GOTW ON: Battle of champions between CFC50 No. 9 Holy Trinity and No. 18 Hespeler

It’ll be an OFSAA champion showdown on Friday night when the CFC50 No. 9 Holy Trinity Titans take on the No. 18 Jacob Hespeler Hawks.

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Hespeler have dominated the Waterloo region punching their ticket to the Festival three straight years, but can enter 2019 with a new sense of confidence after finally reaching the pinnacle of Ontario football. Instead of letting their losses define them, Hespeler used the heartache to fuel their desire to become one of the premier programs in the province with a 48-0 victory over Ganaoque last year, and an early season win over Holy Trinity would show they’re contenders for a fourth straight trip to the big dance.

The Titans have been busy building a dynasty in Courtice winning back-to-back OFSAA banners, and they haven’t dropped a game since 2016. Holy Trinity’s Head Coach Derek Sheridan says they have another strong group of prospects that should challenge for a three-peat,

“We haven’t lost a game since 2016, so we don’t feel much urgency to mess with things that are working. We will replace some starts and tweak our offence a bit. Not sure if this team will be quite as strong as the 2018 version – which won the LOSSA final 46-0 and OFSAA 37-22 – but it should be as good as the 2017 squad that went undefeated.”

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The biggest change on offence comes under centre where Zach Laurin will take over the reigns after a successful junior career. Thankfully he’s been blessed with a group of bears around the pocket led by CFC100 Ben Vickers, Zack Ford and Brandon Breiter, while Ethan Chung should relieve some pressure in the backfield as well. Receiver Aaron Artaega will be one of his go-to-targets, and Coach Sheridan is very intrigued to see how much damage Tyler Madalena can impose with his tight end frame, which he says may even attract NCAA interest,

Tyler is the prototype SB/TE for U Sports football. He has outstanding size and great hands. He missed all of last season after undergoing knee surgery but is ready to tear up the LOSSA league now that he is healthy. With his skill set, Tyler could even end up in the NCAA.”

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Coming from a school with around 600 students, every prospect listed above will be playing both ways for the Titans aside from Laurin. It creates an interesting challenge for coaches trying to prepare their players, but Hespeler are confident they have the horses to keep up in this race. They have 24 players returning from their championship team a year ago, most importantly quarterback Joel Watson, who should only improve with another year under his belt. Some other players to watch for the Hawks will be Owen McDonald, Connor Martinez, Riley Fobes, Justice McKenzie, Hunter Lambert, and Brandon Payne, while Alex Harman was earmarked by Head Coach Greg White as their X-Factor this season.

The message will be the same from White each and every week, beginning with a strong showing against Holy Trinity to kickoff their campaign on the right foot,

“Always trying to grow and get better.”

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