OVFL Prospects Game: Exposing the provinces talent

The fourth annual Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL) Prospects game is set to take place this Saturday afternoon at McMaster University, once again putting some of the provinces most promising young football players on display, a number of whom are from the host city Hamilton itself. Not only does the game serve as a entertaining all-star style matchup for family, friends and fans to come and watch a great football game, it also provides a big opportunity to the players involved.

“Its an opportunity for interscholastic scouts from across the country to look at the newest crop of talent,” said OVFL president Marie Jackson. ““It’s an excellent chance for viewers as well. It will give great exposure to our league and these talented and upcoming players.”

The two teams are made up of the players who were selected as all-stars last season in their respective divisions. Brian Duguay of the Hamilton Hurricanes and Chris Hobbs of the Mississauga Warriors will coach the Adams division while the Wettges division will be lead by Mitchell Huberman of the Myers Riders. Both Hobbs and Huberman were looking forward to helping the young players display their talent.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Huberman. “I think it’s just really awesome we can help them achieve their goals,”

“It’s great to coach the best players in the OVFL,” Hobbs stated.

With large rosters and a need to ensure that each player is given a fair amount of playing time and opportunity, coaching the prospects game can be a challenge, one that Hobbs says requires a game plan.

“It’s a matter of preparing ahead of time and coming up with a rotation ahead of time,” explained Hobbs. “We have a number of coaches on the staff that all know that we have to get everybody on the field.”

With invitations sent out to every university scout in the country, the game has become a platform for the talented young players to showcase their skills and increase their exposure.

“It was an idea to showcase the best in the province at the JV level,” said Jackson. “That way the scouts get to see the best from both sides of the ball.”

Both coaches are aware of how big of an opportunity this coming Saturday afternoon can be and are looking forward to helping the players reach the next level.

“You spend all the time coaching them, practicing, trying to teach them what you can, when you see that translate to success in the game, and especially national success, its really awesome,” Huberman explained. “And even more great when they make it to the next level and they do get recruited by universities.”

Hobbs echoed his opponent’s sentiments.

“My job on Saturday is to make sure all these kids get as best an opportunity to be seen, to show what they have so they can get on the radar of the universities,” he said. “It’s less about the win-lose and more about the players being able to showcase their talents and abilities.“

This year’s game has a bit of added incentive in that the winning team will travel to Quebec in two weeks to play another all-star team.

Not only has the prospects game helped increase the profile of the young players who play in it, it has also helped increase the profile of the league itself, and football in Ontario as a result.

“I think overall the quality of football in Ontario has improved significantly over the last five, ten years,” Hobbs stated. “I think the OVFL and the other summer leagues have a lot to do with that.”

Scheduled for April 27th at 2:30pm at McMaster University, the game will pit the inaugural year’s winner the Adams division against the two times defending champion Wettges division.

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