To the members of the OPFL,
I just want to take a few minutes to review this past weekend and where we are after both of our tiers have had two complete game weeks. The action has been amazing and the overall feedback we are getting is just tremendous. Congratulations again to all of you as you remember, You Are The OPFL! Any recognition we get is yours - you are our Players, Coaches, Volunteers and Parents.
Premier Division (AAA)
The Varsity age group has had spectacular action with nail-biting games week after week. This weekend of the six games, four of them came down to a one score margin of victory. Over all of the 12 games this season, nearly 50% of the games have been decided by either one or two touchdowns. The Essex Ravens and London Mustangs have found their way to the top of standings in the West and Ottawa is sitting on top of the East. I personally have seen almost every Varsity Team play cannot believe that four of them will not be making the playoffs. Every game this year is going to be critical.
Jr Varsity has been almost as exciting. We are seeing a little separation in the teams and yet, similar to the Varsity division, nearly 50% of the games have come down to one or two touchdowns to decide the game. In the West, Cambridge and Hamilton have jumped out with two victories while in the East, only one team remains undefeated – the Durham Dolphins.
Bantam - This appears to be the most disparity in the competitiveness, which is not surprising at this age. Although highly competitive, it is still very much a devolving age group. With that said we adapted to the schedule changes as we moved from 12 to 10 teams over the last couple weeks, and I am seeing some very good football. In the East, Burlington and Ottawa have jumped ahead of the pack with two wins and in the West, London stands alone undefeated. Note on the scheduling that in the new Bye Week with the movement of the Guelph team, the remaining teams will receive a 6-0 victory. Looking forward to the next six weeks of action in this division.
Some of you will notice that teams that won this weeks received 3 points towards the T. Litzen Cup instead of the traditional 2 points for a win. Remember that we have weighted Division Games higher than crossover games. Every team will play everyone in their division one time. This should really make teams earn their division title and playoff seeding.
Regional Rep (AA)
Our Bantam and Jr Varsity teams completed their 2nd games of the season. We are definitely seeing a little less parity than in our Premier Divisions. This was somewhat expected as the Regional Rep clubs are not all coming from the same environment – ie. Having a AAA team as well as a AA team. With that said, we had some very entertaining football this past weekend. In Jr Varsity the TNT Express took round 1 of the heavyweights in the division by beating the Clarington Knights 20-0. In Bantam the Clarington Knights took TNT 22-0 while in the most competitive game of the weekend the Toronto Jets beat Orangeville 14-12.
We have received some questions about why we are only giving the INSIDER and Trenches coverage for Premier Varsity and Jr Varsity divisions. These two additions require an incredible amount of time to compile and support weekly. This year we are only able to support these two divisions.
We are fine tuning our score sheets, as well as getting better feel for the length of game with the changes to Jr Varsity in 3 down football with 12-minute quarters. Administratively, we had a much better week. I want to thank the managers that are able to update scoring during the games to give the out of town fans a better sense of what is going on and quicker updated scores. This week as well we will start to assess demerit penalties for negligence in submission of Stats, Score Sheets and Film.
Finally, we will start to update and publish our T.Litzen Cup Standings. There is a section on the website for this. This should be updated by end of day on Tuesday of each week. There will be full explanations of the standings.
As always, if you see any of our executive around the various venues, please keep reaching out with questions or simply to just say Hi; we all really appreciate meeting you.
Executive Vice President
Ontario Provincial Football League