Ontario Prospect Challenge Profile: Lion QB determined to win (VIDEO)

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5’10”, 185lbs

Cambridge Lions (OVFL)


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Michael Warner was introduced to football at a very young age because his older brother, who also plays football, would always throw a ball around outside with him and their father.

The 14-year-old has been playing football in Cambridge for about six years, starting off in the developmental program.

He also spent his first couple of years playing with the Wolverines and the Ontario Minor Football League (OMFL) peewee Lions.

At the beginning, Michael circled through different positions, such as quarterback, wide receiver, running back and safety.

He also played both spring and fall football almost every year.

“Coaches would always tell me I had a good arm, and that led to me specializing as a QB on all my teams since my second year fall peewee team when we won our first Southwestern Ontario Football Association of Leagues (SOFAL) championship,” said Michael.

In his second year of peewee, they won their first Ontario Varsity Fall Football League (OVFFL) division two championship, and he was awarded the game MVP award.

Moreover, when the quarterback started playing bantam he began getting more specialized training at SST’s Quarterback Camp, learned more about his position and could refine his skills.

Last season, was the best yet as a bantam Cambridge Lion in the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL).

“I learned a lot from our OC Mark Robertson and our team went into the playoffs with a 7-1 record and finally defeated a tough Essex team to win the Adams Conference Championship,” said the Lion.

The Lions also qualified for the OVFL finals, where they defeated Cumberland.

The quarterback is looking forward to playing his first year with the junior varsity Lions this spring.

Photo by Sandy Warner, Cambrige Lions Photographer

Photo by Sandy Warner, Cambrige Lions Photographer

Last year, Michael played in the underclassman Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) game and was awarded game MVP.

The Lion is back in this year’s OPC, this time at the freshman level, looking to make the team and play to win.

“Last year’s team was great and I loved the challenges the offensive coordinator game me each time I went out on the field,” explained Michael.

“It’s a lot of fun to play with high level talented players and I like the opportunity to always get better,” added the Lion.

During the offseason, Michael has played rep basketball in the past with the Cambridge Centaurs.

This year, he is doing strength and speed training at NLPT in Cambridge.

He has also done some skills camps and done some private quarterback training sessions with Mike Finch at SST Burlington through Larry Jusdanis.

Recently, he played high school basketball, as well as participated in training at NLPT to build strength and speed for the upcoming spring season.

Michael’s favourite player is Cam Newton because he is a smart quarterback, who is able to read plays well and quickly, has great strength, throwing accuracy, great mobility and can run the ball well.

Some other role models of Michael’s are James Roberts and Will Finch because they are both great quarterbacks who he would like to be as good as someday.

James Roberts, who was a Cambridge Lion but currently plays for the Guelph Gryphons, is a great quarterback, and Will Finch is someone Michael has had the chance to take a couple of lessons with.

The Lion loves football because of the atmosphere and the excitement of the game.

“I’ve been lucky to have great teammates for many years and the bonds and friendships that have developed between the players and the coaches is incredible,” commented Michael, “and how we all work together to achieve a team goal is a great feeling.”

“The team support, camaraderie, spirit and the excitement of winning a close game makes it so much fun,” added the quarterback.

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