Waterloo HC ‘cares about every player’

Warriors add three Ontario commits to their 2018 class.

Riley Birch, an offensive lineman from Lorne Park Secondary School, is ready to invest his time and energy into the University of Waterloo Warriors, and he is glad that the Warriors are willing to invest not only in their football future, but in him as well.

Running back Tazie Vang Bell from Clarke Road Secondary School and linebacker Justin Smith from Arnprior District High School will also be joining the Warriors.

Riley Birch

When Riley Birch visited the Warriors, he felt nothing but love. “I felt extremely welcome and had a great connection with the coaches, especially the offensive line coach, and players,” he said.

“Matt Frasier, the offensive line coach, was someone I know I can work well with. We talked about football for an hour and he really knows the sport and especially about the offensive line,” he added. “He also seems like a supportive coach who will really help his players become the best they can possible be.”

Along with Fraser, Birch said that he absolutely loves the staff. He described Darrell Adams, the coach he talked to the most, as being really passionate about football. He said he was also very helpful and supportive. As for the head coach, Chris Bertoia, Birch said that he seems to care about every player on his team.

Courtesy of Riley Birch.

Waterloo is currently building an indoor practice field and has plans to build a new locker room and stands. “It’s great to see how they’re investing a lot into the football team over the next few years,” Birch said. “It showed me that they really care about the team and they want to succeed and compete. I know I’ll be joining a team who has a chance at winning a championship each and every year.”

In university, Birch is hoping to follow in his family’s footsteps. He has applied to the global business and digital arts program. “It’s an area I’ve been interested in for a long time and one that all my family members all work in,” he said. “I’ve heard great things about the program and I can’t wait to be apart of it.”

In Birch’s eight-year career, he has played for the Mississauga Warriors (OPFL), the SMFC Colts, Mavericks and Stallions (Mississauga Football League) and the Lorne Park Spartans (ROPSSAA). The 6’3, 245lbs right tackle has also played as a centre and guard.

In grade nine, he was the Spartans’ rookie of the year. The next season, he was named as the most valuable lineman. In grade 12, he was once again the most valuable lineman and won the Kyle Ondrey Memorial Award for being a leader as a student-athlete. He was a ROPSSAA all-star and he helped his team capture a OFSAA Central Bowl.

“I’d just like to give a shout-out to the coaching staff at Lorne Park who have got me to where I am today and to one of my first coaches, Kevine Wiles, who was the coach who really made me fall in love with football,” Birch said.

Tazie Vang Bell

Tazie Vang Bell stands at 5’10, 195lbs and has played as a running back and free safety with the Clarke Road Trojans (TVRA) and the London Junior Mustangs (OPFL). In the 2017 OPFL season, he played nine games and had 143 attempts, 1233 yards and 137 rushing yards. He averaged 8.6 yards on each attempt and scored 14 touchdowns with five happening in two playoff games. He is from London, Ontario.

Justin Smith

Standing at 6’2, 220lbs, Justin Smith is a member of the Arnprior DHS Rapids (UOVHSAA). The product of Arnprior, Ontario, helped his team win the 2017 OFSAA National Capital Bowl.

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