Toronto Downsview to host third annual scrimmage jamboree

This Friday Downsview Secondary School will be hosting their third annual Scrimmage Jamboree. The event is designed to give lower tier teams in Toronto an opportunity to participate in a pre-season tournament allowing coaches to see their teams in action. It also gives players the chance to perform in front of many coaches and put their play on center stage.

There will be 13 teams involved in this years’ jamboree, including Metro Bowl finalists the Don Bosco Eagles.

“It is the largest even of its kind in Ontario,” says event coordinator Russell Hoff. “This event was created to help provide a controlled, no-pressure environment for coaches and players to work on their skill development, before their season begins.”

Hoff started the event in order to give all football programs in Toronto the opportunity to compete against other teams that are at the same level. “I noticed in Toronto, due to smaller school populations and the steep development (and cost) curve of football, the ‘traditional powerhouses’ were very much entrenched,” Says Hoff. “But, the ‘new kids’ often had to line up their new kids against these powerhouses if they wanted any preseason action. Therefore I wanted a ‘for us, by us’ mentality for the smaller/newer programs to develop, which it has.”

Each team will be able to choose a ‘MVP’ of the day and help lesser known players make a name for themselves among coaches and and potentially gain the interest of a post-secondary recruiter.

Fabio Brusco, Head Coach of St. Joan of Arc will be one of the coaches participating in the Jamboree. “A preseason jamboree is a great environment to introduce the sport to new players and prepare them for the season,” Says Brusco. “The environment allows on field coaching and the Tiering system being used helps match up teams at similar levels, which is very good for the players.”

Although this is not the only event of its kind, it does give teams that would not normally see each other during the regular season a chance to face off. Head Coach Jason Sweeny from Robert F. Hall High School says, “What makes the Downsview Jamboree unique is the inclusion of Tier 2 level schools.  Many scouts don’t look at these types of schools normally and miss out on some great players.”

All participating coaches will be evaluating and training not only their own players, but also use this opportunity to evaluate players from other teams. Different coaches value different aspects from their players. According to Head Coach Mark Harrison from Lawrence Collegiate Institute, “At this time of year it is all about effort, toughness, and willingness to compete. Game-like situations, lining up against enemy colours, getting hit by a stranger are all so much different than practice. We aren’t here to win, we are to develop.”

Moira Secondary School Head Coach David Corbett will be looking for, “successful execution of their assignments. Aggression and leadership on the field will also be observed.”

The Coaches involved are excited to see the many players that will come out on Friday. With many great players graduating in 2012, this year is open for younger players to make their mark in Ontario football. Top ranked players such as Trivel Pinto, Greg Dossett and Trevelle Wisdom will participate along with many up incomers. Other players to look out for include Tevin Bowen, Nathan Small, Iam Wiseman, Adam Miller, Curtis Fillier and Charlie Shields just to name a few.

For all those who are interested the Scrimmage Jamboree will take place Friday, September 13th from 10AM to 3PM at Downsview Park, 75 Carl Hall Road. There will be many breaks throughout the day giving coaches and players an opportunity to have a ‘meet and greet’.

Each team will get –
– at least 3 ~45 minute controlled scrimmages throughout the day.
– recruiting/scouting exposure from OUA universities
– 1 ‘all star’ player per team will receive an award
– Full access to Downsview Park’s facilities for the event
– Access to film/photos from the event
– Certified Athletic Trainer(s) on site all day

NOTE: The event will include 3 CFC TOP 100 players and many players that will be participating in the ONTARIO PROSPECT CHALLENGE. will be hosting the Ontario Prospect Challenge throughout the fall to give players an equal opportunity to shine in front of many great coaches as well. Tryouts (Phase 1) for the Ontario Prospect Challenge begin September 21st.  A ‘one-time’ tryout fee allows you to compete in as many tryouts as you wish.   CLICK HERE for registration information.

Stay tuned to for more information and player profiles of those who will be participating in the OPC.


Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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