Team Ontario top dogs in Texas

by Sudbury Sports Staff | February 28, 2013
Team Ontario

Coach Brent Richer kneels in front of, from left, Tanaka Chakwesha, Eric Fraser and Bauer Negrych. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Some of Sudbury’s football talent was on display recently as three local players and a coach ventured south of the border to compete in the International Bowl 2013 festivities, held Feb. 5 in Austin, Texas.

Sudbury Junior Gladiators defensive lineman Eric Fraser, from Lasalle Secondary, and Varsity Gladiators head coach Brent Richer were both part of Team Ontario’s U-17 squad, which captured a narrow 20-19 victory over Team USA.

Tanaka Chakwesha, a cornerback from St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School, and Bauer Negrych, an offensive lineman from Chelmsford Valley District Composite School and member of the Varsity Gladiators, both competed with Team Ontario’s U-19 team, which lost 29-14 to Team USA.

Richer, who acted as the defensive back coach for Team Ontario, said the experience has been the highlight of his short coaching career. And it was equally beneficial for the players.

“Competing at a national level is one of great pride,” the coach said. “Receiving top level coaching … will only improve (the players’) on-field attributes, and will increase their profile with scouts for the next level.”

Four hundred players tried out for the 80 available spots with the Ontario teams.

“To make it, travel to Texas where football is a religion, have only five days to prepare, play Team USA, compete and win — prestigious does not begin to describe the feeling the players and coaches experienced that day,” Richer said.

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