#CFCOVFL: JV Myers Riders “have sense of relief and then pure joy” after winning Championship

The drought is over for the JV Ottawa Myers Riders.

The team won 45-42 over the Niagara Spears on August 15 after losing in the finals two consecutive years. Head coach Matt Kassner says the team was extremely focused on not coming up short this year, which ultimately led to the gritty, narrow victory.

“Some of our guys were in the finals last year, so they knew what level they had to play at,” Kassner said. “Everyone worked hard all year, dedicating their time to the team and I think it is very rewarding when it pays off with a championship.”

To tell how much the win meant to his team, all Kassner had to do was look around after the game.

“You could tell in all the photos we took where everyone was smiling from ear to ear that it was a great experience for all of us,” Kassner says.

The championship win capped a perfect season for the Myers Riders, indicative of league-wide domination. According to Kassner, this was a rare season where both of his coaching staff’s goals were accomplished. 

Myers Riders versus Cumberland week 8 OVFL 2014 2

“One goal was to win a championship and the other was to make all of our players better,” Kassner said. “Obviously, we won a championship and I think all of our players benefited from the coaching.”

Kassner says even if his team had lost in another heartbreaking championship game, he would still be proud of their growth, which he attributes to the tireless work of his coaching staff.

“Our coaches prepared our players and our players worked hard,” Kassner said. “Whether they stick with us next year or move onto the next level, I think we did our job and we are satisfied with that.”

JP Cimankinda

Though the team never lost a game, Kassner was not without his worries throughout the summer. Going into the playoffs, he warned the Myers Riders would have to do more than just win with their explosive running game.

“It took all three phases of our team to win the championship, and I think everyone came out and gave their best effort,” Kassner said, noting the success of his team’s defence, offence and special teams.

As he reflects on his first championship as a head coach, Kassner says the feeling was worth the wait.

“I think there was a sense of relief and then pure joy,” Kassner said. “I was excited for everyone involved with the Myers Riders and everyone who contributed to that win, including the players and coaches.”

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