Category: Player News

North Bay player in NFC hall of fame

By DAVE DALE, NORTH BAY NUGGET
Original Article Here

North Bay Bulldogs’ all-time top scorer, Ricky Thompson, was honoured Saturday during the NFC semi-pro contest against the visiting Sudbury Spartans, Saturday.

Sudbury withstood a late push by the Bulldogs to sweep the three-game series between the clubs with a 16-8 victory. Each team now moves on to the playoffs with opponents and schedules to be confirmed.

Thompson, a prolific kicker, punter and slot back 1993 to 2008, earned an induction into the Northern Football Conference Hall of Fame.

The ceremony took place at half-time with both teams creating a half-circle facing several hundred fans at the Steve Omischl Sports Fields Complex.

Thompson and his wife, Melissa, a former Bulldogs trainer, traveled from their home in Welland, ON for the event.

“It was a great honour and a shock, actually,” Thompson said at the tail end of the game, referring to when Bulldogs coach and president Marc Mathon told him.

The 1995 and 2005 NFC all-star said he wasn’t aware of all the statistics he compiled over 15 years.

He said it’s hard to watch the Bulldogs play without wanting to get back in there, especially with several of his former teammates still taking part.

“Even now you still have the itch to play but you know your body can’t handle it, so that’s one of things right? But it’s a great atmosphere and I miss it,” he said.

The Widdifield Secondary School graduate is second all-time in the 65-year-old NFC league’s field goal department, hitting 38 with his longest field goal from 45 yards out, which won a game in the last second.

He is third all-time in converts hitting 189 of 194 (five blocked, none missed).

Thompson leads the league in single point rouges with eight coming off field goal attempts and 14 scored on punts.

As a receiver, he caught 105 passes for 1,226 yards and found paydirt eight times.

As a ball carrier, he averaged 7.23 yards on 39 rushes gaining 282 yards and scored two touchdowns.

He sits ninth all-time in the NFC scoring with 387 points, the most ever by a Bulldogs player.

Thompson was named to the NFC all-star team twice, the first in 1995 and second in 2005.

As for punting, his average was in the 40-yard range over 15 years.

The Bulldogs introduction to Thompson captured the value of the player and depth of his character.

“Ricky’s team attitude is second to none as he was always first to welcome new players onto the team … He’s always ready to spend some time teaching young players how to be competitive as receivers, kickers or punters,” those in attendance were told.

“He was the calming voice on and off the field. Ricky’s character stands for all that is good in a man and football player.

“He is exactly the type of player that is becoming of an NFC Hall of Famer.”

Mathon said Thompson was committed to excellence.

“Ricky was a terrific teammate as well as an awesome player to coach. He met his wife Melissa within the Bulldogs family and is an example of all that is good about football and the relationships fostered within the sports,” he said.

“Great friend, great football player … great person.”

Thompson’s former teammates still suiting up as Bulldogs include Ron Penasse, Russ Burns, Josh Ricker, Randy Nodder, Dan Routley, Sterliing Bilz, Tyler Croghan, Jack Ramsey, John Smales and Brian Samson. Coaches and executive include fellow NFC hall of famer running back Mick Bilz, Jason Pichette, Eric Morgan and Adam McLaren.

Beckford and Ashe back together again with the Outlaws

Photo Details: Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks alumni and best friends Jahmeeks Beckford, left, and Shawn Ashe have reunited on the football field with the Tri City Outlaws men’s team. The two were part of WLU’s last Vanier Cup-winning team. – David Bebee,Record staff

Here is a link to the original article: https://www.therecord.com/sports-story/7343981-beckford-and-ashe-back-together-again-with-the-outlaws/ Please, like and share it to give the writers your support.

WATERLOO REGION — They’re best friends.

They won a Vanier Cup with Wilfrid Laurier University on a cold day in Hamilton back in 2005.

Later in life they stood side by side as the best man at each other’s wedding.

Now Kitchener’s Jahmeeks Beckford and Shawn Ashe have reunited on the football field with the Tri-City Outlaws.

Beckford is the team’s assistant defensive coach while Ashe is making his return as a slot receiver after lengthy hiatus due to a concussion.

“I’m a big fan of his,” said Beckford, 36. “It’s fantastic to see him out there comfortable and excited.”

Their football story goes back more than two decades.

The duo met when they were about 12 years old.

“We dated the same girl … not at the same time,” said Beckford with a laugh. “She brought him to the neighbourhood and we connected.”

The pair bonded over a mutual fondness for football and used to walk to Eastwood Collegiate Institute together and then back home again after pigskin practice.

They’ve been teammates ever since — from the youth league Vipers to the high school Rebels to the university Golden Hawks and, lastly, the Outlaws on the senior men’s circuit.

“I couldn’t ask for a better best friend,” said Ashe, 36. “He’s one of the most genuine, fun loving and kind people that you’ll meet. He’s been with me through a lot of tough things and vice versa.”

One of them included a severe concussion that knocked Ashe off the gridiron about three years back.

Ashe was playing safety for the Outlaws at the time when he collided with an Ottawa player in the opening week of the 2014 season.

“We just went bucket to bucket,” he said. “He got the best of me at 240 pounds, while I was 190. It was a pretty rude awakening.”

The hit sent Ashe to the sidelines for five weeks. He pushed through the rest of the campaign before realizing he needed a longer layoff and spent the next two-plus years getting healthy before feeling the itch to return.

