#CFCOPC PLAYERS TO WATCH: Team East Grade 7 QB Lachance no stranger to big stadiums

The countdown begins to CanadaFootballChat.com’s Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) on the April 29th weekend at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton. In the days leading up to the OPC, CFC will preview the teams and the players participating in the big event.

Each football stadium is unique and while Noah Lachance of Team East Grade 7 may end up playing in a professional stadium full-time, he wants to make sure he can experience as many as possible in the meantime.

Lachance had the opportunity to play in the OPC last year, ticking off another CFL stadium on his list. He said he decided to play in this year’s OPC not only was last year’s Challenge was a great experience, but because he wants to play on every CFL field one day. He has currently played at TD Place in Ottawa and Molson-Percival Stadium in Montreal.

For Lachance, he said the highlight of the OPC has been “getting to play football with good friends while making new friends on the field.”

He added that, “This has reunited me with one of my favourite coaches from when I played tyke, Coach Meo Salehe. I learned a lot from him and continue to learn from him through my experience with the OPC.”

Lachance has played one year with the Cumberland Panthers mites (National Capital Amateur Football Association), three years with the Orleans Bengals tykes (NCAFA) and two years with the St-Lazare Stallions mosquitos (Quebec Junior Football League). His most recent team has been the peewee Ile-Perrot Western Patriots (QJFL). He is currently training with College Bourget Voltigeurs (Juvenile Block Division 2) for the 2016 season.

The young football player stands at 5’4, 105lbs and plays quarterback. “I enjoy playing QB because of the skills required and the leadership involved,” he said.

There is little to question, then, as to why Lachance chose an all-quarterback cast of football inspirations. Some of his inspirations include Aaron Rodgers, a quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, Cam Newtown, a quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, Tyrod Taylor, a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills and Ken Stabler and Joe Montana, two former NFL quarterbacks.

With this year’s OPC happening at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Lachance will get the opportunity to play on another CFL gridiron. “There is a lot of history in a short amount of time, from when the Tiger-Cats played and went undefeated at home,” he said. “I am looking forward to seeing it; it looks like a nice stadium.”

Playing on a big stage, however, comes with its fair share of pressure. Lachance said, “I just need to keep my cool and execute my plays.”

Lachance will be graduating high school in 2021 and while his dream is to play NFL or CFL ball, his ultimate goal is to play university football. The CIS schools he is considering include McMaster, Laval, University of British Columbia and University of Montreal. As for the NCAA, Michigan University, Oregon State, University of Alabama, Auburn and Stanford have made his list.

During this year’s OPC, Lachance said he wants “to learn from experienced coaches and to be recognized for my talent at a young age. I’d like to further develop my QB skills and lead by example.”

He also added, “I would for our team to win, showcase our combined talents and come back from our big loss at last year’s OPC!”

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