Simcoe football continues to evolve
The evolution and growth of the Governor Simcoe Redcoats football team will continue in 2018.
“The big thing for us is it is always tougher numbers at the beginning, but we are getting more and more kids out which is great,” Simcoe head coach Jamie Brophy said.
“We are mid-30s to 40 (players), which is a good number and we’re hoping to keep building and encouraging more of the Grade 9s as they come in to get involved.
Getting Grade 9s out is important for the program’s long-term success.
“It is developing better because we are getting the young kids out,” player Joe Fusek said. “I believe we might be able to have a junior and a varsity team next year.
“That would be very important.”
The majority of the Redcoats squad is made up of Grade 11s.
“We were very young last year so those Grade 10s who were contributing last year are really going to help us out this year,” Brophy said. “It looks really good for the future, but we still have a bunch of Grade 11s and when you are playing in a varsity league, you’re playing against a lot of Grade 12s.”
Simcoe has only one 12B player on its roster.
“That really impacts programs,” Brophy said. “You would love to have them back selfishly, but it’s great that they are moving on.”
Brophy likes what he sees in his Grade 11s.
“We still have some growing pains that will happen this year, but we’ve seem to have a lot of speed — which is great — but our trouble is that we don’t have a lot of size,” he said.
Those Grade 11s are also found at key positions.
“Our quarterback is now in Grade 11, which helps, and he has been our starter since Grade 9,” Brophy said. “Our leading tackler is also Grade 11 and it is only going to build for the future for us.
Brophy isn’t sure his team’s future is now, but he is gunning for a solid season.
“It looks like the teams we are playing against will be very competitive and we are hoping to have a competitive season as well,” he said. “We are hoping to develop and continue with what we have had in the past.”
Third-year senior Fusek is confident the team is going have a good season for one main reason.
“All the people here want to play football,” he said. “We will win and have fun doing it.”
Brophy is hoping Fusek can help the team reach the next level.
“Now that he is in Grade 11, he needs to become a vocal leader. We need to him to be a vocal leader out here (at practice and at game time.”
The 16-year-old knows what he needs to do to get better.
“It’s mainly for me to get fit enough to play the sport every day,” he said, with a laugh. “That’s killing me right now.”
Fusek plays running back, slot back and middle linebacker for the Redcoats.
“He leads by example,” Brophy said. “He’s committed, he is here all the time, he is strong and has great football sense. If I had 12 of those kids on the field at the same time, we would be an amazing football program.”
Fusek is coming off a summer playing for the Niagara Spears Elite Junior Varsity squad. The Grade 11 student was named the team’s defensive MVP.
Brophy believes the 5-foot-11 180 pounder has the makeup to play at the post-secondary level.
“He has all the abilities,” he said. “He has a lot of attributes that coaches at the next level really look for. And not only that, he is a wonderful kid.
The Grade 11 student has been a starter in all three of his seasons at Simcoe.
“I was put in as a receiver in my first year in Grade 9 and it was difficult because everyone around me was in Grade 12,” Fusek said. “Now I am a lot more comfortable.”