Get to Know U19 National Team Receiver Willy-Pierre Dimbongi
Willy-Pierre Dimbongi is a wide receiver from Ottawa, Ontario who will participate in the 2018 International Bowl in Arlington, Texas as a member of the National Under-19 team.
The offensive standout was introduced to the sport by his mother when he was only seven years old.
“My mom was driving by a football practice,” he recalled. “She thought that it would be a good idea for me to start playing football.”
“At first, she wanted me to get out of the house and do some physical activities. As I continued playing, she never really liked it because it was physical and she didn’t really like me getting hurt. I told her though that I can’t stop playing now. I fell in love with it.”
Since that time, Dimbongi has played for the East Ottawa Generals, North Gloucester Giants of the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA), Cumberland Panthers of NCAFA as well as the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL), St. Matthews Tigers of the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association (NCSSAA) and the Ottawa Sooners of the Ontario Football Conference (OFC).
For Dimbongi, his father has been a constant source of encouragement.
“My dad’s always been there for me, always supporting me” he expressed. “I remember when I was a kid, he used to come to my football games.”
“Every time I would score a touchdown, he would be in the stands jumping up and down.”
Another gridiron supporter has been his former high school coach Jean Guillaume.
“He’s an inspiring man,” Dimbongi added. “He’s a father figure; he’s changed a lot of lives.”
“He’s changed my life; he has a philosophy where school comes first. He really showed me the ropes.”
With his selection to the National Under-19 team, it will mark the second time the wide receiver has represented the country and the achievement ranks as the highlight of his career.
“It was amazing because my goal is to play down in the States at the NCAA level,” Dimbongi reflected on last years’ experience in Florida at the North American Championship. “It was my first time playing on an American field and it was great playing against those guys.”
“It was really eye opening because they are realty athletic and fast. They really know the game down there in the States. Being down in that environment, I really loved it.”
Ecstatic to have another chance to wear the Canadian jersey, the wide receiver is looking forward to competing at the 2018 International Bowl.
“Not too many people get to say that they represent Canada,” he expressed. “I get the blessing to say that I made it twice in a row.”
“It means the world to me because to know that I will be playing on that stage and a lot of people will be watching that game. Just to get the experience to learn from coaches is just amazing.”
This post is also available in: French