To the proud members of the OPFL,
I want to take this time to congratulate all the players, coaches, and volunteers for the great start to the Ontario Provincial Football League. This past weekend we saw great football as 30% of our games ended with a margin of victory of 8 points of less; this made for a very competitive weekend. We saw the Eastern Conference win 4 of 5 games in our Bantam Division while in the Varsity Division the West took 5 of 6. To top it off in Jr Varsity they split it right down the middle with both the Eastern and Western Conferences winning 3 games. We did not just have parity in the games, the East West Showdown came right down to the wire. With 1 game left in the weekend the East and West had split the 16 games 8-8. The final game was decided in the last 2 minutes with London making a late surge to take the lead over Mississauga in Varsity Division. This win gave the west a 9-8 edge in Round 1 of the East West Showdown.
I want to take this time to thank the Staffs at McMaster (Ron Joyce Stadium) and Wilfrid Laurier (University Stadium) for their support and generosity this weekend. These types of partnerships are what we are going to build our future on by providing the top football experience in minor football in Ontario. We can showcase our great players and coaches as they move up through the levels of this great game.
I am also proud to say we had no demerit points assigned this weekend and from what I saw the Sportsmanship amongst the teams was very high. I witnessed team managers training each other on our mobile SportsEngine app, and team support helping each other move water and equipment around the fields. The coaches were very professional and the players, as always, were the stars of the show. To finally see legendary programs such as the Essex Ravens and Burlington Stampeders playing meaningful games was tremendous. We welcomed in a new era with the Ottawa Sooners bringing their orange and black to not only minor football, but specifically to us here in the OPFL, and looking to fit right in. I can hardly wait for week 2!
For all the greatness we did have some challenges. We noticed smaller than expected crowds. We also had to re-organize our Bantam Division to place a team in the proper tiering; this caused a bit of disruption in that division. Thank you to those who were involved in that process and assisted in making it as seamless as possible. As expected, we had some technical issues with our E-Tool with user authorizations issues and the stability of our game film storage plans. These challenges have been, and are currently, being worked out.
We look forward however to a great weekend coming up. The Regional Rep Division kicks off in Clarington, Cambridge, TNT. Then, the following week all Divisions have their Week 2 and we will be in full swing. You can see the full schedules for this upcoming weekend on the respective divisional sites: http://www.opfootball.ca/teampages.
Again I just want to finish up by thanking all of you again for coming out and I will see you on the field!
Executive Vice President
Ontario Provincial Football League