OPC: Meet Underclassmen Team East Head Coach Steeves

The countdown begins to CanadaFootballChat.com Ontario Prospect Challenge in Hamilton (May 1 & 2) and Ottawa (May 3rd).  In the days leading up to OPC, CFC will preview the teams, coaches and players participating in the big event.

While this might be his first stint as Head Coach of Team East in the Underclassmen Division at CanadaFootballChat.com’s Ontario Prospect Challenge, Warren Steeves has a wealth of gridiron experience as a coach and former player.

As a player Steeves split his high school career previously playing for both the Agincourt Lancers of the Toronto District Secondary School Athletic Association and Spokane, Washington’s Joel E Ferris Saxons. That led him to a preferred walk- on chance with NCAA Division 1 team, University of Oregon Ducks.

Throughout his coaching career, Steeves has instructed in several different capacities at varied levels. For the past 10 years, he has coached with both the Orleans Bengals of the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA) and the Cumberland Panthers of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL).

During his time with both teams, Steeves has been a head coach, coordinator and assistant coach.  However, he has excelled on the defensive side of the ball.

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There is one coach that Steeves has tried to emulate on the field.

“As a University of Oregon Alum, I really like what Chip Kelly was able to accomplish with the Oregon program,” explained the Team East Head Coach.  |He challenged convention and is truly an outside the box type of a thinker who liked to question why we do what we do.”

“I think as coaches we are problem solvers by nature but we have a knack of not believing the easy answer and can make things more difficult than they really are.”

For Steeves, the passion he possesses for coaching the game can be attributed to a couple of specific reasons.

“The first is that I like giving back to the young athletes in our community,” commented Steeves.  “I was fortunate to play a lot of club based sports growing up and had a numbers of coaches who gave a lot of time to provide those opportunities.”

“The other reason is simple, it’s fun.  I enjoy all aspects of the game from continuing to be a student of the game; working and learning from other coaches and watching players develop.  The game has changed so much in the last 10 years and there are so many more opportunities to continue playing football in.”

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In the coming days, Steeves will be putting together final preparations for the OPC game that will be held at TD Place in Ottawa on May 3rd.  Having coaches several different games during his career, Steeves draws comparisons and different when it comes getting ready for the big game.

“Preparation for the OPC has been similar to other showcases and all-star game formats,” elaborated the Team East Head Coach.  “Even though we started the tryout process in an attempt to identify players back in November of 2014, we will only be on the field together as a team for three practices before our game.”

“It leads to our time is spent more on teaching techniques relevant to our system as opposed to general skill development.”

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As Steeves has participated in the tryout phase, there is one event that has stood out amongst the rest as the most memorable.

“So far the Top 100 weekend was probably the highlight,” expressed the Team East Head Coach.  “It was great to see that many good players at our age group in one setting all with the desire to get better.”

With so little time to prep for the game, Steeves said the onus will be on the players participating to be up to speed on plays and game plans.

“With only having about 10 practice hours, we’ve put some responsibility on the players to learn their playbooks away from the field in an attempt to spend as much time possible getting reps and correcting mistakes so we’ll have a few options on both sides of the ball that we do very well and hope to have success with,” added Steeves.

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As many players participating will use the OPC as an opportunity to get noticed by recruiters and try to get ranked, Steeves offered some advice.

“I’m a big believer in effort,” said Steeves.  “It’s the only aspect that the player can control.”

“The player on the other team is coached to take care of his responsibilities, the coaches decide where and what position you play so effort is the only area truly under a player’s control.  That said; if I could give a piece of advice it’s to do everything giving maximum effort.  Even if you make a mistake, and we all do, make that mistake at 100 percent.”

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Overall, Steeves knows it will be a very competitive game.  However, he does have a couple of expectations which transcends beyond the game itself.

“First and foremost for me is that football is a game and it should be fun,” commented theTeam East Head Coach.  “If the players have a great experience and learn something that can help them with their future in football then I will consider what we did a success.”

“As for the game itself, obviously we want to win but I know from my years coaching in the OVFL that there are a lot of talented players and coaches in the Toronto area.”

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Ultimately, Steeves is looking forward to the OPC Underclassmen Game in Ottawa so much that it’s tough for him to pinpoint what he will be most excited about as it comes down to two specific things.

“The coach in me is looking forward to working with the athletes but the kid in me is pretty excited to be involved in an event at TD Place,” expressed Steeves. “I was there for the Panda Game and a couple of Ottawa Red Blacks games last year and it’s an incredible facility.”

(twitter: http://twitter.com/vohra_ameeta)

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  1. Pingback: 2015 OPC: Schedule, Previews, Scores and more… | CanadaFootballChat.com

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