Road to Gold top 100 roster unveiled
Pathway for Junior National Team roster for 2020 IFAF World Junior Championships whittled down after identification camps, Football Canada Cup
By Ameeta Vohra
Ottawa, ON (August 13, 2019) – A 100 young Canadian players, born between the years 2001-2003, are one step closer to realizing their gridiron dreams of representing their country on the international stage while trying to help the national team become part of international football history in the process. Team Canada has an opportunity at the 2020 IFAF World Junior Championship to become the first nation to win three consecutive titles.
After seven sensational identification camps from coast-to-coast consisting of approximately 400 participants and a 300 player talent showcase at the 2019 Football Canada Cup in Kingston, Ontario, the Junior National Team selection committee has whittled down the pool of talent to 100 players who will move onto the next stages of the Road to the Gold 2020 process.
“This is an exciting time for the Junior National Team as we get an opportunity to announce our top 100,” commented Junior National Team head coach Steve Sumarah. “This has been one of the hardest things that we’ve been involved in with the committee – so many good players in this age category, so many great players wanting to represent their country.”
As for the list, eight provinces are represented from across the nation. Ontario and Quebec have the most players listed with 23 each. Alberta has 18 players while Saskatchewan has 16 athletes. Furthermore, British Columbia has nine players while both Nova Scotia and Manitoba each have five. New Brunswick rounds out the provincial representation with two players.
Highlighting the top 100 list are two players who represented Canada at both the 2018 and 2019 International Bowls that were held in Arlington, Texas – defensive back Lucas Cormier (New Brunswick) and receiver Keelan White (British Columbia).
Another player, offensive lineman Alexandre Masri-Fliss (Quebec) participated in the 2018 International Bowl tournament.
Moreover, 27 players on the top 100 were also named 2019 Football Canada Cup tournament all-stars last month and as a result are on the roster competing at this upcoming January’s International Bowl. That group of athletes includes 2019 Football Canada Cup MVPs – quarterback Eloa Latendresse-Regimbald (Quebec) and linebacker Seth Hundeby (Saskatchewan).
25 players on the top 100 represented the nation at the 2019 International Bowl. Highlighting that group of players are White, Cormier, 2019 Football Canada Cup Special Teams MVP Adley Mayala (Alberta), kicker Ben Hadley (Nova Scotia), quarterback Xavier Tremblay (Quebec) as well as receivers Nicolas Cenacle (Quebec), Mason Novik (Saskatchewan) and Emmett Steadman (Saskatchewan).
The dynamic Saskatchewan duo of Noah Pelletier and Ryker Frank are also on the list. The two players have previously represented Canada at the 2018 International Bowl as part of the under-16 West squad. Frank also competed in the 2019 event. This past summer, the duo helped Saskatchewan win their second consecutive gold medal at the Football Canada Cup.
Some other interesting facts about this top 100 list are that all 13 players from Saskatchewan have won a gold medal in the Football Canada Cup tournament. Also, 13 players on the list were part of the national under-16 program which represented the nation at the 2018 International Bowl.
Now that the top 100 has been determined, the next steps in the Road to Gold 2020 process are:
- An announcement of Top 100 2.0 in December – an updated Top 100 list based on fall season performance evaluations
- An announcement of the top 70 players in February. These players will be invited to participate in a Red/White weekend, that will consist of a Red/White game, June 4-7, 2020 in Ottawa at Carleton University’s MNP Park.
- A final selection of the 45 players who will represent Canada at the 2020 IFAF World Junior Championships immediately after Red/White weekend
- 2020 IFAF World Junior Championships in United States
Overall, it will be an exciting next few months in the lead up to the 2020 IFAF World Junior Championships.
“We’re very excited about this first list, look forward to tracking these guys and being ready for our May camp to determine who is going to be representing our country,” Sumarah said.
This post is also available in: French