OPC: “These events are great…kids meet new friends, which could eventually last for a lifetime”

The countdown begins to CanadaFootballChat.com Ontario Prospect Challenge on the May 1st weekend.  In the days leading up to OPC, CFC will preview the teams, coaches and players participating in the big event.

Roberto “Bubba” Allen is one coach who is well known in the Toronto football community.

He was introduced to coaching at an early age.

“I got into coaching football at the age of 17, while still playing and I’ve loved it ever since,” recalled Allen.

Since 2005, Allen has been the Head Coach of the junior varsity Toronto Thunder of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL).  Moreover, he previously completed head coaching stints with the Scarborough Thunder’s tyke, atom and peewee levels and guided those teams to league and provincial championships.

Bubba Allen

In addition, Allen was the Offensive Coordinator of the Agincourt Lancers of the Toronto District Secondary School Athletic Association (TDSSAA). The team won two regional championships during his tenure.

Throughout his coaching career, the Thunder Head Coach has been influenced by a few NFL coaching legends. Their influence transcends beyond the gridiron.

“The coach that I try to emulate is Tony Dungy,” explained Allen.  “I love his approach and his caring for his players.”

“I am also a big fan of Jon Gruden and Mike Tomlin, the ultimate players coach, players will run into a wall for these guys.”

Ultimately, he is passionate about coaching for one specific reason.

“I enjoy coaching, because I love giving back to kids,” expressed Allen.  “I’m an educator, so I love teaching the game and making kids better at the game of football and most importantly better people in our community.”

Bubba Allen 2

This Saturday, Allen will add another experience to his already storied coaching career as he will serve as Head Coach of Team Central’s minor squad at the Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC).  For his part, this is a unique situation because of the challenges it presents.

It’s a bit different, because you don’t have a lot of time, so you have to cram everything in during the limited practice time,” elaborated the Team Central Head Coach.  “Also, the plan is to play everyone equally, so reps are split during practice and it’s hard at time to get a smooth rhythm going.”

Bubba Allen

Allen said that the team cohesion he witnessed during the OPC tryout phase has been the most memorable moment of the OPC experience for him.

“The highlight of the tryout phase was to see how quickly these kids all from different teams came together as one and bonded as a team,” reflected Allen.  “It’s really special to see, , even though they don’t play on the same club team.”

As for the game against Team East on Saturday at TD Place in Ottawa (Kickoff 1:00PM EST), Allen approach to preparing the Team Central squad is straight forward.

“My approach is to keep it simple for my players and just let them play loose (fun) football and let their skills and athleticism takes over,” offered the Team Central Head Coach.

Bubba Allen 1

For many players participating in OPC, this is their chance to make a favourable impression early in their gridiron careers.  Allen imparts one piece of advice for the participants.

“The one advice I will give is to be loose and have fun,” commented the Team Central Head Coach.  “Enjoy the experience.”

Getting set to lead another team into a big game, Allen has a couple of specific objectives he would like to accomplish on Saturday.

“My goals from a coaching standpoint are to win the game, make sure every kid plays, have fun and enjoys themselves,” said Team Central Head Coach.

With the team preparing to make the journey to TD Place in Ottawa, there is one thing above all that Allen cannot wait for come game day.

“I am looking forward to going down to Ottawa aka ‘Cap City’ and show them how we play ball down in the GTA,” expressed Allen.

(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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