2019 FOOTBALL CANADA CUP PREVIEW – NOVA SCOTIA
An inside look at Team Nova Scotia, one of eight teams vying for the national championship in Kingston, Ontario beginning Sunday.
By Ameeta Vohra
If one team is seeking redemption in this tournament, it’s Nova Scotia. Losing three extremely tight games at the 2018 Football Canada Cup in Calgary, Alberta, Nova Scotia left the tournament disappointed as none of the bounces went their way.
Dave Van Den Heuvel is the head coach this year and is no stranger to the provincial program. This will be the fifth time he will be instructing Team Nova Scotia but his first time in the head coaching position. For the last two years (2017, 2018), Van Den Heuvel was the Offensive Coordinator for the provincial team at the Football Canada Cup. In both 2015 and 2016, he was with the provincial team as an Offensive Line Coach. Recently, Van Den Heuvel was named Offensive Coordinator for AUS team, StFX X-Men. Previously he spent the last four seasons with the X-Men as Offensive Line Coach and Recruiting Coordinator. Previous to the X-Men, he was the Head Coach of the NSSAFFL’s Dr. John Hugh Gillis Royals. In 2018, he was Offensive Line Coach for Canada’s under-18 team at the 2018 International Bowl in Arlington, Texas.
On offence, last year’s Player of the Game against New Brunswick, Allan Young leads the unit. This past fall, he led powerhouse Citadel Phoenix win another Nova Scotia Student Athletic Federation Football League (NSSAFFL) Division 1 Championship. One of his main targets will be receiver John Lilley who has championship experience helping Nova Scotia win the under-16 Eastern Challenge in 2017.
Lilley is not the only one who was part of the championship team as many others moved up last year to the under-18 team including linebacker Connor Burns and defensive lineman Ivan Gault.
Defensively, Keandre Jollimore is the one to watch for as he leads the secondary.
Special teams is something Nova Scotia has been consistently good at in Football Canada Cups and will look to Owen MacRae to add points through field goals and PATs.
2018 RESULT: lost to New Brunswick 14-9 to end tournament in eighth place
HEAD COACH: Dave Van Den Heuvel – first year in role and has previously coached for provincial team in recent years
2019 GAME DAY 1 – will meet top seeded Saskatchewan on July 7, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. EST
NUMBER OF RETURNING PLAYERS: 7
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
|*Keandre Jollimore||DB||Auburn Drive|
|Owen MacRae||K||Northeast Kings|
|*Connor Burns||LB||Western Reserve Academy|
|*Ivan Gault||DL||Cobequid Educational Centre|
This post is also available in: French