Bulldogs roll into Myer showdown
Peter Perron’s track and field coaching at Sir Winston Churchill helped land him a starting quarterback.
The head football coach zeroed in on track and field athlete Ryan Cormier when he was in Grade 10.
“The way he threw the javelin indicated to me he had one heck of an arm,” Perron said Friday, after the Bulldogs defeated the visiting Governor Simcoe Redcoats 41-7. “I went to OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championships) with him and he started off as the backup quarterback to build his confidence. Once he built his confidence up, he started to shine.”
Cormier was the backup and mostly played receiver in his Grade 10 year, but all that changed late in the regular season of his Grade 11 year.
“It was the second last game of the season against GFESS (Greater Fort Erie),” the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder said. “Our starting QB got injured so I went in threw a touchdown and the rest is history.”
Perro loves what the 12B student brings to the field.
“He doesn’t miss practice and he works hard on the field in practice and in games,” he said. “He is a nice, smart kid who is really developing his football IQ and that’s the biggest thing I want from him.
The 18-year-old returned for 12B for two reasons.
“I wanted to get a few extra credits and obviously play football.”
He has an interest in playing at the next level.
“That would be cool. It’s the competition and I love playing.”
But he has a lot to do yet before he starts contemplating his football future.
“I just want to lead my team to the championship.”
Churchill improved to 3-0 with the victory, setting the stage for next week’s showdown on its home field against the defending champion A.N. Myer Marauders.
“We took care of business. We worked hard and got better than last week with the intensity and other things,” Perron said. “We still made some mistakes that we have to correct.”
Perron can’t help but look forward to next week’s game against Myer. When the two teams last met in 2019, Myer thumped a beat-up Churchill squad in the Niagara Region High School Athletic Asssociation senior championship game.
“It’s a new season and there is a buzz in the school,” he said. “Football in this building is just off the charts and not just with the players themselves. It is everybody in the building and that energy is translating back to the players. It is like what high school sports should be old-school style.”
Perron wants to see how his team stacks up against Myer.
“To be honest, I think the top team right now is between Myer and Westlane and the next two weeks is our litmus test to see what we can do and how we match up against them.,” he said. “Win, lose or draw, there is our test.”
Cormier feels there’s a big difference between the Bulldogs of 2019 and the 2021 version.
‘We are a lot more disciplined this year and we have a lot more talent,” he said.
Cormier, who missed the 2019 championship game with an injury, is excited for the tilt versus Myer.
“I am looking forward to seeing how we match up,” he said. “If we can beat them, that’s great and if we can’t then we have to work harder.”
Governor Simcoe felt to 1-2 with the loss but head coach Jamie Brophy was content with his team’s play after deciding not to play any player two ways on offence and defence.
“I was excited with the fact that we ran a full offence and a full defence and had the opportunity to get a lot of players in the game,” he said. “That was fantastic because we have a lot of inexperienced players and the more time they can get on the field, the better.”
Brophy had a reason for getting those players experience against the talented and undefeated Tier 1 Bulldogs (3-0).
“Knowing that we probably won’t see this team again and we didn’t have depth when we played Grimsby last week, we needed to figure out where the depth might lie and exposure against a really good team like Churchill showed us that we have some players who are ready to step up.
“We wouldn’t have that unless we gave that exposure to our young players.”
The four Tier 2 and six Tier 2 teams are all playing in the same league this season. The top four teams will play in the Tier 1 semifinals while the fifth- and sixth-place squads earn byes into the Tier 2 semifinals. The bottom four squads will compete in the Tier 2 quarter-finals.
Three games into the regular season, Brophy like how his team is trending.
“We are moving in the right direction,” he said. “We have great numbers, the kids are committed and they are working hard for us. You can’t be disappointed with that and I am not worried about today’s score. I was more worried about our effort and the kids never gave up.”
Bulldogs 44 Redcoats 7
BPSN Star of the Game: Governor Simcoe’s Ryan Cormier with a TD run and pass.
For the Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs: Josh Morley, TD runs of 26 and 51 yards; Ryan Cormier, 27-yard TD run; Brady Pupek, 42-yard TD pass from Cormier; De’Ondre Forde, five-yard TD run; Justin Savoie, two-yard TD run; Ryan Midany, 33-yard field goal; Hunter Young, two interceptions, including one in end zone; Jamal Williams, fumble recovery; Daniel Ferguson, sack.
For the Governor Simcoe Redcoats: Danny Lewise, one-yard TD run and recovered onside kick; Jonathan Archer, sack and fumble recovery; Matteo Martin, interception after tip by Rahim McLean.
Game stats: Net offence: SWC 354, GS 116. First downs: SWC 15, GS 6. Turnovers: SWC 2, GS 5. Penalties: SWC 8 for 65 yards, GS 6 for 30 yards.
Up next: Simcoe hosts St. Catharines Collegiate Wednesday at 3 p.m. and Churchill hosts A.N. Myer Thursday at 3 p.m.