Junior National Team members carry momentum of gold medal wins into fall football season
By Ameeta Vohra
Still on the high of successfully defending the gold medal at the 2018 IFAF World Junior Championships, Canada’s top performers have begun their fall football seasons looking to be key contributors on their respective teams.
Quarterback Andreas Dueck, who was named Team MVP in the first game of the tournament against Sweden, ignited Canada’s offence with his playmaking abilities, especially when faced with pressure from opponents during the tournament. Dueck is currently in his second year with the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) McMaster Marauders.
Meanwhile, brothers Jalen and Tyson Philpot created many problems for defensive units with their dynamic and explosive play on offence. Both played a pivotal role in Canada’s success at the tournament. Tyson Philpot was named MVP in the game against Japan. Currently, the brothers have joined their new team and will experience their first game with the Canada West University Athletic Association’s (CWUAA) Calgary Dinos.
Canada’s offensive line provided the wall Dueck, the other quarterbacks and offensive weapons needed to be able to make the plays. Lineman Andy McFalls led that group and he has begun the regular season with the OUA’s Guelph Gryphons.
Additionally, Matthew Goodall brought his experience of winning gold at the 2016 IFAF World Junior Championships in Harbin, China to Canada’s offence. After the Mexico City tournament, the lineman now has two gold medals. Goodall is currently a member of the OUA’s Carleton Ravens.
Defensively, Danny McWhirter led the secondary, especially in game 1 against Sweden when he caught an interception. McWhirter has reunited with Junior National Team Head Coach Steve Sumarah as members of the OUA’s Carleton Ravens.
A key defensive performer in the gold medal win over Mexico was linebacker Eryk Bujalski. He caught an interception at a timely moment to seal the victory for Canada in the game. Currently, Bujalski has followed Dueck over to the Marauders for his rookie campaign.
Sandor Mod led the defensive line which stymied opponents throughout the tournament. After the World Junior Championships ended, he returned back to the Gryphons and the team just started their fall season this past weekend.
Kicker Antoine Couture put up many of Canada’s points and was clutch when the team needed him to be during games versus Sweden, Japan and Mexico City. Couture is deep into his season with CEGEP Division 1’s Andre-Grasset Phenix.
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