Another season of minor football is underway, and the Bel-Air Copeland Lions are again fielding teams at four age levels. All teams are based at Raven Park.
The Tykes (ages 8 to 10) had to struggle to get a team together, but late additions like Samarone Mousa have given the team a boost. The return of several veterans gives the offence a head start, and newcomer Ricky Clostre has balanced the running attack. All of the backs appreciate the fine blocking of rookie Nicholas Green. The defence is led by third year man Wassim Sayegh, with the young but sure-tackling Matthew, Justin, and Michael Chartier shutting down the opposing offences. The team welcomed three new players from Aylmer to round out the squad. Karl and Patrick Hubert, along with Thierry Valiquetee-Ouellet make the trip over the river to attend practice each night.
It is somewhat of a re-building year for the Mosquitos (ages 11 to 12), but the team seems to be coming together already. First year player Jamie Davidson not only shows great enthusiasm, but he is a force on the Mosquitos defence. The improving play of Kaleab Tesema also brightens the outlook for this group. Speedster Shane Roberts, the elusive Geoff Turnbull, and powerful Adam Gourgon blend perfectly as runners to confound the opposition. Steve Buske is back with his hulking presence to destroy anyone entering his area, while Andy To continues to dish out punishment despite his smaller size.
Bruising Danny Cama again leads the Pee-Wee ground game, complemented this year by surprising rookie Nick Ibrahim, and the versatile Rady Saleh. Former Mosquito Vince Patricelli continues to impress the coaching staff, who must decide the best spot for this outstanding player. Enea Brati has also caught the eye of the staff. The Pee-Wee defence is loaded with experienced players, and this group is recognized as one of the hardest hitting units in the city.
Familiar names include the Chillcott brothers, Mohamad Abbas, Mohamed Issa, and the Lalonde twins. It should be a great year for the Pee-Wees. After playing with so many rookies last year, the Bantams (15 and 16 years) have a veteran team this year. Many on this team started at Tyke and will be graduating this year, hoping to leave with a championship. Eric Monast has returned from injury, Chris Lewis is up from Pee-Wee, and long time stars Mike Maitland, Richard Green, and Matt Jackson return to make this squad a threat to take it all. New players like Tyler Cotnam, Troy Forbes, and Joe Duchesneau have bolstered the team, which can also rely on stalwarts Ryan Proulx, Wayde Richer, and Nayef Sayegh. Certainly, the effort is there at practice, and the coaches expect to see the rewards at the games.
Upcoming Bel-Air games are September 9 and 10 at the Nepean Sportsplex, September 16 and 17, plus 23 and 24 at Laurentian H.S., and the following week at CORE Park in Barrhaven (turn left off of Greenbank at the Fire Station in Barrhaven). Saturday games start at 9:30, and Sunday games at 1:00.
Did you know that National Capital Amateur Football Association is the largest minor football league in Canada? Come out and enjoy some great action provided by the kids in your community.