Tag: #SudburySpartans

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)

2023 Season Best Performance’s

Category Perf. Player Team Opponent Date
Most Points 24 Jonathon Cimankinda OTT vs NBY July 15 2023
Most Carries 28 Alanzo Clarke SSM @ NBY July 8, 2023
Most Rushing Yards 203 Alanzo Clarke SSM @ NBY July 8, 2023
Longest Run 52 Brook Hoover SSM at SUD June 3, 2023
Receptions 10 Jacob Steringa NBY vs OTT June 3, 2023
Reception Yards 225 Jacob Steringa NBY vs OTT June 3, 2023
Longest Reception 85 Deshawn Greenway HAM vs MIFA July 15 2023
Pass Attempts 45 Josh Madden HAM vs OTT June 17, 2023
Pass Completions 27 Jordan Heather NBY @ OTT July 15 2023
Passing Yards 437 Jordan Heather NBY @ OTT July 15 2023
Tackles 20 Jon Cimankinda OTT @ HAM June 17, 2023
Sacks 3 Blake Iannelli SSM vs SUD June 10, 2023
  3 Anothony Noel OTT @ GTA July 8, 2023
  3 Michael Reid SSM vs GTA July 22, 2023
Tackles for Losses 3 Zack Kirk SSM at SUD June 3, 2023
  3 Austin Garlow Henry HAM vs OTT June 17, 2023
  3 Derek Mulder TCO vs MIFA June 17, 2023
  3 Thomas Shaw OTT vs HAM July 22, 2023
Longest Field Goal 44 Jad Oiletk OTT vs HAM July 22, 2023
Longest Punt 52 Ovi Coca GTA @ SAR July 15 2023
  52 Ovi Coca GTA @ SSM July 22, 2023
Longest Punt Return 119t Jackson Smiley SAR @ GTA June 10, 2023
Longest Kickoff 80 Tucker Almert TCO vs MIFA June 17, 2023
Longest Kick Return 95t Branden McCraney SAR vs MIFA July 8, 2023
Longest Interception Return 73t Jordan Wright SAR vs MIFA July 8, 2023
Longest Fumble Return 49 Mehron Alexander TCO vs GTA June 24, 2023

The North Bay Bulldogs reel off 28 points to beat Sudbury on Saturday night

The Bulldogs started slow but finished fast to end their Northern Football Conference regular season with a 5 and 1 record after beating the Sudbury Spartans 42-21.
Author of the article:Greg Estabrooks | North Bay Nugget
Published Jul 23, 2023

It was a little tougher than expected for the North Bay Bulldogs on Saturday night. The Sudbury Spartans may have been winless entering their game with the Bulldogs at Cundari Field, but they did arrive to compete.

Sudbury led the Bulldogs 21-14 late in the second quarter before the Bulldogs scored twice in the final three minutes to head to halftime with a 28-21 lead.

North Bay shut out the Spartans in the second half, scoring two more touchdowns, and cruising to a 42-21 win.

North Bay finishes the regular season with a 5-1 record. Ottawa handed the North Bay side its only regular-season loss after the Sooners rallied from a 21-0 deficit to stun the Bulldogs 35-33 on July 15.

Marc Mathon, the head coach and defensive coordinator, commented on his team’s ability to shut down the Spartans after a tough start.

“I think the guys just got caught a bit off guard,” said Mathon. “They were trying to corral (Sudbury’s offence) instead of attacking. We just changed it to a more attacking defence in the second half and that made a difference.”

Veteran defensive back Kory Benoit, who had one of three North Bay interceptions in the contest, talked about the change in approach.

“We just needed to buckle down and play our game of football,” he said. “Just do what the coaches asked us to do. We were a little concerned but knew if we did our jobs, we would prevail.”

The Bulldogs turned the ball over early in the game and that aided Sudbury, giving the Spartans a short field.

Quarterback Jordan Heather said a few things contributed to the sluggish start but it was good to see his teammates find their stride.

“We had a backup centre in the game, our normal centre has been away,” he said. “We had a snap go over my head, it happens. We also had a fumble in the first half. We had football plays that just didn’t go our way.

“They came to play, and you have to hand it to them for that,” said Heather. “It took us a little bit to wake up. Once our defence started to click, we held them scoreless in the second half and our offence was also able to do our thing.”

Heather threw a whopping six touchdown passes in the game as North Bay racked up 480 yards of total offence.

