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Sackville Titan named U16 Football Canada Eastern Challenge All-Star

Tantramar Titan Ethan Doherty secures the ball as he dives for extra yards after running the ball back on an interception against the Moncton Purple Knights in a home game earlier this season. Doherty, who played for Team NB 2019, was recently named a U16 Football Canada Eastern Challenge All-Star.
Tantramar Titan Ethan Doherty secures the ball as he dives for extra yards after running the ball back on an interception against the Moncton Purple Knights in a home game earlier this season. Doherty, who played for Team NB 2019, was recently named a U16 Football Canada Eastern Challenge All-Star. - Contributed

Ethan Doherty could take on expanded role with Sackville squad over next two seasons

SACKVILLE, N.B. —

During the past year, Ethan Doherty has demonstrated the value of outstanding coaching and, as a result, has been named outstanding defensive back in the U-16 group by Football Canada.

Ethan Doherty, right, celebrates the Tantramar Titans’ fifth consecutive provincial championship earlier this month with teammate Brayden Phinney.
Ethan Doherty, right, celebrates the Tantramar Titans’ fifth consecutive provincial championship earlier this month with teammate Brayden Phinney.

Yes, the lanky 6', 155-pound speedster was chosen from among the dozens and dozens of defensive backs who played for their provincial teams during the annual Eastern Challenge this past July in Kingston, Ont., earning a spot on the all-star list.

This came as little surprise to those fans who have been closely following the Tantramar Titans this past year. He, like many other athletes, played numerous positions in the local backfield and seemed to have a “nose for the football”.

He had three picks, including one in the semi-final victory and another key one in the final minutes of the title victory over Riverview.

Titan special teams coach Wray Perkin, who also works with Team NB, said he caught a couple of games at the national tournament and was impressed with the manner in which Doherty exerted himself – especially in preventing pass completions and the way in which he attacks ball carriers, frequently throwing them for losses.

While the academically-sound athlete was surprised at being chosen from an elite group, he nevertheless appreciates being recognized for his football skills, which have been developed over nearly 10 years, primarily in the local minor system under coaches Isaac and Tim Cormier.

In announcing the all-stars, Football Canada noted they were recognizing the achievements of 40 of Canada’s top young football players.

New Brunswick was well represented with eight young men on the list. The champion Quebec team had nine, Ontario seven and Nova Scotia six.

Doherty was also named to Football Canada’s national 2019 U16 Top 100 Futures list just this week.

Local fans anticipate seeing Doherty evolve into a far more versatile performer with the Titans and, perhaps, with Team New Brunswick.

It is recalled he earned MVP honours with the Peewee Titans as a tailback and some believe he is capable of taking on that leading role as he enters Grade 11.

But the soft-spoken young man says he will do whatever the coaches ask of him, and that could be a great deal when digesting the number of key performers who will be graduating in June.

He has performed on all the special teams as well as covering a halfback slot for the past season and feels his speed should be an asset if he is moved to offense as well.

Like all the Titan players, Doherty was disappointed that head coach Scott O’Neal will not be back to call the shots next season, but he believes the staff has so much depth that the team will respond well as it attempts to bring home their sixth consecutive New Brunswick high school football championship in 2020.

And, just to demonstrate his athletic skills, he has earned a spot on the varsity Titan basketball team.

Asked how he can juggle two varsity sports at the same time, Doherty says, “No problem – I will follow the basketball regime while also spending several hours a week in the gym preparing for next football season.”

So, remember the name of Ethan Doherty – obviously destined to become a leading force with the Titans for the next couple of seasons.

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