Canada’s Junior National Team prepares for worlds in Italy
In preparation for the 2014 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) U-19 World Championship in Kuwait, Football Canada’s Junior National Team begins its title defense with a training camp in Italy beginning on Saturday June 28 through to July 5.
Canada and Team USA have met in the previous two U-19 World Championship gold medal games with Canada avenging a 2009 loss in 2012 with a 23-17 victory to earn the top seed heading into 2014.
Having served as Canada’s defensive coordinator at both the 2009 and 2012 U-19 World Championships, head coach Warren Craney is excited to lead Team Canada as the tournament’s defending champions in 2014.
”Our players and coaches are excited to begin training camp in Italy,” said Craney “It’s been something we’ve talked about and been preparing for since we faced Team USA at the International Bowl in February.”
“In our five day training camp we not only need to come together as a group but also lay the foundations of our offense, defense and special teams in order to prepare for the start of our tournament on July 7 against Kuwait.”
Joining Team Canada in Italy are Colton Hunchak, Kayden Johnson, Philippe Lessard-Vézina, Rossini Sandjong-Djabome, and Joe McQuay.
Colton Hunchak (Calgary, AB) impressed at both the 2013 Football Canada Cup in Moncton, NB as well as the 2014 International Bowl in the under-18 game. Hunchak, a top 2015 recruit will join his older brother Brett on the roster and replaces Carleton receiver, Kyle Van Wynsberghe.
Replacing Edward Illnicki is Académie Saint-Louis running back and 2013 RESEQ juvenile division 1 most valuable player, Philippe Lessard-Vézina (Québec, QC). Lessard-Vézina had an outstanding 2013 campaign rushing for over 1400 yards and 15 touchdowns while through the air he accumulated an additional 435 yards on 26 receptions and 5 receiving touchdowns giving him 20 total touchdowns.
Kerrobert, Saskatchewan’s Kayden Johnson will replace fellow running back, Cédric Joseph in Kuwait. Johnson’s mix of size and speed stood out at the 2013 Canada Cup earning him an invite to the 2014 International Bowl as a member of Canada’s U-18 squad. He’s considered one of the top recruits from the 2014 recruiting class and is currently committed to the University of Saskatchewan for the upcoming fall.
CEGEP Édouard-Montpetit defensive lineman, Rossini Sandjong-Djabome (Longueuil ,QC) will replace Brayden Twarynski who is unable to compete due to a job placement. The talented lineman who represented Canada in the U-19 game at the International Bowl tallied 25.5 total tackles (15 solo, 21 assisted) along with 6 sacks for the Édouard-Montpetit Lynx last season.
Also added is Joe McQuay of Notre Dame High School in Red Deer, Alberta who replaces fellow offensive lineman Mason Dick.
This post is also available in: French