The Bulldogs quarterback had an animated talk with the team post-game and said the Bulldogs need to bear down, as the games are only going to get tougher.

“You got to be at practice; you got to commit,” said the Bulldogs pivot. “A new season is starting. We have a chance to do something good here. But we need to have a good week of practice to take it forward.”

Nick Laporte caught two more touchdown passes on five receptions for 136 yards.

Jacob Steringa scored twice himself, finishing the game with 125 yards receiving on eight catches.

Fisher Bilz caught his first touchdown pass of the season and rushed for a season-high 75 yards.

The Bulldogs host the Ottawa Sooners next Saturday back at Mike O’Shea Field, with the kickoff set for 7 p.m.

Original Article

Spartans forfeit NFC quarter-final, citing safety concerns

Tri-City gets bye to semifinal
Author of the article:Ben Leeson | Sudbury Star
Published Jul 25, 2023

A series of hard-fought, yet winless efforts by the short-staffed Sudbury Spartans will not be rewarded with a berth in the Northern Football Conference playoffs after all.

NFC officials announced on Monday night that Sudbury would forfeit its quarter-final game against the Tri-City Outlaws, scheduled for this coming Saturday, giving the latter a bye to the semis.

Exacerbated by injuries and work and school commitments, player numbers were a constant challenge for the men’s team during the regular season. Just 25 dressed for a 42-21 loss in North Bay this past Saturday, earning praise from head coach Junior Labrosse for a gutsy outing. Those same issues prompted this week’s forfeit, announced by the NFC in a Facebook post on Monday and acknowledged by Spartans brass the following day.

Reached again on Tuesday, Labrosse said the decision, while difficult, was a matter of player safety.

“For the North Bay game, we went down with 25 and injuries happen, then there’s work commitments,” Labrosse explained. “We also had three players getting ready to go to university camps. So you go from 25 and you’re down three more and in that game, we ended up getting four or five more injuries. I’m not going down to Tri-City with 18, 19 guys. It’s not that the guys didn’t want to go, but I have to take their safety into consideration.

“This is not like Joe Mac or Pop Warner, where kids can play every position, because there’s not much contact, there’s not much hitting. Anybody who has played this league knows it’s a physical league and when you’re asking guys to play triple duty — offence, defence and specials — in 40-degree heat and you ask them to hit every play or to be hit every play, it gets to a point where your body’s going to start shutting down and serious injuries can happen. These guys have got to put bread on the table.”

Sudbury’s entry in the NFC had hoped to build on a strong 2022 campaign, during which the locals posted a regular-season record of 5-1 and won their first playoff game in 28 years to reach semifinals. But the departures of starters from quarterback Adam Rocha, who signed in the Canadian Junior Football League, to lineman Kyle Henri, who has battled lingering injuries, combined with steady improvements by league rivals such as North Bay and the Sault, prevented the Spartans from converting their workmanlike performances into victories.

Sudbury still qualified for the playoffs, however, due to the Toronto Phantom Raiders’ decision to fold their tents in pre-season, combined with the Oakville Longhorns’ even poorer regular season — Oakville was outscored 341-6 in six games, compared to a 176-65 margin for Sudbury, and the Longhorns failed to record a single touchdown on offence — and the Spartans were expected to visit Tri-City, if enough players were available to safely field a team, in hope of scoring what would have been a dramatic upset.

“These guys are men, they’re not getting paid to play and I have to take into account that they have to go home, they have to go to work and pay their bills and if something serious happens, they’re off for two or three months because of the old let’s-get-it-done-for-the-pride thing,” Labrosse said. “Guys were ready to go down, but it was my decision, talking with management and stuff, that it was unsafe. I didn’t want to put these guys at risk. That’s the only reason. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to get blown out or whatever.”

Monday’s announcement means the Sudbury Junior Spartans, defending champions in the Ontario Summer Football League U16 AA loop, will be the only representative of the organization to move on in the post-season, having won a quarter-final this past weekend. Sudbury’s newly founded U18 team also saw its season come to an end, losing a first-round playoff matchup in Sarnia on Sunday.

“From the team we had last year that made semifinals, we lost 25 players from that roster, whether they retired or were unable to make the commitment to the team,” Labrosse said. “Some have gone to play ball in the States, Adam Rocha went out west. When you lose 25 guys off a roster, you’re going to take a hit.”

As expected, the introduction of a Junior Spartans U18 team also pared the roster of the men’s team, as some of the youngsters who dressed for Labrosse in 2022 chose to play with their peers this year, though he hopes they’ll return to the men’s crew after they graduate.

