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NCAFA, Jr. Gee-Gees form elite minor football program
By Fred Sherwin
May 16, 2019

When the Cumberland Panthers Football Club decided to shut down its varsity program earliest this year, it left huge void in the spring and summer season.

That void was filled by the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA) which partnered with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees to start the Jr. Gee-Gees U15 and U17 Select football program.

Cumberland Panther and NCAFA Jr. Gee-Gees running back Clark O'Connor sprints past the outstretched hand of a Nicolas-Gatineau defender in their exhibition game on Saturday, May 11. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO

Both Summer Elite Teams (S.E.T.) have a major Panther influence with several Panther coaches deciding to lend their expertise to the project.

Former Jr. Varsity coach Jeff Koradi is the head coach of the U15 S.E.T. team. His assistants include Larry Ring, Panthers Peewee head coach Mike Scmidt, former Peewee head coach Julian DaSilva and Panther assistants Mike Hendricks and Eric Parent.

Both teams will play up to five exhibition games in preparation for the Nike Challenge Cup which will be contested between seven different regional teams from Quebec and the Jr. Gee-Gees. The two-week tournament will be held in Montr�al in late July.

The U15 team coached by Koradi won their first exhibition game 12-0 over a bantam varsity team from Oshawa. They lost their second game 27-16 to �cole polyvalente Nicolas-Gatineau.

Koradi is confident they will be able the players will be on their game by the time the Nike Challenge Cup roles around.

The U15 team has no fewer than 14 Panther players in its ranks including running backs Clark O'Connor and Henry Hollo and six down lineman -- Daniel Sungani, Luca Beumer. Jeffrey Kalambayi, Joshua Maat, Cayden Metallic-Janvier and Sam Gauthier.

Other Panther players include wide receiver Ibrahim Mari, defensive back Hugo Djeumeni, and linebackers Aiden Peterson and Michael Desforges.

The S.E.T. program is designed to give the players access to top-notch coaching and the opportunity to play the best teams in Qu�bec. The season is also over by the end of July, given the players at least a month off before they start NCAFA's fall season.

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


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