DID YOU KNOW: Remembering Jordan, Manitoba football community hit with tragedy

DID YOU KNOW is a weekly instalment that brings you some of the most fascinating stories in Canadian football across the country at all levels.

In this week’s edition:

  • Friends and family remember Jordan Thomas
  • Thunder Bay football helping to conquer breast cancer
  • Dalhousie defensive lineman making his mark on Halifax
  • Recently-released book looks book on CFC50 Citadel’s 2013 season


PHOTO: CBC News via Facebook/Jordan Thomas

1. Stabbing victim Jordan Thomas a natural athlete

Life is all too fragile.

That is the unfortunate reality for Jordan Thomas and all those who knew & loved him. The 18-year-old was taken from us December 13 after being stabbed several times. He was transported to hospital in Winnipeg where he was declared deceased. Jordan’s 20-year-old brother, Brandon, was also stabbed during the attack. He was taken to hospital, where he has since undergone multiple surgeries and is recovering.

Those who know Jordan call him a team-player and a people person. He is a multi-sport athlete who, prior to his untimely death, was playing three sports simultaneously for St. John’s High School: rugby, basketball, and football. Thomas was the quarterback for the football team, and was thought by many to be the team’s premier signal-caller.

As expected, family and friends are having a tough time coming to terms with the tragedy. Thomas’ cousin Culley Kipling said the family is taking it hard, especially considering the randomness of the attack. James Favel, the executive director of a local safety group called Bear Clan Patrol says Jordan had the potential and the personality to become a pillar in his community. He says his organization let the family down in failing to keep Winnipeg streets safe for the Thomas family.

Source: CBC News

PHOTO: NetNewsLedger.com

2. TBMFA cares about cancer patients

The Thunder Bay Minor Football Association (TBMFA) recently sent a cheque in the amount of $2,653 to the Northern Cancer Fund to help fundraise for breast cancer treatment and research in their community.

The donation was made in October, during breast cancer awareness month. In order to fund their initiative the Association raised money at every home game during the month of October. They plan to make this an annual endeavour, and hope to raise even more money next year than they did this time.

“We all know someone who has been touched by cancer,” said Georgie Ostrowski, the TBMFA’s Special Events Coordinator. He said they are proud to help with improving and advancing research and cancer treatment in their own backyard.

Source: NetNewsLedger.com

3. Dal’s Jordan Grant paying it forward in Halifax

Jordan Grant, a defensive lineman for the Dalhousie Tigers of the Atlantic Football League (AFL) doesn’t exactly possess an abundance of time to himself, but something says he probably enjoys it that way.

Grant has been playing football for 12 years. Prior to heading to Dalhousie, he spent time with the Concordia Stingers and John Abbot College Islanders, of RSEQ and CEGEP, respectively. He has been through multiple injury problems, and actually thought his career was done before he began playing at Dal.

He is coming off his first selection to the AFL’s All-Star team following his second season at the Halifax school, and has now had gratitude heaped upon him by some of our nation’s most powerful citizens. He was recently awarded a sesquicentennial pin for his work in the Halifax community by The Honourable Geoff Regan (Speaker of the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Halfax West, Dalhousie LLB 83′). Grant is Head Coach of the Halifax West Warriors of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) Teir II, and is also the Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Tigers.

On top of that, he also runs his own business, Ironhouse Performance. There, he trains football players of all ages, spreading from house league, to rep, to the CFL. In so doing, he works to train – or change, if necessary – the entire person, rather than specific types of the body. That includes some psychological work as well. That is what helped him end up where he’s ended up, and he uses the wisdom provided by others to aid in the careers of his peers.

Several surgeries and a rejuvenated career later, he is proud of the work he’s done for others in the football fraternity. He says it’s extremely gratifying to be able to pay it forward – give what you once received – for the betterment of others. He says he wouldn’t have been able to do what he does as a coach and teammate without the support of many important people in his life, and he hopes when those he’s touched have a chance to do as he has, that they will dive in head-first.

Source: Dalfootball.ca 

4. Recently-released book immortalizes Citadel’s 2013 season

There are plenty of football books out there, but not many that focus on the high school game. There are even less that focus on the Canadian high school game, so, bearing that in mind, maybe it’s fitting that the most recent said reader’s delight depicts a high school team from Halifax, Nova Scotia – not exactly a football hotbed.

At least not yet.

Maybe Michael Cosgrove’s Salt of the Turf will change that. The first-time book-penner released the book in November, and it takes a look back on the 2013 season of the Citadel Phoenix, a perennial powerhouse in the region and a constant member of the CFC50 list. Led by their esteemed Head Coach Mike Tanner – the architect of 21 championship teams, and most successful man at his mission in the country, having won with nearly half the 43 teams he guided – the team had a slew of talented stars, including the highly-sought-after defensive end Shaun Robertson.

Author Michael Cosgrove, also a former player and high school coach recently spoke to The Chronicle Herald about the writing of his new book. He says he is passionate about the game because of its physically and emotional rigour, and its ‘family’ ambience. Part of his motivation to write the book came from his love of similar reads, such as Friday Night Lights. Cosgrove also said he spent hours interviewing players and coaches, watching games and practices, taking notes and scouring for historical information.

The book, which tells the story of not only the 2013 team, but the unlikely journey of one of its players and the hall-of-fame career of its head honcho, was released at Citadel on November 10, and is available now on Amazon.

Source: The Chronicle Herald


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