Steelers Football Rivals in 2017 include Sudbury and North Bay

By Randy Russon
Original Article: http://www.saultthisweek.com/2017/02/21/steeler-football-rivals-in-2017-include-sudbury-north-bay

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.

Multi-Sport Coaching Conference – Hamilton

The Ontario Coaches Conference has become a signature event on the provincial sports calendar since 2007, bringing together coaches from as many as 67 sporting disciplines, ranging from those who volunteer a few days a week in their community to teachers and high-performance coaches working to develop Ontario’s  youth through physical activity and sport.

While this isn’t an NFC sponsored event a number of teams have stated that this event is worth mentioning and are encouraging coaches to look over the conference. It’s a three-day event that is open to coaches of all levels.

Web link here: http://www.coachesontario.ca/conference/

 

2017 Preseason Report

The Northern Football Conference Executive meeting in Barrie over the past weekend revealed the path of the NFC for the 2017 season.

A tentative schedule has been worked out giving the teams opportunity to prepare for NFC week 1 on May the 27th.  The schedule will be posted to the site in graphic form and then in a week by week breakdown.

Two teams rejoin the NFC. The Toronto Phantom Raiders are back after a rebuilding year and make up the fifth team in the NFC East. They join the Invaders, Longhorns, Patriots and the reigning NFC champions the GTA All Stars.

The North Bay Bulldogs return after a 6-year league hiatus rebuilding their football program from the ground up. The Bulldogs look to make an impact in the NFC West joining the Steelers, Spartans, Outlaws and the Imperials.

The NFC Preseason is in full effect. The teams are recruiting and training for a great NFC 2017 season.

Bulldogs Return to NFC

The North Bay Bulldogs are returning to the NFC. The North Bay team is gearing up, signing players and ready to begin their new campaign in the NFC for the 2017 season. Their program ended it’s NFC run in 2010. The Bulldogs went back to the drawing board and began a new system that started at the Junior Varsity level. Then a Youth tackle league was created followed by a Bantam program – all successful in their respective divisions. With a culture of football transcending through the age categories a wealth of talent has emerged ready to play in the NFC.

The NFC welcomes the North Bay Bulldogs back into the league. More on the detail later.

Here is their press release and hype video:

From 1952 through 2010 North Bay has fielded Senior teams to compete provincially in the Northern Football Conference.

Since 1991 the North Bay Bulldogs competed in the NFC yet recognized the challenges of fielding a team. Several elements drove the success of the team from talent pool population, to injuries and player retirement.

“By identifying the gaps in fielding a successful team year over year it was decided to take a leave from the NFC in good financial standing and rebuild our talent pool,” stated Bulldogs President Marc Mathon in a release.

“Over the past 6 years the North Bay Bulldogs have focused on building their football club to generate additional football pedigree and hunger for the game.

“Almost 1,000 players later since 2004 through our fall youth and summer programs, our numbers have spoken & we have notified the Northern Football Conference that we will field a team the summer of 2017.”

The Bulldogs will suit up in new black, gold, grey and white jerseys, which was decided by the players.

“We are excited about the prospect of NFC football in North Bay… and so are the number of players asking us to move this project forward,” added Mathon.

To date Mathon says there are a couple dozen players who have formally expressed their intention to play and at a player fee cost of under $300 its going to be very affordable.

For more information please contact us at info@northbaybulldogs.com or visit www.northbaybulldogs.com

Patriots Website Rebuild

The Steel City Patriots are making offseason moves on the field and on the world wide web. With a renewed hunger the team is putting out a new home on the internet for their fans and team. This brand reconstruction is the beginning of a new effort to take a playoff contender and elevate the brand on all levels.

The NFC has pointed our links to their new site http://www.steelcitypatriots.com/. We encourage you to browse their site and take a tour of the Patriots Nation.

Their site includes ticketsSteel City Patriots merch, pictures, and videos.

Patriot’s fans can follow them on facebook .