Oliver Longpre’s rookie season was a “football fairy tale”

Rookie seasons are often memorable for any athlete, so imagine you’re freshman year ending with a provincial championship after your team completes it’s second undefeated season. And then imagine being on this team in the ninth grade and having had the opportunity to start during that season.

For Tantramar Titan, Oliver Longpre, this football fairy tale was a true story. Longpre started playing in the fifth grade with the Sackville Minor Football Association and dreamed of the day he could play for the Varsity program through the high school. Leading up to grade 9 the 5’9, 145lb speedster played slot, DE, OT, center, half back and did some punting.

Despite his success and prowess in minor football Longpre knew he would be facing intense competition to earn any game action with the Titans. Longpre put in work all summer to prepare, and through the hazy heat of the teams August camp impressed coaches with his athleticism and work ethic, and earned a spot starting as a receiver with the program.

Last season, the CFC50 ranked Tantramar Titans ran a dominant power run offense and so the rookies hands were depended on more as a blocker than a receiver. This meant the 14 year old often squared off with against defenders with more size and experience.

“My job was blocking, and that’s what I mainly did. I struggled at first, but by working hard in practice, training and working out nearly every day; I caught up,” he said.

Although he was primarily a blocker when on the outside, the rookie still managed a touchdown from an air attack. Capable at all the routes, his favorite is the slant as it is “quick and fast”. In games where the Titans found themselves with comfortable leads, Longpre saw action at running back where he scored two touchdowns.

Defensively, during these games the rookie’s coaches got a glimpse of him at various posts within the defensive secondary, where Longpre is also comfortable at the varsity level.

“They played me at safety a lot as I like being physical,” he explained.

Regardless of his effort on the practice field, and his early success on the game field, when the playoffs started Longpre lost his starting position to the team’s defensive end, Zach Boudreau. Boudreau joined other seniors as a marathon player, playing both ways. Longpre didn’t feel slighted, nor was he upset with the coaches decisions.

“I understood why they did it, I feel like I could have kept playing, but definitely understand why they did it. The grade 12’s had the size and the knowledge and plus the fact you just get them out before they left,” commented Longpre.

The switch worked out for the team who defended their provincial crown successfully against the Leo Hayes Lions in the final. For some, this season would be enough to carry them through the rest of their high school career, but Longpre wants more.

“I definitely don’t want to lose, I want to keep the streak going and win another championship,” he stated.

Having endured one season of rigorous practice and conditioning regimen, and then the fierce competition in the Province, Longpre knows the cost of going all the way and has been steadily training to do his part.

During spring camp, Longpre practiced at slot back. This new position allows coaches to use Longpre as a dual threat blocker and receiver, but also adds the option of handing him the ball to help with their game plan. Longpre is up for the added responsibility and feels his patience to find open field and speed will impact the teams offense.

“Depending on how often they give me the ball, I want to get close too a thousand yards, that’s my goal right now,” he said.

Longpre’s current focus to help achieve this goal is to improve his lateral movement to help him get around defenders. Having suffered previous back injuries, Longpre is realistic about the hazards of the game.

“Injuries happen all the time, so before games I pretty much just say this could be my last game so I’m going to give it my all.”

Should he endure the next three seasons of high school action, Longpre is planning to play University football, where he would be willing to stay at home with the Mounties, or maximize his french immersion education and play for the Laval Rogue.

Beyond his team goal to win another banner, and his personal goal of 1000 yards total offense and his aspirations of playing with the Nations top program, Longpre is still planning on more.

“Football is my chance to make it somewhere in life and make something out of it. I think I can make something out of this, I want to play in the CFL, no joke; I think it’s something I can make a career with.”

 

Oliver Longpre (#15)
ATH
5’9, 145lbs

Teams: CFC50 Tantramar Titans
Commitment: none
Official Visits: none
Considerations: open
Class: 2019

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One Comment

  1. Enjoyed this article; it was interesting and informative. I have watched Oliver play; he is fast, very competitive and a team player. In my opinion he has lots of potential to grow his game and with the good coaching on this team he should become a top player in this league.

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