Category: Player News

North Bay Locals inducted into NFC Hall of Fame

‘Football is the ultimate team game, that does not allow one player to succeed, without the efforts and contributions of the other 11 guys on the field’

Author: Chris Dawson

A trio of local former North Bay Bulldogs senior football players were inducted into the Northern Football Conference Hall of Fame on Saturday.

The three former Bulldogs include quarterback Jason Ferriera, and wide receivers Steve Asselin and Greg Casey.

The announcement came at halftime between Bulldogs game in which the Senior Bulldogs fell 64-13 to Sarnia at the Steve Omischl Sportsplex Saturday night.

Ferriera was a five-time NFC All-Star, two-time NFC Offensive Player of the  Year, and two-time NFC MVP.

He also holds the single-season record for passing yards at 3200 and the single-season touchdown passing record of 33.

“Football is the ultimate team game, that does not allow one player to succeed, without the efforts and contributions of the other 11 guys on the field,” Ferriera said via Facebook.

“With that said, I wanted to send out thanks to all of my former teammates. Without you guys, this achievement would not have been possible. Thanks to the North Bay Bulldogs organization, for allowing me to enjoy the game of football for many years as a player, and hopefully many more as a coach.”

Asselin was a two-time NFC All-Star and a former NFC Offensive player of the year.

Casey is a former two-time NFC All-Star as well and holds the single-game record for receiving yards with 182.

Doug Steringa, who coaches currently in the Bulldogs program, was inducted as well.  Steringa spent time playing for Mississauga and Oakville of the NFC.

McMaster Marauders Commit Takes Unconventional Route

This article is originally from Canadian Football Chat
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The Author is Elizabeth Karchut.  Click her name to read other interesting football articles by her.
Photo credit to Joanna Kurowski

It took Hayden Amis, a receiver from Southwood High School, some time to find his path, but after putting his heart and soul into the sport he loves, he was rewarded with an offer from the McMaster Marauders.

His story begins in 2014. “At the time, he wasn’t university bound, not having an academic bone in his body,” said his father, Steven Amis. Hayden continued to play football with the Cambridge Lions (OPFL) and his high school club, the Southwood Sabres (WCSSAA) for as long as he could. When he graduated, he played for a bit at Conestoga College.

“He resigned himself that he’d have to work for a living,” Steve said. “It takes kids a little extra time sometimes…itching to play football, he joined the men’s league Tri-City Outlaws this spring and the ‘bug’ was reignited.

It was here that Hayden decided to take a gamble; he quit his job and focused solely on football. “Playing both ways as a rookie with the Outlaws, as well as long-snapping, gave him a ton of confidence,” Steve said. Hayden found success at the long-snapping position and was named as the team’s special teams player of the year for 2017.

The day after the Outlaws’ championship game, Hayden was lining up with the London Beefeaters (CJFL). The 6’4, 220lbs slotback and wide receiver finished first in the league in receptions and was named as the team’s offensive MVP.

“With the support and encouragement of the Beefs’ and Outlaws’ staff and players, he started upgrading his marks and the calls from U Sports teams started coming in,” Steve said.

One such team was the Marauders, who Hayden took a shine to. “I committed to McMaster because of the academic support, (its) distance to home and the culture in place,” Hayden said, who is interested in environmental studies. “The coaching staff seems great. I can’t wait to get to work with them.”

Hayden is from Ayr, Ontario, which is west of Hamilton.

“The boy’s passion and love of football has him excited about a university education at a prestigious school and what the future could hold,” Steve said. “Football has always been sold as having a positive influence teaching all the tenants that we can list, but here is proof positive that it can make a big difference in a kid’s opportunities and (that) it’s never too late.”

North Bay player in NFC hall of fame

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

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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.” ,

Twitter: @BrownRecord

City School Teacher Mixes Passing Grades and Passing Plays

By Troy Shantz (Original Article: ) 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