Ontario Prospect Challenge Profile: Spartan looking to gain experience and exposure

The Ontario Prospect Challenge is an elite three phase event that culminates in an all-star game in the spring of 2016.  For more information CLICK HERE.  The TRYOUT SERIES begins in October and goes until the middle of January 2016.

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Positions:
Defensive Back (Free Safety, Corner)

Height/Weight:
6’1, 165 lbs

Teams:
Lorne Park Spartans (high school: ROPSSAA)

Commitment:
None

Official Visits:
None

Considerations:
None

Class:
2017

Matt Stephens played rep hockey for years, but going into high school he decided he wanted to try some new sports.

In Grade 10, Matt joined the Lorne Park Spartans of the Region of Peel Secondary School Athletic Association (ROPSSAA), but because of his body type and lack of experience, the coaches had a hard tine deciding what position he should be.

This resulted in him primarily playing on special teams until about halfway through the season when he played a team who had a very tall wide receiver.

His coaches decided to teach him the defensive back position to compensate for the opponent’s height, and then he started for the rest of the year.

That summer, Matt got invited to play for the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL) Mississauga Warriors.

“Not only did I get an extra season of experience, but I had a great positional coach who helped me learn so much more about playing defensive back,” said the Spartan.

He started every game, but moved between corner, halfback and safety based on the teams they were playing.

Moreover, this past season he and the Spartans made it to the finals.

Matt’s goals for the Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) are, “to gain a lot more football experience, to see how I compare to the other good players in Ontario and to gain exposure for universities who might not have known about me otherwise.”

The defensive back would love to be on the #CFC100, but his main goal is to play to the best of his ability.

During the offseason, he works out almost every day, plays basketball with his friends and runs drills at the park with his teammates.

Matt also watches as much football as he can, and tries to pay attention to how the different teams play and how different schemes work.

On the field his role model is Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks because he is a taller guy playing the same position as Matt, which means he can model his game after someone.

He is also a very intelligent person, and he loves the way Sherman gets under the opposing team’s skin and throws off their game.

“I found that playing football gave me the rush and the enjoyment that hockey hadn’t given me for a long time,” explained Matt. “I had forgotten what it felt like to be completely in love with a sport but football brought that back for me.”

“When I’m on the field with my pads and helmet on, I forget about any problems I may be having and I’m able to take any stress or anger out in a way that I won’t regret after,” added Matt.

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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