#CFCHSFB PREVIEW (NS): “It’s been a long, hard training camp…we finally get to see what we have against competition”

Today, the Nova Scotia Student Athletic Federation Football League (NSSAFFL) 2015 season kicks off as one of the most traditional rivalries becomes reignited once again.

Defending Provincial Tier 1 Champions Citadel Phoenix will open their season against the Cobequid Educational Centre Cougars at Bedford-Hammonds Plains Community Centre.  Game start is 7:00pm.

CLICK HERE TO SEE CITADEL PHOENIX SEASON PREVIEW

Up until the 2014 season, these two teams battled in the annual Turkey Bowl game.  Despite not playing each other in that annual game, it’s still one contest that both teams circle on their calendars.

“If you include the former Queen Elizabeth High School as part of Citadel, this rivalry goes back 50 years,” commented Phoenix Offensive Coordinator Jon Dyer.  “CEC have a lot of banners on their school wall and have been a contender for a very long time.”

“It’s always a very fun, hard, and clean game between the schools and I expect nothing different on Thursday night.”

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For the Phoenix, the team is looking forward to having the chance to showcase all the hard work they have put in since winning the Championship last November.

“This is game 1 on our schedule and our kids are very excited,” elaborated Dyer.  “It’s been a long, hard training camp and this is when we finally get to see what we have against competition.”

“For the first game of the year, we’ve got to count on our veterans to lead the way.”

Photo credit: Mona Ghiz, Ghiz Photography

Photo credit: Mona Ghiz, Ghiz Photography

With depth on both sides of the ball, the Phoenix has several viable options.  Tonight, some players will be looked upon to play a significant role in their game against the Cougars.

“We’ve got a lot of weapons and sizes this year,” assessed Dyer.  “We have some strong offensive players like Marko Xidos and Greg Mcdonald who can break open a game on offense.”

“On defense, we’ve certainly got some ball hawks like Jonah Williams, Jacob Morgan and Max Gallant. But our defensive line led by Chris Buhr and Matthew Mendes is going to be tough for anyone to handle this year.”

 

While the Phoenix is expecting to face a competitive Cougars squad led by #CFC100 linebacker Cory Knockwood, their focus will be on their own game execution.

“CEC always have great athletes to deal with,” evaluated Dyer.  “They’ve had a historically strong minor system and great coaches who get a lot out of their players.”

“I know they had a few players on the Provincial team on defense and we expect those guys to lead the way for them. But for game 1, we are worried about what we’re doing more than anything.”

Quinton Milton prospect

Despite this being the first game of the NSSAFFL season, the outcome of this contest will be significant for a number of reasons from a team and league standpoint.

“It’s game one of eight so it’s just as important as our last,” said Dyer.  “At the end of the day, we want to make sure we come out and play up to our ability with full effort and minimize any mental mistakes.”

“After that, we’ll know where we stand and where we need to improve moving forward.”

Once again this year, the NSSAFFL has realigned the divisions.  Both of these teams remain in Division 1 with three others – Sir John A MacDonald, Charles P Allen Cheetahs and Horton Griffins.

“You play everyone twice in this division this year so there are no easy games,” added Dyer.  “They are all important for playoff contention.”

Ultimately, the Phoenix is thrilled to be the first ones out of the gate. They want to put their best foot forward but also set the tone early in the NSSAFFL season.

“It’s the first game for high school football in Nova Scotia this year,” expressed Dyer.  “Our kids are thrilled to be playing and ready to kick it off right.”

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CITADEL PHOENIX :

2014 RECORD:  9-0, crowned NSSAFFL Provincial Tier 1 Champions after defeating Charles P Allen Cheetahs in final.

 #CFC50 2014 RANKING: 29th

CO-HEAD COACHES:  Mike Tanner (46 years), Jeff Lawley (26 years – will also serve as Defensive Coordinator)

PLAYERS TO WATCH:  #CFC100 Oliver Grant (offensive line), Quinton Milton (offensive line), Greg MacDonald (receiver), Marko Xidos (receiver), Matt Lawen (running back), Jacob Morgan (linebacker),  Max Gallant (linebacker), Chris Buhr (defensive line), Mathew Medes (defensive line), Jared Holland (defensive line), Jonah Williams (defensive back), Noah Laing (defensive back), Keyshawn Upshaw Tynes (defensive back), Monecko Clayton (quarterback), Sean MacDougall (offensive line), Dashawn Smith (offensive line)

 

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COBEQUID EDUCATIONAL CENTRE COUGARS:

2014 RECORD: 2-5, did not qualify for postseason

HEAD COACH: Brent MacPhee (second season)

PLAYERS TO WATCH: :  #CFC100 Cory Knockwood (linebacker)

(twitter: http://twitter.com/vohra_ameeta)

 

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