OVFL: Kassner truest Myers Rider

From formative years to his adulthood, the Ottawa Myers Riders organization has always meant a great deal to junior varsity Head Coach Kassner.

Matt Kassner has been coaching with the Ottawa Myers Riders for eight years.

However, his roots with the organization go much deeper.

“I grew up playing for the Myers Riders,” Kassner said. “The organization has always been so welcoming.”

Kassner took the lessons he learned about the sport growing up when he moved on to Acadia University, where he played for the Axemen for four years.

Upon returning to Ottawa, he began playing with the Ottawa Jr. Riders of the Quebec Junior Football League (QJFL).

After earning a Masters Degree from the University of Ottawa where he played for the Gee-Gees for two years, Kassner finally had the chance to go back to his roots.

He first became a coach with the junior varsity Myers Riders for a year, before becoming Defensive Coordinator for the Varsity squad under current Head Coach Max Palladino. With Palladino’s guidance, Kassner gradually developed into a prime candidate for a head coaching gig of his own.

Kassner has been Head Coach of the junior varsity Myers Riders for four years now, juggling extra responsibilities as both Defensive and Offensive Coordinator at different points throughout his tenure. He said working with the younger age group is an extremely fulfilling experience.

“The younger you coach players, the more receptive they are and the easier it is to teach them new things, because they have not been taught by someone else,” Kassner said. “They are like sponges at this age.”

Now a veteran coach, Kassner said he has enjoyed being a key part of cultivating a strong system for the future.

“As Head Coach, you can put the team in the direction you want,” Kassner said. “We have a group of coaches that have been together for a while now, so we are all very comfortable with the system.”

Kassner said he has remained attached to the Myers Riders throughout the years because of how well the organization is run. This includes the fact that there are always many volunteers to help the teams function, so that the coaches can focus on football.

“In other organizations, the coaches are doing other things besides football, but we have so many people that help out that we can focus on our opponent and getting ready,” Kassner said.  “I have so much appreciation for all the volunteers that contribute to the organization.”

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