Evraire invades coaching ranks


By Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun

Ken Evraire has been out of the Canadian Football League for more than 10 years.

But that didn’t dampen his love for the game, a passion that he’ll bring as coach of the new Ottawa Invaders semi-pro team, which will play in the Northern Football Conference. Evraire, a star receiver with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Saskatchewan Roughriders and Ottawa Rough Riders, couldn’t say no when he was approached by Invaders GM Sean Murphy.

“If you get a chance to get back to things you love to do, if you can juggle around life’s responsibilities, you’re a lucky man. And I’ve been quite lucky,” says Evraire, 44, who helped coach the Merivale High School football team last fall.

“I’ve always wanted to get connected back to the game. I’ve got a nine-month-old son Elijah, another child on the way. My wife Pamela has been fantastic about it. She knows I love football.”

Also supportive is Evraire’s workplace, Hill and Knowlton. The winner will be local football — and players looking for a place to play. The Ottawa Bootleggers enjoyed success years ago in the semi-pro ranks and the Ottawa Deacon Demons had some success before going under before last season.

‘CLASSY TEAM’

“We’re looking at a lot of former university and junior players,” said Evraire. “We have an expectation of competing. We don’t want this to be Murder Inc. kind of thing, where the guys just hammer each other and it becomes a Longest Yard environment. We want to make sure the Ottawa Invaders are known as a classy team.

“The truth of the matter in a lot of football minds when they hear semi-pro is that it’s semi-good and it’s semi-bad. We don’t want to be known that way. This is going to be a group that’s passionate about the game.

“Football never leaves your blood, although sometimes it feels like it’s a little dormant. I want the guys to play and enjoy the game. But at the same time, the reason you put on the helmet and pads is to play for the people.”

The Northern Football Conference also includes the Kingston Privateers, Milton Marauders, North Bay Bulldogs, Oakville Longhorns, Oshawa Hawkeyes, Sarnia Imperials, Sault Ste. Marie Steelers, Toronto Maddogs, Toronto Raiders and Tri City Outlaws.

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