“My hats off to the guys who the guys who battled, who came out this year, who wanted to play ball and wanted to represent,” Labrosse said.

He criticized “armchair quarterbacks” who took shots at the team and its staff in response to the NFC’s Facebook post, before commenting was turned off, and who suggested the Spartans were afraid to face the Outlaws.

“If you think you know better, why don’t you come out and play?” Sudbury’s coach said. “You come out and play and our numbers are better, instead of yapping and thinking you have all the answers.”

Labrosse has already turned his mind to next season and is determined to surround his core of die-hards with talent and depth to rival the recent squads that have topped 50 players.

“I have already started,” he said. “Things have to change in the way the senior men’s team has approached recruiting players. I have already talked to some of our upper management over certain things that I want to work on, because with the U18 coming in, which is absolutely phenomenal, we did take a hit since played down at their age group. That being said, the guys who are graduating are going to benefit us immensely in years to come.

“The men’s organization is not there to hamper or try to take anything away from the U18 team. It’s our feeder system. I respect the coaches down there and I know they’re promoting their guys to come up after they’re graduated. I also need men, however, and there’s people in the city of Sudbury who probably don’t even know the team, whether they’re from down south or from outside of the country or whatever. I need fresh faces, so I have to approach it that way, too.”

Original Article

Spartans battle despite NFC defeat

Author of the article:Jeff Giffen | The Sudbury Star
Published Jul 24, 2023

Junior Labrosse has never been one to shy away from ripping into the performance of his players if the situation warrants, but the head coach of the Sudbury Spartans men’s team had little to criticize on Saturday night.

The traditional hard hat for player of the game went to all 25 guys, who battled for every inch in a 42-21 loss in North Bay to end their regular season in the Northern Football Conference.

The Spartans finish with a record of 0-6, which in most seasons would mean missing the playoffs, but a combination of the Toronto Phantom Raiders taking a leave of absence and the Oakville Longhorns being an even worse 0-6 team than Sudbury, with far more points against, means the locals will squeak into the post-season with absolutely nothing to lose.

They will visit the 5-1 Tri-City Outlaws on the road this coming weekend.

Work commitments and the injury bug left the Spartans seriously short-handed for the game against the Bulldogs, but Coach Labrosse was impressed with the attitude of those 25 guys.

“The guys battled … holy jeez … the entire game,” he said with pride. “We just ran out of gas, but we were able to play with them. Running backs played well, our passing game was there, we were able to score points — something we’ve struggled doing all season — and our defence came up with a few turnovers here and there, so all in all I’m really proud of the guys that went down (to North Bay).”

The Spartans surprised the Bulldogs, who finished second in the NFC, by jumping out to a 7-0 lead and it was a bit of a slugfest at the beginning with the teams going back and forth on offence. It was 14-14 after the first quarter and 28-21 at the half.

But a short bench eventually took its toll, with some guys having to play all three positions — offence, defence and special teams.

“It just comes down to war of attrition, our numbers aren’t there, injuries happen during the game and you’re looking at the bench and the guys know it’s next-man-up mentality,” said Labrosse, who admits it’s easy to say, but a lot harder to do. “For a person that hasn’t practised or played defence, to say OK, you’re going to go in and you’re going to play defensive back, you’ve got to cover this guy and learn the defensives schemes on the fly. And the same thing, wide receiver goes down, you’ve got defensive backs (filling in). You don’t know the passing tree, you don’t know the plays, but you know you’re going to grind it out, you’re going to listen and you’ve got to do it.”

It’ll be a tall task for the Spartans against the league’s top team next weekend. The Outlaws beat Sudbury 37-7 on July 15, and their points for and against on the season were 246-64.

But you never know.

“If we can come out like we came out (on Saturday in North Bay), if we come out like we did the first quarter against Tri-City (in the regular-season matchup), anything can happen,” Labrosse said of what appears to be an uphill battle. “It’s going to be tough, just because of the lack of numbers, guys get gassed. We’ve got to hope that a couple of injured guys are going to be good to go, that could prop up the numbers.”

While the whole team earned the hard hat on Saturday, Labrosse was impressed with Victor Paajanen’s two interceptions, some excellent receptions by Tyler Bell and the ability of quarterback Nick Rideout to move the ball with his arm and his legs.

Original Article

NOTE: This article was published before the NFC announced the Playoff Picture. Sudbury forfeits the quarter final game