“I had no intention of playing,” he said. “I thought I had hung up the cleats. But being around the Outlaws last year and the game … you just get this urge. It’s hard to describe.”

The Outlaws kicked off their season this past weekend with a 38-19 victory over the Steel City Patriots in Hamilton.

The squad, which plays in the nine-team Northern Football Conference, hosts the Oakville Longhorns in their home opener Saturday at Rogers Field in Cambridge, at 7 p.m.

Ashe felt great in the team’s debut and caught six passes for 98 yards with a fourth-quarter touchdown.

“He looked right back in his element,” said Beckford, who retired from playing after rupturing his Achilles in 2008. “He’s an incredible competitor.”

More importantly, it just feels nice to have his old pal back with the Outlaws.

“It’s a place we’ve been,” he said. “We grew as football players and best friends there. So being back together on the field in this capacity is just fantastic.”

jbrown@therecord.com ,

Twitter: @BrownRecord

City School Teacher Mixes Passing Grades and Passing Plays

By Troy Shantz (Original Article: http://thesarniajournal.ca/city-schoolteacher-mixes-passing-grades-and-passing-plays/ ) Remember to like and share the original article to support NFC football and local media.

A teacher at Queen Elizabeth II School has his own way of dealing with stress outside the classroom.

“I love hitting guys, I love getting hit … I think it’s a really good outlet,” Ryan Lounsbury, who is a member of the Sarnia Imperials football team.

The six-foot-one, 195 lb. wide receiver has been an Imperial for nine years and was recruited by Jake Cherski, who still manages the team today.

Many players on the semi-pro football team also have nine-to-five jobs, and Lounsbury is no exception. He teaches Ojibwe at Queen E.

“You walk into work with a limp sometimes but it’s totally worth it,” he said.

Lounsbury got his start at the age of eight playing Sarnia Minor Athletics Association football. Though hockey dominated his adolescent years he also donned the blue and white football jersey for SCITS.

Lounsbury had a short stint with the Lambton Lions, and after finishing an environmental science degree at Windsor University, followed by teacher’s college, found his way back to the field and joined the Imperials.

It was culture shock at first, he said.

“Coming out here and playing against men? Totally different experience,” he recalled.

“I’ve been hit hard a few times, I’ll tell you that. But it’s an adjustment. After you play a couple years you take those hits, you learn to deal with it, it almost gets you fired up after that.”

The Imperials are one of nine teams in the Northern Football Conference representing cities between Sudbury and Ottawa.

Lounsbury has experienced the lows and highs of the franchise, including last season’s exciting trip to the finals. He feels good about the current season as well, he said.

“Nothing is ever out of reach. We have some great athletes.”

The league uses a fusion of NFL and CFL rules, and the level of play is fairly high, Lounsbury said. Several Imperials have had tryouts with CFL clubs and the league is a hotbed for nurturing talent for the professional league.

Lounsbury also heads the basketball and touch football programs at Queen Elizabeth, and coaches the Jr. Sting AAA hockey team in winter.

The skills he’s learned have translated over to his time on the gridiron, he added.

“A couple years ago I stepped up. I feel like I’ve become a leader too.”

For details on Sarnia Imperials schedule and roster, visit www.nfcfootball.ca/team/sarnia-imperials

Player Spotlight – Josh Reason and Matt Beardwood

Saturday. August 6th 2016 the Tri-City Outlaws defeated the Steel City Patriots by a score of 29 – 18 and advanced to the NFC semi-finals. The Outlaws will travel to Sarnia next to Saturday, August the 13th to play the division leading Sarnia Imperials. The Outlaws had to come behind with the Patriots scoring first on a touchdown late in the first quarter.

With a 21-7 lead nearing the end of the first half the Outlaws seemed to be in complete control but a late 2nd quarter TD by the Patriots made for an exciting second half. A solid running game allowed the Outlaws to use up the clock in the second half but the outcome was in doubt up to the final minute.

Running back Josh Reason led the offence with 130 yards on 30 carries scoring 3 touchdowns on the night earning a playoff – player of the game award.

The Patriots quarterback Matt Beardwood earned his team’s player of the game; who finished the game with a respectable 21 completions in 35 pass attempts for 302 yards and 2 TDs

Other Tri-City players made contributions to the victory: Kris Kusch scored the other touchdown on a 1 yard plunge. Dan Daigle completed 10 of 15 passes for 188 yards. Five receivers caught passes: Josh Reason, Jesse Hill, Max Knight, Brian Lane, and Ryan Watt-Dennis. Jose Patino kicked 3 successful conversions; Kris Kusch ran for a 2-point conversion.

Kris Kusch led the defense with 8 tackles, Jesse Collins and Marc Fernandes both made 4 tackles. The Outlaws picked off 4 Steel City passes – four players had one interception each: Jesse Collins, Shayden Smith, Jake Egers, and Cody Quinney

Player Spotlight – Jay Grant-Hose

HammerThe Steel City Patriots handed over the SCP Hammer to Jay Grant-Hose for his tremendous rushing performance against the Sudbury Spartans in their 28-21 victory July 2nd 2016. Jay rushed for 208 yards.

As mentioned on his Profile:

Jay is a 5 year veteran of SCP Football and a 4 year recipient of the Dave Cuthbertson Snr. Memorial award for most outstanding player, on and off the field, our most sincere professional, profoundly respected footballer, home grown product, who graduated from Sir Winston Churchill High School, in Hamilton.

Jay-Grant--Hose2