#CFCOPC16 (Sophomore- East vs Halton-Peel): Iloki, Keenan and Melo named MVPs

HAMILTON – On Saturday, Team East took on Team Halton-Peel (sophomore) at the Ontario Prospect Challenge. While the game had its fair share of top performers, Hono Iloki of Team East, James Keenan of Team East and Andy Melo of Team Halton-Peel were named the game’s MVPs.

Iloki, who sported #10 in white, was a difference maker, having earned the overall MVP selection.

“It was a great game overall. We all did a great job and I just got the ball when the plays were open,” said the receiver.  “I think [the highlight] was when I got hit and I thought I was going down and I got my head back up and I saw the opening so it was pretty good.”

Brock Flemming, Head Coach for Team East, was not surprised by the selection.

“He [Hono Iloki] knew it as much as anybody else did. He started coming out for the award before they announced it,” he said.

“I don’t even know what his stats were, but he got in the end zone at least two or three times. He was just a mismatch all game and he took advantage of it. He’s a phenomenal player,” Flemming added. “I’ve coached him a couple times now and really great kid. A lot of upsides, a lot of potential. So it will be interesting to see how far he goes moving forward.”

Joe Wade, Head Coach for Team Halton-Peel, was also impressed with Iloki.

“Outstanding. That kid, he’s a player and the proof is on the field. It was tough, it was difficult to get a hold of him. That’s it, he did a good job,” he said.

James Keenan (#6) with Joe Wade (left) and Brock Flemming (right).

James Keenan (#6) with Joe Wade (left) and Brock Flemming (right).

It was quarterback Keenan (#6) who took home the Offensive Player of the Game Award.

“[I’m] ecstatic,” he said. “I played my heart out and it’s good to be rewarded.”

Flemming, who also coached James’s brother, said “James is just like his brother. They’re both very composed, very professional as a quarterback.”

“James is the perfect leader. He speaks up, he knows when to talk, when to suggest things and he knows when to make sure everybody is on the same page. The calmness and confidence he brings to a huddle is very important to the game and he brings that. It’s great.”

While Wade’s team was the one responsible for trying to contain Keenan, they were unable to stop him from blowing the game open.

“He’s [Keenan] a good player,” Wade said. “They [Team East] had some skilled players, they had some talent.”

Andy Melo (#21) with Joe Wade (left) and Brock Flemming (right).

Andy Melo (#21) with Joe Wade (left) and Brock Flemming (right).

The outcome was not what Team Halton-Peel wanted as the team failed to win, but Melo (#21), the Defensive Player of the Game, was still optimistic.

“Kind of surprising,” he said of being named defensive MVP. “I had a lot of help from the guys. Great game out there, great battle. I enjoyed every moment of that game.”

“I think just being in the atmosphere [was the highlight of the game]. It was fun playing under the lights, playing with all these guys at the next level. Really enjoyed it.”

Flemming said that, “I did see that he [Andy Melo] had the red helmet and he was flying around and making some really good plays, some on the special teams as well. From what I’ve seen, the kid’s got a lot of ability, which is great.”

Wade also echoed Flemming’s sentiments about Melo when he said, “He was great. They [the MVPs] were great players.”

“The Ontario Prospect Challenge is what it is. They’re the top, talented players in the province showcasing what they can do and there’s a lot of talent in all of these games. It’s just, when the lights go on, it’s time to perform and the big-time performers performed on the big stage.”

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