ROPSSAA: Price reflects on Crusaders impressive 2015 season

Mount Carmel will look to build off the foundation they built in 2015

After an impressive season and a CFC50 High School Ranking as high as 30, the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Crusaders Senior football team had their season ended at the hands of the St. Roch Ravens on November 12, 2015.  However, the Crusaders have a lot to be proud of despite suffering defeat in the ROPSSAA playoffs.

The Mount Carmel finished the regular season with a 4-1 record and in spite of the loss, the team stood toe to toe with defending ROPSSAA Champions Lorne Park in the final game of the regular season.  The Crusaders earned a second seed birth into the playoffs and defeated St. Thomas Aquinas in the first round of the playoffs.

Throughout the season, Mount Carmel received really strong performances from quarterback Alex Sutcliffe, running back Cordell Bujold-Abu and star receiver Kian Schaffer-Baker.  Schaffer-Baker amassed over 1000 yards receiving, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions on the defensive side in seven games.

As the season progressed Head Coach for the Crusaders Jeff Price was impressed with how resilient his team was.  “Virtually every regular season game we found ourselves outplayed in the first half and each of those games we played really strong second halves including the game against Lorne Park,” notes Price.  “Our kids were always able to play from behind very well.”

Although Mount Carmel fell short of reaching their ultimate goal, reaching the semi-finals and finishing in the top four in Peel is a feat Coach Price believes his team can build off of moving forward.  “You always want to go further and have success in the championship, but these kids had to deal with a lot of issues in terms of holes that we weren’t able to fill,” says Coach Price.  With certain factors limiting the Crusaders, Coach Price is proud of his players for what they were able to accomplish with what the team had in place.

When asked about improvements the team could make, Coach Price and the coaching staff at Mount Carmel noted that they would like to see improved play on the line of scrimmage with the offensive and defensive lines.  Coach Price believes that moving forward, this aspect of the game will be imperative to the success the Crusaders will receive if the make the necessary improvements in the trenches.

Despite the fact that Mount Carmel will lose two of their more prominent players in Kian Schaffer-Baker and Alex Sutcliffe, the team is excited about their future outlook.  The team will look to promising quarterback George Anthony Kotselidis at the beginning of next season.  Kotselidis was an OVFL All-Star for the Junior Varsity Mississauga Warriors and served as Sutcliffe’s backup in 2015.  “He’s a pro-style pocket passer that can read multiple routes at a time and read defenses.  I think he is poised to the breakout player in Peel next year,” says Price.

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