Over 200 National and Provincial Alumni in USports Conference Finals this weekend
As eight teams from coast-to-coast take to the field to battle for their USports postseason lives, there will be an abundance of national and provincial alumni competing as teammates and foes.
More than 200 alumni are part of these eight teams. They represent seven provinces and belong to the Junior National Program and/or Provincial Programs. The Junior National Team competes in IFAF sanctioned events such as the World Junior Championships, International Bowl and North American Championship and the program itself is run by Football Canada. Meanwhile, the Provincial Programs provides opportunities for athletes to develop locally and are governed by Football Canada. The Provincial Sport Organizations run these programs and it prepares athletes to compete in the Football Canada’s national under-18 championship, the Football Canada Cup.
This past July, five of these athletes were part of the Junior National Team that defended the gold medal at the IFAF World Junior Championship which was led by current Carleton Ravens Head Coach Steve Sumarah. Calgary Dinos running back Jalen Philpot, slotback Tyson Philpot offensive lineman Nathan Cole, Guelph offensive lineman Andy McFalls and StFX X-Men defensive lineman Alexander Fedchun helped Canada defeat Mexico 13-7 in front of 25,000 football fans in Mexico City, Mexico.
At the tournament, Tyson Philpot was named Player of the Game versus Japan. This week, he was selected as a Canada West University Athletic Association (CWUAA) All-Star for his exceptional performance during his rookie campaign with the Dinos.
When the Dinos take on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in the Hardy Cup on Saturday, there will be 65 alumni on both rosters. This game will be showcased by Huskies defensive back Ben Whiting who brought home gold for Canada at the 2016 IFAF World Junior Championships in Harbin, China, running back Tyler Chow who represented Canada at the 2014 International Bowl, receiver Colton Klassen who represented Team Saskatchewan at the 2013 Football Canada Cup and Dinos defensive lineman Joel Van Pelt who represented Team Alberta at the same event.
When the Dunsmore Cup is contested between the Laval Rouge et Or and Montreal Carabins, there will be 58 alumni between the two teams. Highlighting this game will be Rouge et Or defensive lineman Mathieu Betts and Carabins wide receiver Louis-Mathieu Nomandin, who helped Canada claim the silver medal at the 2014 IFAF World Junior Championships in Kuwait under current York Lions head coach Warren Craney.
In the OUA, six alumni involved in the Yates Cup battle this weekend were named first team league All-Stars this week – tackle Dylan Giffen (Western Mustangs), guard David Brown (Western Mustangs), linebacker Lukas Korol (Guelph Gryphons), Sam Linebacker Fraser Sopik (Western Mustangs), free safety Daniel Valente Jr. (Western Mustangs) and kicker Gabriel Ferraro (Guelph Gryphons).
Another five alumni received second team all-star nods from the league – Chris Merchant (Western Mustangs), guard Gregoire Bouchard (Western Mustangs), defensive tackle Mitchell Stadnyk (Western Mustangs), defensive end Andrew Thurston (Western Mustangs) and linebacker Philippe Dion (Western Mustangs).
Western Mustangs’ Zack Fry and Spencer Nichols who were named OUA Rookie All-Stars this week have not only represented their province at Football Canada Cup tournaments, but also have experience playing south of the border for Canada. In 2018, Fry represent Canada as a member of the Under-18 team at the International Bowl in Arlington, Texas while Nichols donned the maple leaf at the 2017 North American Championships in Florida.
In the fourth USports Conference Championship, the Saint Mary’s Huskies will square off against the StFX X-Men in the Loney Bowl. Other than Fedchun, other notable alumni in this game are X-Men offensive lineman Gregor McKellar who represented the country at the 2016 International Bowl, running back Connor Ross who participated In the 2017 North American Championship and defensive lineman Matthew Mendes who most recently was part of the Under-19 squad that competed at the 2018 International Bowl in Arlington, Texas.
- Out of the 201 alumni, 18 are from Nova Scotia, 35 from Alberta, 33 from Ontario, 42 from Quebec, 6 from British Columbia, 4 from Manitoba and 33 from Saskatchewan
- Out of this group, 5 athletes successfully defended the gold medal for Canada at the 2018 IFAF World Junior Championships in Mexico City, Mexico
- 15 athletes won gold at the 2016 IFAF World Junior Championships in Harbin, China after defeating rival United States
- 10 athletes claimed silver at the 2014 IFAF World Junior Championships in Kuwait
- 8 athletes helped Canada win their first ever gold medal at the 2012 World Junior Championships after upsetting the United States on their home turf in Austin, Texas.
- 13 athletes participated in the 2017 North American Championships in Florida
- A total of 56 athletes have participated in a four different International Bowls (2014 – 2018)
|About Football Canada|
|Established in 1884, Football Canada is the national governing body of amateur football in Canada and a proud member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). Working closely with the provincial football associations, we develop programs and resources for players, coaches, officials in the three disciplines of Tackle, Flag and Touch Football. Football Canada’s vision statement is “from playground to stadium” where players can participate in the game of football throughout a lifetime recreationally, competitively and internationally. Athletes represent Canada internationally at IFAF governed tournaments such as the World Junior Championships and World Women’s Championships and Senior Men’s World Championships and compete against other nations such as the United States, Mexico, Japan, Australia and Sweden. Football Canada provides a national stage for our athletes to compete and develop in tournaments primarily the Football Canada Cup, which is the Under-18 National Championship. Over 320 athletes from coast-to-coast benefit each year from competing at the tournament. Since the inception of the tournament, over 7,500 athletes who have competed in the national championship have enjoyed further success in their careers in the NFL, CFL and USports.|
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