Category: Player News

2023 NFC All Stars & Award Winners

Most Valuable Player Jordan Heather (North Bay)
Offensive Player of the Year Jacob Steringa (North Bay)
Defensive Player of the Year Lowhya Lako (Sarnia)
Offensive Lineman Tome Bailey (Tri City)
Defensive Lineman Micheal Livingston (GTA)
Rookie of the Year Jordan Heather (North Bay)
(Leo Troy Memorial)
Coach of the Year Marc Mathon (North Bay)
(Sid Forster Memorial)
Special Teams Player Jacob Steringa (North Bay)
(Mike Jackson Memorial)
Leading Scorer Jacob Steringa (North Bay)
(August Kangro Memorial)
Quarterback Jordan Heather (North Bay)
Running Back Brandon Metz (Tri City)
Alanzo Clarke (Sault)
Receivers Jacob Steringa (North Bay)
Nick Laporte (North Bay)
Kevin Walsh (GTA)
Dylan Mhlanga (Sarnia)
Offensive Line Andrew Carbillo (Tri City)
Tom Bailey (Tri City)
Connor Davis (Ottawa)
Nick Belanger (Ottawa)
Rily Vandehogan (Tri City)
Defensive Line Derek Mulder (Tri City)
Micheal Livingston (GTA)
Damian Dziadosa (Tri City)
Zach Sewell (GTA)
Linebackers Lowhya Lako (Sarnia)
Dustin Murray (Hamilton)
Michael Reid (Sault)
Defensive Backs Richard Gillespie (GTA)
Tyler Storie (Sarnia)
Holden Drouin (North Bay)
Jake Skrinda (Tri City)
Zach Wilkinson (North Bay)
Punter Ova Coca (GTA)
Punt Return Archelaus Jack (Hamilton)
Kicker Adam Pallet (Hamilton)
Kick Return Brandon McCraney (Sarnia)
Quarterback Spencer Bollman (Tri City)
Running Backs Alex McFarlane (GTA)
Jonathon Cimankinda (Ottawa)
Receivers Esaie Mboko (Tri City)
Deshawn Greenway (Hamilton)
Andre Laundry (North Bay)
Andre Bailey (Hamilton)
Offensive Line Rashad Hafzi (Ottawa)
Jordan Fryer (Sudbury)
Drake Morin (North Bay)
Josh Hardy (Sarnia)
Nik Blake (GTA)
Defensive Line Joe Shyminsky (Sudbury)
Ethan Barnes (Sarnia)
Austin Garlow Henry (Hamilton)
Miguel Allard (North Bay)
Linebackers Jaydon Lawson (Tri City)
Jonathon Cimankinda (Ottawa)
Anthony Edwards (Sarnia)
Defensive Backs Nicolas Cartagenise (GTA)
Jordan Wright (Sarnia)
Kory Benoit (North Bay)
Mykal Reid (Tri City)
Connor Boudreau (Sault)
Punter Adam Pallet (Hamilton)
Punt Return Kevin Walsh (GTA)
Kicker Jacob Steringa (North Bay)
Kick Return Alanzo Clarke (Sault)

2018 NFC Awards

2018 Northern Football Conference

All Stars and Awards

Congratulations to all the NFC All-Star and League Awards recipients.

Please see the complete list of all award winners below:


Most Valuable Player
Julian Shadd-Gentry – Sarnia First Honour

Offensive Player of the Year
Julian Shadd-Gentry – Sarnia First Honour

Defensive Player of the Year
Erik Conrad – Sudbury First Honour

Offensive Lineman of the Year
Nik Blake – GTA* First Honour
Daryl Ntow – Sarnia* First Honour

Defensive Lineman of the Year
Jordan Pavell – Steel City First Honour

Rookie of the Year
Josh Madden – Steel City First Honour
(Leo Troy Memorial)

Coach of the Year
Jake Cherski – Sarnia Also Honoured in 2015
(Sid Forster Memorial)

