#CFCOVFL: Cimankinda’s invincible season


The junior varsity Ottawa Myers Riders have cruised to an undefeated record to start the season and have been dismantling their opponents by a 172-84 margin in the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL).

If this continues, the Myers Riders are on course to achieving their goal – another shot at the OVFL junior varsity Championship.

Why has the team has found so much success in the last two years?

Look no further than second-year running back Jean-Paul Cimankinda, who has lifted the Myers Riders’ offence on a consistent weekly basis.

In four games this season, Cimankinda has rushed for 1082 yards, averaging 12.6 yards on each carry and scored 15 touchdowns.

Still, he remains humble.

“The offensive line has been very good this year,” Cimankinda said. “They are the ones making plays.”

“It is because of them that we can make runs, pass the ball and win games.”

After learning the ropes in his first year, Cimankinda says he has grown into a force on the field. His dominance comes from a mix of his elite physical attributes and his deep understanding of the game.

“I am pretty big for my age,” said the 5-11 running back. “I have the speed and the vision to read the defence and act.”

Cimankinda’s knowledge comes from his 10 years of experience on the field. He can read defences because he used to be a defensive lineman, giving him a distinct advantage.

That advantage has paid off. He leads in rushing yards in the junior varsity division. Cimankinda has rushed for just under 400 more yards than the league’s next best running back, in one less game. Cimankinda also has the longest individual run of any player this season, recording an 80-yard touchdown.

As the season progresses, the sky is the limit for Cimankinda. Still, he is focused on getting his team over the hump and winning a championship, rather than earning individual accolades.

“We are a good team… that is all I have to say,” Cimankinda added.

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