Category: Opinion

Steelers Football Rivals in 2017 include Sudbury and North Bay

By Randy Russon
Original Article:

Summer football season in Sault Ste. Marie may seem like a few months off.

And it is.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look ahead at it — and take one’s mind off the snow for just a bit.

Not that snow — or winter — can be classified in a negative category.

After all, if you live in Sault Ste. Marie — or Sudbury or North Bay for that matter — you should learn to live with snow and winter.

But ah yes, let’s talk a bit about summer football.

That is, preparations are ongoing for the 2017 Northern Football Conference season for the Sault Steelers.

Steeler management recently attended the NFC’s Annual General Meeting. And the AGM led to a still-tentative, regular-season schedule as well as some notable league news.

As of now, the regular season is slated to open on Saturday, May 27 when the Steelers would play host to the North Bay Bulldogs.

The rest of the Steelers home schedule includes games against the Sarnia Imperials on June 17, the Tri-City Outlaws on July 8 and the Sudbury Spartans on July 15.

North Bay is returning to the NFC after a six-year absence and is one of two teams returning to the league, the Toronto Phantom Raiders being the other.

The NFC plan for the 2017 season includes 10 teams and two divisions.

The West Division will include the Sault, North Bay, Sudbury, Sarnia and Tri City. The East Division is shaping up as the aforementioned Phantom Raiders, Ottawa Invaders, GTA All Stars, Oakville Longhorns and Hamilton Steel City Patriots.

In other news from the AGM, Barry Rushon, a long-time figure in Sault Ste. Marie football circles, will return as league president. And Paul Caldbick — like Rushon, a former Steelers championship coach — will serve as league treasurer while returning as general manager of the Sault squad.

And the Steelers are planning to mark the 10th anniversary of the team’s 2007 national championship this season with a party-style game.

Insider Predictions – Week 5 – 2016

NFC Insider Predictions
Week 5

Went 4-0 last week with picks

NFC Insider season record 11-3

Oakville @ Hamilton
There is no love lost between these two programs. They simply don’t like each other. That’s probably a mild understatement. This will be an emotional contest with the winner taking home bragging rights for the year. Keep the discipline in check boys!!!
Prediction: Hamilton wins 28-24

GTA @ Sarnia
This is my pick for game of the week. The Imps have come a long way since that 96-1 loss to GTA in 2014. This is going to be a heated game with emotions running high on both teams. The more disciplined team will win this one and my pick is Sarnia in a squeaker.
Prediction: Sarnia wins 28-27

Tri City @ Sault
The Outlaws have the stronger all around team. They play the run very well and the Sault is a run heavy team. Still beating the Sault in the Sault is no easy task. This year I will pick the Outlaws to avenge the loss from last season.
Prediction: Tri City wins 21-20

Sudbury @ Ottawa
This game will be closer than anyone would imagine. If the Spartans offence continues where they left off last week- this may even be an upset. Ottawa needs to play a complete game on offence, defense and special teams to win this one.
Prediction: Ottawa wins 24-21

Insider Predictions – Week 4

NFC Insider Predictions – Week 4

Well after last weeks 1-2 record, I wouldn’t put much into this weeks picks.

NFC Insider season record 7-3

Oakville @ Sudbury
The Spartans sputtered on the offensive side of the ball with far too many turnovers last week. Even then the game was incredibly close. The Horns will need a full roster to pull this one off in Sudbury.
Prediction: Sudbury wins 21-17

Hamilton @ GTA
The Patriots are coming off a big win and a Bye week. The All Stars lost their first game since 2014. But they signed Touchdown Tommy to fill the QB void. They were hoping to run the table this season and Ottawa took that away. Playing GTA after their first loss in a few years is no easy task.
Prediction: GTA wins 42-13

Soo @ Sarnia
The second half of the home and home this weekend. The Imp’s are rested and will have a full roster at home. The Steelers will travel for the second week in a row. The Sault defense is playing stellar but when you run the ball 50 times a game – you need a back like Gauthier and he’s not there this season.
Prediction: Sarnia wins 21-7

Ottawa @ Tri City
This is my pick for game of the week. The Invaders are coming off a big win over GTA. The Outlaws have been playing the run tough all year – and Ottawa relies on their run game.
Should be close tough game.
Prediction: Ottawa wins 17-14 in a nail biter.