2017 High School team previews: St. Mark Lions determined for a rebound season

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will be posting high school team previews from June to September as part of our comprehensive season coverage. Canadafootballchat.com (CFC) has tapped into our network of coaches to produce high school team previews for the 2017 season. The #CFCteampreviews highlight top returning players, team strengths, and toughest opponents.

CFC will also bring you the national high school football rankings known as the #CFC50. Last year’s final rankings were the most controversial to date…and we heard about it. Whether you agree or disagree, we love hearing from you. For an explanation of how the rankings are computed, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

St. Mark Lions (NCSSAA- Tier 1-  Ottawa, ON)

Photo: The Peterborough Examiner (2014)

Andrew Castellarin will embark on his second season as Head Coach for the St. Mark Lions and his 18th overall with the program.

The Lions had a rough go of it last season, finishing the year winless in six games, before winning their semifinal matchup and dropping the AA Championship game.

Castellarin will rely heavily on the play of Austin Clarke in the backfield for the Lions.

“Our style of play on offense is run first, [with] lots of motion. Defensively we rely on fundamentals and play physical,” says Castellarin.

Castellarin adds that there are more than just one pair of legs behind the offensive line that can hustle for a first down.

Chris Shopa [is] a very athletic QB that can gain yards with [his] arms and legs.”

After making an appearance in the AA Championship game last year, Castellarin says he expects to get back there this season, and change the ending.

It won’t come easy, Castellarin points to two other programs they will have to go through.

“St. Matthew’s and St. Peter’s are the ones to beat.”

With Grant Harrison, Mitch McCloud and Mike Frangione not returning to the Lions, Castellarin will look at a handful of players that are returning to step up.

Terry MacFarlane [is] very quick and has excellent football sense. [Is also] very disruptive,” MacFarlane slides in as a OLB or HB.

“[Safety] Gavin Robertson is a smart and physical player,” adds Castellarin.

As for an ‘X’ Factor for the squad,  Castellarin says it’s ATH Eric Strang.

“He’s very quick, very elusive and has experience at many positions on both sides of the ball.”

“Resilient” is the word  Castellarin chooses to describe his team, and in order to return to the Championship during the new campaign, they’ll have to show resiliency to overcome inevitable obstacles rather than just say it.

They will have their peers and staff’s full support in making a run.

“We have a high school population of 650 students. We are extremely proud that 1 in 4 boys at St. Mark choose to play football.”


St. Mark Lions (NCSAAA-Tier 1- Ottawa, On)
Head Coach: Andy Castellarin
#CFC50 Ranking: n/a
2016 Record: 0-6
Key Returnees: Gavin Robertson, Terry MacFarlane, Steven Couture, Pablo Morse, Rory May
Key Losses: Grant Harrison, Mitch McCloud, Mike Frangione
Number of Returning Starters- Offense: 5
Number of Returning Starters- Defence: 5
X Factor: Chris Shopa

If you would like your high school team previewed, please contact [email protected].




How is the #CFC50 evaluated?

The #CFC50 rankings considers all conference and non-conference games (in Canada and the United States) while scrimmages are not evaluated (there is no such thing as an exhibition game – those are non-conference games).

Leagues included in rankings: British Columbia AAA Varsity, Alberta Tier One, Saskatchewan 12-man 4A, Manitoba AAA Varsity, Ontario OFSAA Bowl AAA qualified teams, Quebec Juvenile Division 1, New Brunswick 12-man, Nova Scotia Tier 1.

The #CFC50 is a relative ranking that considers top tier leagues from all eight high school playing provinces (minimum one team represented from each province).  The CFC Scouting Bureau consists of CFC Reporters, CFC Scouts, and also selected local reporters and scouts who submit local ranking results on a weekly basis.  This is the eighth year that Canadafootballchat.com has ranked the top high school teams in Canada.

Join the conversation online #CFC50 #CFCteampreviews

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