6 a.m., Jan .21)
pair hope to show off gridiron skills in Texas
By Mike Beasley
Matthew Tiger teammates Xavier Gervais (above) and
Alex Ross will be playing in the 8th annual International
Bowl this week in Arlington, Texas as members of Team
Ontario. File photos
Texas, religion and football are the main topics of conversation.
During football season, its the only subject.
residents Xavier Gervais and Alexander Ross, both 15,
will find out firsthand what the talk is all about this
week when they travel to the home of the Dallas Cowboys
to participate in the 8th annual International Bowl.
Football will host the event which is taking place on
Jan. 16 and 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
and Ross hope to show off their gridiron skills in the
Lone Star state when they line-up for the U16 Team Ontario
squad. The Cumberland Panthers teammates left on
Jan. 11 to take part in several activities prior to the
years International Bowl lineup includes five games
between U.S. National Teams and international competition,
featuring more than 600 of the top North American high
school and junior high age athletes.
series includes teams at the U18, U17, U16, U15, and U14
levels and is a collaboration of the sports national
governing bodies in each country: USA Football; the Japan
American Football Association; and Football Canada.
so excited to play for Team Ontario, its a real
honour, said Gervais before leaving for Texas last
St. Matthew High School student will line-up at quarterback
for Team Ontario. Participating at an event like this
may be a life-changer for this pair of 15 year olds.
competition for Team Ontario was expected to be fierce
with a team from the United States in the mix along with
a group of elite players from Alberta.
Ontario will play two games and participate in an assortment
of on field practices.
tour of AT&T Stadium is also planned which should
be a treat for the youngsters.
scouts were expected to be in attendance with stop watches
and notepads in hand, searching for the next generation
of college recruits to fill their rosters.
Ross, the chance to represent his province and countgry
is quite remarkable considering the 62, 240
lb. tackle only started playing football in September.
is an accomplished hockey player, skating this season
with the U18 AAA Cumberland Grads.
started playing competitive football this past fall with
the Cumberland Panthers in the Ontario Provincial Football
League (OPFL) and everything has evolved from that,
wasnt sure how things were going to go when I tried
out for the team but things went well and I was really
happy and proud of myself when they told me I made the
selection process began with 123 players looking to earn
a spot on the 40 man roster. After a one-day tryout in
Stoney Creek, Ontario early last month, the U16 team was
named on Dec. 9.
were put through a series of drills that showed off our
skills and ability, Gervais explained.
Grade 10 student was one of 13 quarterbacks in attendance
and must have impressed because he received an invite
to head south of the border.
plan is to go down there and make an impression both on
and off the field, I realize there will be a lot of good
football players in attendance but I will be ready, do
my best and play the way I know I can, said Gervais,
who led the St. Matthew Tigers to a city championship
and an OFSAA Metro Bowl victory in the fall.
the seven previous International Bowls, the United States
holds a 10-5 edge over Canadian teams in head-to-head
match-ups. For more information and results go to: www.footballteamontario.ca.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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