Boria easy choice to captain Falcons
In the aftermath of winning the Sutherland Cup, St. Catharines Falcons coach Tyler Bielby was already thinking ahead.
On the bus ride home from Chatham following the Cup victory, Bielby approached Jonah Boria with an offer to captain the Falcons next season.
“I didn’t really see it coming,” Boria said. “It was right after the Sutherland Cup. Ty just said on the bus ride home if I would like to do this and of course I said I would without a doubt.”
Boria is well aware of the history of wearing the C for the Falcons.
“It’s hard to put into words. This is the first time seeing the jersey,” he said. “I know this is a very historic organization and I’m really excited to take the next step and wear the C.”
Boria, a 20-year-old native of Grimsby, was the natural choice to succeed graduating captain Joe Colasurdo.
“It didn’t take too much conversation between the coaching and management,” Bielby said. “It was an obvious choice with his commitment and loyalty to the Falcons really shined through in the last couple of years and we thought it was time to pay it back and honour him with the captaincy.
“He hasn’t worn an A for us so to go from not wearing a letter to a C. It’s just so well earned. We just can’t say enough good things.”
Boria came into his own last season as one of the most dangerous offensive defenceman in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League with his blazing speed while also acting as a leader.
“If they can’t communicate or don’t have the respect of the room, then they don’t make for very good leaders,” Bielby said. “The coaches and I have watched Jonah grow in front of our eyes as we’ve been with him for almost four years. The maturity and the way he handled himself in the playoff stretch, he was vocal on the bench and helped along the young guys and just the way he rose his game to the occasion while playing with guys like Howie (Mason Howard) and Ollie (Olivier Desroches) speaks a lot to his character.”
Boria feels actions speak louder than words.
“Just leading by example. Just being the first to do it and not waiting for anyone to do it,” he said when asked what makes a good captain.
He also gives credit to veterans Howard, Desroches and Andrew MacLean for their support last season.
“Having the older guys stay behind you and give you a push was really nice and it meant a lot,” he said. “Knowing they were there to support you through it was nice and I think that was a big part of our success last year.”
Bielby is a big believer in communication and plans to be in constant contact with Boria.
“I think a big part of our success last year has to do with how much we communicated with each other to make sure no one has any question marks or wondering where they fit,” he said. “It’s constant with the leadership group. There are separate threads where we talk via text message to make sure we are on the same page and they are also a bit of my ears in the dressing room although they have to respect and be there for their teammates. It’s important to have open dialogue so you can control things in the dressing room.”
Boria could have easily moved on to another level for his final season of junior eligibility.
“It’s just nice to be home. I like to sleep in my own bed. I’m going to Brock so it’s a pretty easy decision to stay here,” he said.
The Falcons open the 2022/23 season in Hamilton Thursday before hosting Welland Friday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. at their new home, the Seymour-Hannah Sports Complex.
Boria can’t wait to get started.
“Really excited. I didn’t realize how much I missed hockey until I stepped away from it for a bit and then when I saw the guys again,” he said.
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