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OFSAA 2019 Football Matchups Announced

November 6, 2019 by  
Filed under Provincial and Territorial News

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Ron Joyce Field, McMaster University, Hamilton

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Steve Milton: Winner of Thursday’s city public high school football title gets automatic entry into OFSAA Bowl Series
Westmount or Sir Winston Churchill will be one of SOSSA’s two reps; Burlington Nelson automatic spot as hosts of series, Nov. 26-28 at McMaster; St. Thomas More is ranked No. 1 in country

OPINION Nov 04, 2019 by Steve Milton  The Hamilton Spectator

OFSAA

Westmount’s Justin Gray, left, and Seth Cabeza; Churchill’s Owen Hinsberger and Nic Revost; Nelson’s Keagan Hall and Lucas Varga and St. Marcellinus’s Quinton Ramos and Jayden Kerr were all on hand for the announcement for the OFSAA Football Bowl Series from Nov. 26-28 at Ron Joyce Stadium. – John Rennison,The Hamilton Spectator

Both coaches make it immediately clear that the city championship is the biggest, and, usually, the only thing.

But when the Westmount Wildcats and the Churchill Bulldogs meet for the boys public school football title Thursday night at Tim Hortons Field, the winner will not only have Hamilton bragging rights but will advance directly into the OFSAA Football Bowl Series from Nov. 26-28 at Ron Joyce Stadium.

The three-day festival, bringing together 18 of the province’s top teams in nine different bowl games at McMaster, returns to Hamilton after a year in Ottawa and before it heads back out on the road, likely Kingston next fall and perhaps Guelph the year after.

“We’re focused on the city championship,” says Bulldogs head coach Kevin Harrison, who points out that Churchill has never won the city title and has dedicated this season to Churchill student Devan Bracci-Selvey, who was murdered outside the school in early October.

“It’d be great to go to OFSAA to represent Churchill and the east end of Hamilton community. It would be very big for us. It’s a great opportunity for the kids, with what they’ve gone through this season.”

The winner of Churchill versus Westmount advances to the SOSSA championship against the top team in the Niagara region, but as one of the two local associations, SOSSA will send both its finalists into the provincial series.

“Both Kevin and I have special groups of kids this year, and we’re focused on the city championship, which for all of the coaches in our league is where the emphasis always been,” says Wildcats coach, Tom Pain. “But if you can get to OFSAA, you’d always carry that with you..”

This is the 19th year for the OFSAA Bowls Series, which six years ago expanded from five games to nine. After years in Toronto, it came to McMaster for 2014 and then moved to Tim Hortons Field for three years. But OFSAA’s sports advisory committee recommended the series start to move around the province to broaden the interest and that, to control costs, it should be played at universities rather than in CFL stadia.

Burlington’s Nelson High School is the 2019 host school, assisted by regional association, GHAC. As hosts, the Lords automatically get one of GHAC’s two host berths. Through games over the next three weeks, the Halton Catholic and Public Leagues or the Hamilton Catholic League will provide GHAC’s other entry.

Hamilton’s St. Thomas More Knights are the No. 1 ranked team in the country and if they eventually win GHAC they’d play in the Golden Horseshoe Bowl on Wednesday, Nov. 27. Otherwise, Nelson would get that spot, and the second GHAC rep would go to the Independent Bowl on Tuesday Nov. 26. If Thursday’s city winner also wins the SOSSA title, they’d play in the 39th edition of the Metro Bowl on the Wednesday. If they lose in SOSSA, they’d play Thursday morning in the National Capital Bowl.

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