CFC OVFL Game of the Week Preview: “It’s about as good as you get in this league”


It has not been an the greatest of seasons thus far for the varsity Hamilton Ironmen of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL).

As they head into Week 6, the Ironmen are still looking for the first win of the season.  However,  they are starting to see some marked improvement. Head coach Kyle Quinlan has been stating all year that he is looking for his team to play more consistent football with less of the mistakes that have been plaguing them in the 2014 season.

“I thought we played Niagara pretty tough,” he stated. “That’s one of the best teams in the league and in flashes we were moving the ball we were dictating the defence.”

“I am proud of the way those guys went in there and went to battle.”

It doesn’t get any easier for the Ironmen in Week 6 as they take on the 4-1 Essex Ravens, a perennially strong team. Quinlan himself played for the Ravens when he was in the OVFL so he knows first hand how strong of an organization they are.

“It’s about as good as you get in this league,” Quinlan said of his former team. “These guys are probably the class of the league this year, at least in the top two or three.”

“We know we have our hands full.”

One of the biggest challenges the team will have when playing the Ravens in Week 6 will be the contrast in offensive lines. The Ironmen has struggled to run the ball behind their offensive line so far this season, mustering just 47 yards in their Week 5 loss to the Niagara Spears.

“We’re admittedly quite undersized on the offensive line,” said Quinlan. “It’s been a struggle for us all season.”

“Essex has an incredible offensive line.”

Despite the early struggles for a young Ironmen team, Quinlan said that he knows his guys are still excited to play in this league and it’s why they signed up to play in it. While they may not yet be coming away with wins, the team is being thrown into the fire against very talented rosters each week and is being forced to grow at a fast pace.

The Ironmen will play host to the Ravens at McMaster’s Ron Joyce Stadium at 8:00pm on Friday June 27th.

Latest win comes at a big price for JV Ironmen

Sometimes a win can come at a price and that was the case for the junior varsity Hamilton Ironmen this past weekend. The team defeated the Niagara Spears 24-14 and improved to 4-1; however, they lost their starting running back and team centrepiece Daniel Skuse.

“It’s a big loss for us because he is not just a good player, he is a team captain,” said head coach Ken McGuire. “He is a really good kid and very motivational.”

“It’s unfortunate, I feel really bad for the kid.”

Skuse injured his ACL on a play that appeared to be a horse-collar tackle but no penalty was called on the play. A team leader who is beloved by his coaches and teammates, McGuire said their was no way his team was going to lose the game after seeing Skuse forced out of the game and the season as a whole.

“After Daniel got hurt they was no way, I think, they were going to lose that game,” explained McGuire. “These players love that kid and he stayed around to watch.”

McGuire said that Skuse was ‘a pleasure to coach’ and the kind of player who made coaching fun and that the entire team ‘love the guy to death’. Losing him for the season is not going to be easy on the junior varsity squad, but how they react to it could go a long way in determining the rest of their season.

“You can use it as an excuse to fail or you can use it as a rallying cry to go on,” said McGuire.

While the team is extremely disappointed in losing Skuse for the season, they know they have a deep roster than can carry on and keep winning games. Not only has their defence been surprisingly effective in the 2014 season, they have another running back named Isaiah Joseph who is a bruising running back and will be looking forward to increased playing time.

“Joseph who played bantam last year and is just a man beast,” said McGuire. “He is only 15 years old but you would never believe it by looking at him.”

In the OVFL Game of the Week, the motivated Ironmen will be taking on the Essex Ravens in Week 6. Despite being just 2-3 so far this season, the Ravens are still considered by many, including the OVFL, to be one of the better teams in the league as they are favoured over the 4-1 Ironmen.

“We are picked to lose again, but we like that because they keep picking us to lose and we win,” added McGuire.

The junior varsity Ironmen will host the Ravens at Bishop Ryan Secondary School on Saturday June 28th for a 2:00 pm kickoff.

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