OFC GAME PREVIEW: JV Stampeders ready for battle against second place Predators

It’ll be a mid-season clash between the number one and two teams in the OFC Junior Varsity division when the Burlington Stampeders (3-0) take on the second placed Twin Cities Predators (2-1) on Sunday, June 19th at Nelson High School in Burlington.

Everything has been going according to plan for the Stampeders through the first three weeks of the season allowing just a single touchdown while racking up 144 points of their own on the back of their three headed monster in the backfield consisting of Nathan Langley, John Nikolovski and Josh Munoz.

Burlington hasn’t run into any opponent who have been able to keep up with them thus far, but Head Coach Andy van Oosterhout stresses that those results could change any given Sunday, most importantly this upcoming one if they take their opponents lightly,

“Our team got spanked last year by a couple of teams and for the same reason, they were winning games all season and then as the season developed they might have – I am not sure – but they might have developed some bad habits” coach van Oosterhout explains. “When you play football you need to play the game, just because your record says you’re going to beat that team doesn’t mean you’re going to.”

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On the other side of the field Twin Cities comes into this contest flying high after a wild shootout against the Guelph Jr. Gryphons that ended 63-61 in favour of the Predators. The win propelled them into a second place tie with the Forest City Thunderbirds, and a competitive game against the Stampeders would go a long way in showing the rest of the league that there is a real threat in Kitchener-Waterloo this season. While last week’s performance isn’t a game that the defense wants to go home bragging about, Twin Cities showed a few areas of strength that coach van Oosterhout has noted and will be looking to shut down on Sunday,

“I am sure they would tell you that they wish they could have ran the ball more effectively, but their passing game was pretty solid, they threw the ball reasonably well. It looks like they got some athletes, a strong backfield and there quarterback can throw the ball so it looks like we will have our hands full.”

Even though it has been a near perfect start from the Stampeders who have victories of 52-0, 36-0 and 52-7, coach van Oosterhout is aware that his boys need to keep the pedal to the metal in order to finish just as strong as they have started,

“I have always been of the mind that the wins and losses are dictated by the effort that you get in practice. How well you receive instruction during practice and carry out that instruction translates to games. The games are the fun part but practices are where the real work is put in to get better. We are always trying to get the kids better so until we play that perfect football game, I hope that nobody’s head is in the clouds because like I said any given Sunday we worry about every opponent. We break down tape on every team. Even from a coaching perspective it doesn’t change, we need to push the kids and we need to push ourselves to make sure that we prepare the team the best we can for the game.”

It’ll be a good first test for this young Stampeders squad who is looking to squash any doubt about who the best team in the league is, while on the opposite end Twin Cities is looking to make a name for themselves as one of the top dogs in the division. You can catch the action this Sunday at Nelson High School starting at 2:00pm.

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