Special Teams Player
Donovan Saunders – Steel City First Honour
(Mike Jackson Memorial)

Leading Scorer
Kevin Walsh – GTA First Honour
(August Kangro Memorial)

*-denotes a tie


Jason Bertrand – GTA First Honour

Running Back
Alex McFarlane – GTA First Honour
Josh Cuomo – Sudbury 2016, 2015, 2013

Taj Gill – GTA First Honour
Kevin Walsh – GTA First Honour
Ryan Lounsbury – Sarnia 2016, 2015
Isaiah Wiltshire – GTA First Honour

Offensive Line
Michael Antoine – GTA First Honour
Louis Chartrand – Sudbury First Honour
Nik Blake – GTA First Honour
Adam Mackinnon – Sarnia 2017
Patrick Ross – GTA First Honour


Ovi Coca – GTA First selection

Punt Return
Donovan Saunders – Steel City First selection

Ovi Coca – GTA 2017

Kick Return
Donovan Saunders – Steel City First selection


Defensive Line
Micheal Livingston – GTA 2017, 2016, 2015
Cody Burt – Sarnia 2017
Jordan Pavell – Steel City First Honour
Kevin White – Sudbury 1992

Kris Kusch – GTA 2016, 15, 14, 13, 12
Erik Conrad – Sudbury 2017, 2016
Nicolas Lortie – OTT First Honour

Defensive Backs
Jake Edgers – Tri City 2016
Josh Girolametto – Sudbury First Honour
Donovan Saunders – Steel City First Honour
Matt Gauthier – Sault First Honour
Andrew St. Amour – Sudbury 2017


Julian Shadd-Gentry – Sarnia

Running Backs
Steve Hiiemai – Sault
Donnie Portis – Sarnia

Brandon Weekes – Ottawa
Joshua Wright – Sarnia
Micah Moore – Sarnia
Jesse Pledge – North Bay

Offensive Line
Jamie Eldridge – Sarnia
Brandon Wolsey – Sarnia
Matt Chartrand – Sudbury
Bradon Demers – Ottawa
Antonio Lepiane – Steel City

Special Teams
Punter Adam Pallett – Steel City
Punt Return Kevin Walsh – GTA
Kicker Andrew Banerjee – Ottawa
Kick Return Jesse Pledge – North Bay

Defensive Line
Switchson Spring – Steel City
Nigel Spence-Hart – GTA
Derick Mulder – Tri City
Andrew Gillis – Sudbury*
Allens Pierre – Oattawa*

Doran Harry – Oakville
Dustin Murray – Steel City
Andrew MacDonald – Sarnia

Defensive Backs
Tyler Bistrovich – Steel City
Marcus Severe – Ottawa
Riley Roy – Sudbury
Randy Trice – Sarnia
Kevin Coxall – Toronto Raiders

*-denotes a tie

Bittersweet end to Spartans season

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Original article:

By Ben Leeson, Sudbury Star

Hunter Holub could have found reasons to hang his head Saturday night.

His Sudbury Spartans had just dropped a heartbreaker 21-14 decision to the Ottawa Sooners in their Northern Football Conference quarter-final, in a game the Nickel City squad may have won, if not for a dropped TD, a pair of missed field goals and a late fumble.

But Holub’s gaze was straight ahead, to what he hopes will be an even brighter future for semi-pro football in Sudbury.

“It’s sort of bittersweet,” Holub said. “We didn’t play that well in the first half and we know we can play well, we know we can compete with the good teams like Ottawa. They went 5-3 this year and they were ranked like third in the league, they’re a very good team, so to come out and almost have a comeback, even with the mistakes we made, seeing how we can play and finishing off a game like that, I think it’s good.”

Holub threw a touchdown pass to Justin Poirier and ran for a TD of his own Saturday night to cap a strong rookie season. He’s already looking forward to his sophomore campaign.

“I plan to keep playing,” he said. “Looking at these older guys, Matt Furino, Red (Erik Conrad), Whitey (Kevin White), they have a great bond with each other and with the team and they’re encouraging all the young people to come out, so I plan to play in the future, and hopefully, more people do, too.”

