OVFL: Halton Cowboys hopes recruitment efforts net reversal of fortunes in 2013 (PREVIEW)

The Halton Cowboys come into the 2013 season expecting to turn some heads. The past two summers have been less than ideal for the Cowboys, finishing in dead last with a 0-8 record both years. In 2012, the team was only able to muster 54 points in a total of 8 games, leaving fans to start questioning if the Cowboys will ever be able to compete against the strong competition in the OVFL. 

After the 2012 season, head coach Corey Grant left the team to pursue an assistant coaching position with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, leaving a vacancy at head coach. The Cowboys decided to promote Jon Kronemeyer, who has spent three years in the OVFL as an offensive coordinator, his first two with the Niagara Spears and the past year with the Cowboys. Although, Kronemeyer lacks coaching experience, he is no stranger when comes to leading teams, spending four years playing quarterback with the Concordia Stingers (1997-2001) and started in the 1998 Vanier Cup.  Kronemeyer remains optimistic about the 2013 season.

“I strongly feel with the backing from our ownership, we have turned the corner in making Halton a competitive program at all levels,” said Kronemeyer.

The declining image of the Cowboys needed to be addressed this off-season.  The team was successful in doing so by recruiting more players and receiving record highs in team registration at all levels. In past years, the lack of depth on the roster was an area that hindered the Cowboys. However in 2013, it becomes one of their main strengths. In a recent exhibition game against the Newmarket Bucs, the Cowboys fielded a team of over 40 players, permitting them to use more rotation in their schemes and allowed players to stay fresh. Kronemeyer, believes that Cowboys will be more successful this season compared to past because of the depth they have at all positions.

Along with a new head coach, the Cowboys have a new starting quarterback, Thomas Riolo. Riolo, a member of the Corpus Christi Longhorns has achieved a great deal success in high school, leading the team to two appearances in the Halton Tier 1 finals. Veteran starting linebacker, Shalmar Walters, anchors the Cowboys on defense, that looks to drastically improve compared to last season.  Walters, has recently committed to the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks and is chomping at the bit in preparation for new OVFL season.

While, the Cowboys have greatly improved their team, they are still in a rebuilding process.  Their main obstacle this year will be establishing a winning culture, which they have lacked in their history. Another area they must improve is becoming more discipline; the Cowboys have consistently taken bad penalties, which have affected the outcome of some of their games. Despite being a young team, look for the cowboys well-built defense and strong passing game to surprise a few teams this season.

Key Returning Players:

Shalmar Walters

Position: LB

Height: 6’2

Weight: 240

Class: 2nd year Varsity

Hometown: Milton

High School: St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School

  • Committed to the Laurier Golden Hawks for the 2013 season.
  • Competed in the ROPPSAA track & field 100 m final.
  • Returning for his second year with the Halton Cowboys.

Will Priestner

Position: LB

Height: 6’0

Weight: 180

Class: 2nd year Varsity

Hometown: Burlington

High School: Nelson Secondary School

  • Son of former NFL & CFL player John Priestner
  • Member of the 2011 Golden Horseshoe Champions

Kanav Sharma

Position: OL/DL

Height: 6’3

Weight: 270

Class: 2nd year Varsity

Hometown: Oakville

High School: Iroquois Ridge.

  • Member of the 2011 Tier 3 Halton Champions.

Key Varsity Additions:

Callum Falkenstein

Position: DE

Height: 6’1

Weight: 220

Class: 1st year Varsity

Hometown: Oakville

High School: St. Ignatius of Loyola

  •  In 2010 and 2011 he represented Canada at the Pop Warner International bowl.
  • Participated in the OVFL prospect game at McMaster University.

Brett Colangelo

Position: LB

Class: 1st year Varsity

Hometown: Oakville

High School: St. Ignatius of Loyola

  • Former member of the Oakville Titans.
  • Member of the 2011 Tier 2 Halton Champions.

Shakim Bennett

Position: DB

Class: 1st year Varisty

Hometown: Burlington

High School: Corpus Christi Secondary School.

  • Former member of the Oakville Titans and Burlington Stampeders
  • Member of the 2011 and 2012 Halton finalists.

Thomas Riolo

Position: QB

Class: 1st year Varisty

Hometown: Burlington

High School: Corpus Christi Secondary School.

  • Former member of the Burlington Stampeders.
  • Member of the 2011 and 2012 Halton finalists

 

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