canada Cup in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Nine Tantramar Titan players were on the roster for this year’s New Brunswick U18 team. EMILY TOWER PHOTO
Aidan O’Neal of Sackville runs the ball for Team New Brunswick during last Thursday’s game against Team Nova Scotia at the Football Canada Cup in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Nine Tantramar Titan players were on the roster for this year’s New Brunswick U18 team. EMILY TOWER PHOTO

They didn’t bring home a win but Team New Brunswick showed a lot of heart and talent last week as they competed in the 2015 Football Canada Cup in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

“They learned a lot about themselves in a three-game tournament where you play three games in a week,” said New Brunswick’s head coach Chris Hopkins in a statement following Sunday’s game against Manitoba. “This is a whole new experience for our kids. I think overall, we’ve taken a step forward this week as a province.”

Hopkins said the players and the coaches have shown commitment from day one and will continue to improve the team at a national level.

“I think that we’ve showcased some exceptional athletes to next level recruiters. We’ve showcased some exceptional coaching but just sometimes the depth isn’t there for the smaller provinces,” he said.

“I’m extremely proud of my kids; we’ve got an absolutely character group and they knew from day one that they were just going to be committed to football and committed to making a statement every time they stepped on the field. It was just an unfortunate result for our guys.”

The Football Canada Cup is the premiere pre-university football tournament in Canada, which annually showcases the top under-18 football players from across the country.

In the first day of competition, New Brunswick was downed 53-2 in a tough matchup against last year’s silver medallists’ Saskatchewan. Tantramar Titan player Aidan O’Neal was named offensive player of the game for New Brunswick. Another TRHS standout during that game was Dylan Cormier, who was given commendations from coach Hopkins following the game, stating “there’s a couple of guys on defence that I thought had great days. Dylan Cormier from Tantramar was exceptional. Bailey Feltmate was flying around. We’ve got a ton of talent on this team and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t show that on the scoreboard.”

The second game on Thursday saw New Brunswick facing their Maritime rivals, Team Nova Scotia. This was a much closer matchup, with Nova Scotia edging out New Brunswick by a score of 22-20.

On Sunday, New Brunswick went up against Team Manitoba, with Manitoba taking the win 48-7. Titan Nevin Becker was named defensive player of the game for New Brunswick.

Hopkins said “this has been an awesome experience for our guys” and is already excited about next year’s lineup, with potentially 18 players returning.

Tantramar Regional High School was well represented on this year’s team, with nine players making the cut to the final 40-man roster. They included: Sam Alward, Port Elgin; Nevin Becker, Mates Corner; Dylan Cormier, Sackville; Zach Cormier, Amherst; Dylan Estabrooks, Sackville; Aidan O’Neal, Sackville; Jake Reade-Futter, Upper Cape; Kyle Tower, Sackville; and Ross Wood, Sackville.

“They learned a lot about themselves in a three-game tournament where you play three games in a week,” said New Brunswick’s head coach Chris Hopkins in a statement following Sunday’s game against Manitoba. “This is a whole new experience for our kids. I think overall, we’ve taken a step forward this week as a province.”

Hopkins said the players and the coaches have shown commitment from day one and will continue to improve the team at a national level.

“I think that we’ve showcased some exceptional athletes to next level recruiters. We’ve showcased some exceptional coaching but just sometimes the depth isn’t there for the smaller provinces,” he said.

“I’m extremely proud of my kids; we’ve got an absolutely character group and they knew from day one that they were just going to be committed to football and committed to making a statement every time they stepped on the field. It was just an unfortunate result for our guys.”

The Football Canada Cup is the premiere pre-university football tournament in Canada, which annually showcases the top under-18 football players from across the country.

In the first day of competition, New Brunswick was downed 53-2 in a tough matchup against last year’s silver medallists’ Saskatchewan. Tantramar Titan player Aidan O’Neal was named offensive player of the game for New Brunswick. Another TRHS standout during that game was Dylan Cormier, who was given commendations from coach Hopkins following the game, stating “there’s a couple of guys on defence that I thought had great days. Dylan Cormier from Tantramar was exceptional. Bailey Feltmate was flying around. We’ve got a ton of talent on this team and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t show that on the scoreboard.”

The second game on Thursday saw New Brunswick facing their Maritime rivals, Team Nova Scotia. This was a much closer matchup, with Nova Scotia edging out New Brunswick by a score of 22-20.

On Sunday, New Brunswick went up against Team Manitoba, with Manitoba taking the win 48-7. Titan Nevin Becker was named defensive player of the game for New Brunswick.

Hopkins said “this has been an awesome experience for our guys” and is already excited about next year’s lineup, with potentially 18 players returning.

Tantramar Regional High School was well represented on this year’s team, with nine players making the cut to the final 40-man roster. They included: Sam Alward, Port Elgin; Nevin Becker, Mates Corner; Dylan Cormier, Sackville; Zach Cormier, Amherst; Dylan Estabrooks, Sackville; Aidan O’Neal, Sackville; Jake Reade-Futter, Upper Cape; Kyle Tower, Sackville; and Ross Wood, Sackville.

Gavin Cormier was on hand to cheer for Team NB during last Thursday’s game against Team Nova Scotia at the Football Canada Cup in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que. EMILY TOWER PHOTO

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