Hosting a playoff game for the first time since 2015, the Spartans had a slow start against the Sooners, who were missing a couple of strong starters, but remained a quality club on both sides of the ball.

They showed that when quarterback Danny Mullins led a long first-quarter drive and finished with a short keeper for a TD. The ensuing convert made it 7-0.

Ottawa’s offence sputtered deep in its own end near the midway mark of the second frame, however, allowing Sudbury to take over at the visitors’ 34-yard line. A 14-yard catch and run by Josh Cuomo put the locals inside the 20, where they came within a hair of scoring a major of their own when Holub found James Howatt open in the end zone, but Howatt couldn’t quite hold onto the pass.

Spartans kicker Massimo Cimino then attempted a field goal, but booted it just wide.

Sudbury’s defence stymied Ottawa on another drive down the field, sacking Mullins to end the half.

Holub had just missed Poirier with a long pass when the first-year quarterback aired it out for No. 20 again, this time connecting for a 87-yard score and bringing the crowd to its feet. Cimino’s PAT tied the score, 7-7, with 7:50 left in the third quarter.

The Spartans missed on another field goal attempt later in the third.

Ottawa restored its lead won Daniel McGrowder’s eight-yard reception in the fourth quarter, then scored again on an option pitch to Mike Leno.

The Spartans embarked on a strong drive late in the contest that culminated in Holub’s wild scramble for a 21-yard TD, narrowing the score to 21-14, but could come no closer.

“Losing is never a positive thing,” Spartans head coach Junior Labrosse said. “But the thing you can take out of this loss, as a coach, is the fact the guys didn’t give up. They scored, but we hung in there. Offence had to do certain things, we had trouble moving the ball, but some adjustments were made.”

Early on, he saw the same signs of panic that marked the Spartans’ early games this season, but the players “snapped out of it.”

“As coaches, that’s what you want. Play the game, don’t just say we can’t do this or can’t do that – eventually, it will happen, and if we can’t do that, we’ll do something else, and in the second half, we hit Justin on that big one.

“Ottawa came to play, but we missed a touchdown in the end zone, two field goals, and that’s the game. In my mind, we won that game, but on paper, on record, it doesn’t show. Howatt makes that catch, Massimo hits those field goals, and we win it. And this is a strong Ottawa team, coming from a community where they have a strong football background. We showed them that guys up north, and hopefully, a lot of fans or young players who are out there wondering, is this league garbage, as has been spread around for a long time, it’s a beer league, it’s a bunch of old guys, it’s all of this, maybe there have been some eyes opened, going, wow, there’s some good football here.”

The season was certainly an eye-opener for Holub, who was out of the game for three years after a successful run with the Lively Hawks high school team and Sudbury Gladiators varsity squad, before signing with the Spartans this past spring.

By Saturday, he was playing with noticeable confidence and plenty of poise.

“I knew at the start, I would be a bit rusty, after never playing and not throwing a ball in years competitively, and I knew there would be kinks to work out,” Holub said. “I think it was the Sault game, when we played there about halfway through the season, that was when I felt like this is who I am, this is what I’m going to be. Ever since then, it has gone uphill and I feel like I have finished on a peak.”

Like Holub, Labrosse’s mind was already turning to next season.

“Now, things are going to start again, go back to the drawing board,” Sudbury’s coach said. “What do we need to tweak? What do we need to adjust? The biggest thing is we need more players.”

While pleased with several of the changes since Dario Zulich and Sudbury Wolves Sports and Entertainment took ownership of the team last year, Labrosse hopes to have even more resources for recruiting in his bid to build an NFC contender.

“This isn’t hockey, where a body check might be thrown once every three shifts. These guys hit every play, so injuries happen. It doesn’t seem, numbers-wise, like it’s a long season, but it takes its toll. Football is a game where you hit every play, every practice, so we need more bodies. You never have enough. It happened tonight – we lost a lineman, then we were down to just five and you’re crossing your fingers as a coach going, I hope nobody else gets hurt.”

