Football Canada unveils U16 Eastern Canadian Team Coaching Staff in preparation for 2018 International Bowl
By: Ameeta Vohra
Football Canada has announced its under-16 Eastern Canadian Team coaching staff that will lead a roster of 40 players at the 2018 International Bowl this upcoming January.
The national under-16 team will compete from January 11th to 18th in Arlington, Texas. The conclusion of the International Bowl week will be a jamboree in which Canada will compete.
Last month, Football Canada announced a roster of 40 players who were also selected as all-stars for their notable performances at the 2017 Under-16 East Challenge which was held this past July in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
The U16 coaching staff was selected from each of the four participating provincial teams that competed at the July tournament.
Head Coach for this squad is Jason Warren, who led Team Nova Scotia to a gold medal at the Under-16 Eastern Challenge. This will be his first coaching appearance at the International Bowl.
Warren has competed internationally representing Canada three times at the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) World Flag Championships. He played in the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) and was also a Canadian Football League (CFL) recruit. Currently, Warren is the Technical Director of Football Nova Scotia as well as a member of the Football Canada Tackle and provincial flag committee.
Team Canada’s Offensive Coordinator is Matthew Nesbitt. This past summer, he served in the same capacity with Team Ontario at the Under-16 East Challenge. The team were silver medalists at the event.
Currently, Nesbitt is a coach with USports Guelph Gryphons. He has also been the Head Coach of the Guelph Junior Varsity Gryphons and did a brief coaching stint with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts.
As a player, he helped the Gryphons win a Yates Cup in 2015 and was selected as an OUA All-Star as an offensive lineman.
Brent Keeler will be the Defensive Coordinator and it will be his first appearance in Texas representing Team Canada. At the Under-16 East Challenge, he was part of the coaching staff that led Team Saskatchewan to a bronze medal.
Currently, he is the Head Coach of the Centennial Chargers that compete in the 4A Division of the Saskatoon Secondary Schools Athletic Directorate (SSSAD). Keeler has been in that role for four years but with the program for a decade.
During his playing career as a linebacker, Keeler suited up for the CIS’ University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the CJFL’s Saskatoon Hilltops.
The following are the additional members of the coaching staff for the International Bowl:
Irv Daymond (ONT) – Offensive Assistant
- Represents Canada for third consecutive time in Texas as he coached in both 2016 and 2017
- Currently Offensive Line coach of Laurier Golden Hawks; helped team win Yates Cup in 2016
- Drafted by the BC Lions in 6th round of 1984 CFL Draft
- With the Ottawa Rough Riders, was named a CFL East All-Star for two consecutive years (1991, 1992)
- Played at university level with Western Mustangs
Scott O’Neal (NB) – Offensive Assistant
- Will be second time with Team Canada as he was served as an apprentice coach at 2017 North American Championship with under-18 national program
- Coached Team New Brunswick at the 2017 Under-16 East Challenge
- Current Head Coach with New Brunswick High School Football League’s (NBHSFL) Tantramar Titans
- Led Titans to two consecutive NBHSFL 12-man championships (2015, 2016)
Vince Sturgeon (NB) – Offensive Assistant
- 2018 marks first appearance at International Bowl
- Head Coach of Team New Brunswick at 2017 Under-16 East Challenge
- Current Head Coach of NBHSFL’s Leo Hayes Lions
- Named Football New Brunswick’s Volunteer of the Year in 2009 while coaching Northside Junior Lions
Brian Guebert (SK) – Defensive Assistant
- Was on National Junior Team coaching staff in 2012, 2014 and 2016 as Special Teams Coordinator as well as Defensive Line Coach as Canada competed in IFAF Under-19 World Championship in those years
- Represented Canada on the player roster at the 2011 IFAF Senior World Championships in Austria
- Played for Lethbridge Collegiate Institute during high school years and also completed a two-year stint with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- During his time with CJFL’s Saskatoon Hilltops, helped the team win three consecutive Canadian Bowl Championships (2001-2003); selected as Prairie Football Conference (PFC) Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman in both his final years with the team.
- Made three Vanier Cup appearances with University of Saskatchewan Huskies (2004-2006), selected as a Canada West All-Star twice (2004, 2006) and a CIS All-Canadian (2006)
Pat Skerry (NS) – Defensive Assistant
- 2018 will mark first appearance at International Bowl
- was part of the coaching staff that helped Team Nova Scotia win gold medal at Under-17 Eastern Challenge in 2017
- was Defensive Coordinator for Team Nova Scotia’s Under-15 squad at the 2016 Spalding Cup
- Has been involved with Dartmouth Destroyers/Dartmouth Minor Football
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