Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Jan. 20


Team of the Month

Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney


(Posted 7:30 a.m., May 12)
Cumberland Panthers prepare for new season in a new league
By Mike Beasley

Another exciting season of Cumberland Panthers JV football is about to get started at Millennium Park within a new and improved league.

The Ontario Provincial Football League (OPFL) was formed late last fall and will feature 12 teams from across the province.

The Cumberland Panthers junior varsity team will kick off a new season in the fledgling Ontario Provincial Football League this Satuday against the Cambridge Lions. File photo

The birth of the new league comes after several concerns, the main one being that the Ontario Varsity Football League, which the Panthers have been apart of for the past eight years, was plagued by too many lopsided games.

“Essentially, the new league consists of most of the powerhouse teams from previous years in our circuit,” said Jeff Koradi, head coach of the Cumberland Panthers.

“A few of the club executives wanted out because of several internal issues. They wanted to build a different league. I really like what they’ve done. It should make for a very high level of football.”

Eight of 12 premier-level teams com-peted in the OVFL last year and three of the them played in the Ontario Football Conference. The exception is the Ottawa Sooners who are new to this level.

The OPFL will continue with the tradi-tion of showcasing the best 15- and 16-year-old football players in the province.

Besides the Panthers and the Sooners, the JV East Division consists of the Burlington Stampede, the Mississauga Warriors, the Durham Dolphins, and the Kingston Grenadiers.

The West Division is made up of the Essex Ravens, the Guelph Jr. Gryphons, the Hamilton Varsity Tiger Cats, the London Jr. Mustangs, the Cambridge Lions and the Niagara Spears.

Each team will play an eight game schedule with the season starting on Sunday, Jan. 20 .

The Panthers begin their schedule on the road this weekend when they visit the Cambridge Lions. Kick-off is 1 p.m. on the campus of Sir Wilfred University.

Cumberland will play their home opener on Monday, May 29against the Burlington Stampede at the Millennium Sports Park. Kick-off is 3 p.m.

“I expect us to have a good season, it should be a lot of fun this year,” Koradi admitted. “We have a very strong group of players, but we’ll be up against sever-al skilled teams and play in an ultra-competitive division.”

Koradi and his Panthers will play their first contest against a West Division opponent in Game 1 of the 2017 season when they lock horns with the Cambridge Lions.

The Panthers made it to the OVFL bantam championship game in 2015 and were upset in last year’s semi-finals. As a result, Koradi admits the team has some unfinished business to attend to.

“In the end, our goal is to earn our way to the final,” said Koradi.

The QPFL championship game will be hosted by Cumberland on Sunday, Jan. 20 .

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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