SACKVILLE, N.B. – The Tantramar Titans captured the 12-man high school football provincial championship here in Sackville on Saturday but there is another show coming to town this weekend as two other New Brunswick teams get ready to duke it out at Mount Allison’s Alumni Field – this time for the provincial 10-man title.
The St. Stephen High Spartans and the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders will battle it out this Saturday afternoon for the 10-man high school football championship. The game will get under way at 2 p.m. and is being played in Sackville because of an NBIAA rule that won’t allow the St. Stephen to host without a turf field.
SSHS coach Neil Grant said rather than take the game to Saint John, Fredericton or Moncton, he wanted to bring the game to Sackville, “a community that loves the sport and understands tradition.”
Grant, who grew up and attended school in Sackville, started the football program in St. Stephen 20 years ago and has been coaching ever since. He said the Spartans have multiple connections to his hometown.
“We are the two smallest schools playing football in the province – TRHS with just over 400 students and SSHS with around 450,” he said.
A Titan alumnus, Grant played football for Tantramar during his high school years and went on to attend Mount Allison University, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of education. Grant has also coached many Titans players for the last four years as special teams coordinator and DB coach for New Brunwick’s U18 team.
The Spartans’ offensive coordinator David Thorne played and coached at Mount A in the mid 2000’s before being drafted by the Eskimos of the CFL.
The Spartans are undefeated this year and recently decimated the Harrison Trimble Trojans 35-0 in the semi-final matchup. KV is 7-1-1 and made it to the championship match by defeating the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders 19-6 in the semis over the weekend.
The two teams will be playing for the Nick Desilets Memorial Trophy. Desilets was a former football Mountie who played offensive line and “opened many holes for Eric LaPointe’s Hec Creighton seasons,” said Grant. Former head coach of Spartans, Desilets also suited up with the Capital Area Gladiators of the New Brunswick Senior Football League during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, wearing his trademark #58, the same number that he wore at Mount A.
Grant said Desilet’s son Alex will be wearing #58 for the Spartans on Saturday as the team attempts to win its second provincial title in team history.
“I hope that Titans and Mountie fans can find some green and come out to watch some good football,” said Grant.