He hopes the positive experiences of newcomers like Holub and Matt Glass will also help in recruiting efforts.

“If I can keep this roster, but add to it, then look out, NFC.”

Twitter: @ben_leeson

Spartans’ Costello relishes game-day experience

Please, like and share the original story to help Ontario’s local media with their coverage of NFC teams and events.

Original article:

By Ben Leeson, Sudbury Star

Sudbury GM sees bright future for organization

Bill Costello’s father, the late Gary (Satch) Costello, had him well prepared for a life on the sideline with the Sudbury Spartans.

“My dad told me, ‘You’re always the first one to arrive and you’re always the last one to leave,’ ” Costello recalled. “And it’s so true.”

That goes for not only Costello, the general manager and head trainer for the local Northern Football Conference outfit, but also the likes of equipment manager Mike Lynott, trainer Al Kuzenko, water boy Alex Dodds, as well as youngsters who may rotate in and out depending on availability, but whose contributions remain vital to making game day at James Jerome Sports Complex a success.

All volunteers, they’ll be working hard as ever when the Spartans kick off the NFC post-season Saturday against the Ottawa Sooners.

Game time is 7:30 p.m.

“The staff I have are actually amazing, that they are able to do what they do,” Costello said. “It’s a lot of little tasks to be able to take care of the big event.

“All of them make sure that these guys look and feel like they’re prepared for a game. There’s a lot of time that goes in before and after the game, from taping ankles to washing uniforms a couple of days after the game.”

As much as he trusts his staff, and full as his plate may be, Costello has yet to step back and embrace a more strictly managerial role. That may happen eventually, but for now, he enjoys being immersed in the game-day experience.

“It’s kind of a tough one,” he said. “I absolutely love the game days. It’s being able to find the right type of people to surround myself with, but I would love to be able to do a little bit less. Junior (Labrosse, head coach), Wally (Wilson, special teams/offensive line coach) and Gord (Goddard, president) are actually always pushing me to do a bit less every year and you know what, sometimes the grandiose plan is to get a fully-fledged training staff and everything, but i like to lead from the front, lead by example, and I’m not willing to get someone else to do something unless I’m willing to do it myself. That’s not to say I wouldn’t give up a lot of this stuff, but hopefully each year, I can manage a little bit more and do a little bit less, not have to tape at the games, but kind of sit back and schmooze a little bit with the fans, see all my alumni that have actually come out to the games. The future’s a little bit brighter for me, with all of the stuff that has happened the last few years, and I think it will be good for the next few years.”

Among the most significant changes has been the purchase of the Spartans by local businessman Dario Zulich in spring of 2017 and their incorporation into Sudbury Wolves Sports and Entertainment, alongside the Sudbury Wolves hockey club and Sudbury Five basketball team.

Both of the sister squads will be well-represented at Saturday’s playoff game, as sponsors for the event.

Activities are to include fan giveaways, an appearance by the Sudbury Five Dance Squad and a performance by local musician Dan MacDonald.

The Dellelce Family Hospitality Tent will be open before and during the game.

“All year, it has been building to this,” Costello said. “We had our home opener and the beer tent came along, we had some SPAD (Laurentian University sports administration) students who were able to come and help out, otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to do some of this stuff. As a solo organization, we weren’t able to do that in the past, and now, we’re actually part of a bigger organization, there’s a lot more back-room support for these types of things.

“They will feed one another. Hopefully, my players and my staff can actually go down to a Five game and maybe volunteer to do some security or some public relations stuff. There’s a little bit of give and take with that, but overall, the organization has been absolutely amazing and patient, because football is very different from hockey and basketball is very different from football. We are like a family, because a lot of the organization involves friends and families, but now the public is getting on board and seeing that it actually is quality football, and having that promotional end of it, to actually market and promote it, from the Sudbury Wolves, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Twitter: @ben_leeson