STITTSVILLE – Football is one of the most complicates sports to learn. Positions, plays, formations, roles, rules and so much more.
So, the unofficial start to the 2020 National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA) kicked off last Sunday 9Feb. 9) at the OZ Dome in Stittsville with the first session of skills and drills. Around 26 young kids between the ages of eight and 13 (tyke, mosquito and peewee) came out to either try football for the first time or improve on the skills they already have as veteran Wolverine players.
“This is one of the better turnouts we’ve had over the years,” long-time Wolverine club president Andy McArdle told West Carleton Online, overseeing the practice from the sideline. “We have some new kids and a few kids who have been playing with us since tyke. We’re encouraged. We’re trying to recruit a little harder, start a little earlier.”
The club has had to expand its catchment area inviting prospective players from West Carleton, Kanata North and the Ottawa Valley. While there are still plenty of interested players from West Carleton, the more the better.
The Wolverines are an important member of NCAFA. The Kanata and Bell teams draw far more kids then they can provide spots for. Meanwhile in the Valley, from Arnprior and Almonte all the way to Deep River, there are more than five high school football teams but no places for those kids to play youth football.
For McArdle, the Wolverine club is about providing kids an opportunity to play football.
“Kanata and the Bell football are probably already cutting people,” he said. “In the Valley, there is no youth football.”
Part of the Wolverine outreach program this year includes an Info Day in Renfrew at the Ma-te-way Centre on Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We’ll lean on the kids here today to go find their friends and bring them out,” McArdle said.
Meanwhile, at the OZ Dome, kids are getting an introduction to football basics.
“Pretty basic stuff today,” McArdle said. “Some safe contact drills. Now every coach has to be certified in safe contact.”
Coaches also worked on passing and receiving drills and a few other football-related skills.
One of the most important aspects of football is teamwork. There are players who will play the entire season without once touching the football yet are integral to the team’s success.
Wolverines coach Corey Deslauriers addressed the participants after the session.
“Amazing jobs today guys,” he told them. “I can’t wat to see the progression over the seven weeks. The hitting today was awesome. I saw improvement even over this session.”
Important Wolverine dates
Following is a list of upcoming indoor Skills and Drills sessions for Wolverine co-ed tackle football. There is no experience necessary and you do not have to attend all of them to play for the Wolverines.
“The goal is to have fun,” McArdle said.
- Shorts and T-shirt
- running shoes (or cleats)
COST: $5 per session or $20 one-time fee for all sessions
- OZ DOME – 221 Westbrook Rd, Carp, ON K0A 1L0
- BELL SENSPLEX – 1565 Maple Grove Rd, Kanata, ON K2V 1A3
- Sunday, February 9th – 11:00 am – 12:00pm | Ozdome
- Sunday, February 23th – 11:00 am – 12:00pm | Ozdome
- Saturday, February 29th – 4:00 pm – 5:00pm | Ozdome
- Saturday, March 7th – 4:00 – 5:00pm | Ozdome
- Sunday, March 29th – 11:00am – 12:00pm | Ozdome
- Sunday, April 19th – 11:00am – 12:00pm | Ozdome
- Saturday, April 25th – 4:00 – 5:00 pm | Bell Sensplex
The Wolverines also have girls touch football teams and will also be hosting skills and drills winter sessions for those teams.
COST: $25 one-time fee for all sessions
OZ DOME – 221 Westbrook Rd, Carp, ON K0A 1L0
BELL SENSPLEX – 1565 Maple Grove Rd, Kanata, ON K2V 1A3
STONECREST ES – 3791 Stonecrest Rd, Woodlawn, ON K0A 3M0
SCHEDULE Mosquito (U13) and Peewee (U15):
- Tuesday, February 18th – 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Stonecrest ES
- Tuesday, February 25th – 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Stonecrest ES
- Tuesday, March 3rd – 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Stonecrest ES
- Tuesday, March 24th – 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Stonecrest ES
- Sunday, March 29th – 8:00 – 9:00 am | Bell Sensplex
- Sunday, April 5th – 10:00 – 11:00 am | Ozdome
- Sunday, April 19th – 8:00 – 9:00 am | Bell Sensplex
- Saturday, April 25th – 5:00 – 6:00 pm | Bell Sensplex
- Sunday, April 26th – 2:00 – 3:00 pm | Bell Sensplex
SCHEDULE Bantam (U17) and Midget (U21):
- Tuesday, February 18th – 7:00 – 8:00 pm | Stonecrest ES
- Tuesday, February 25th – 7:00 – 8:00 pm | Stonecrest ES
- Tuesday, March 3rd – 7:00 – 8:00 pm | Stonecrest ES
- Tuesday, March 24th – 7:00 – 8:00 pm | Stonecrest ES
- Sunday, March 29th – 9:00 – 10:00 am | Bell Sensplex
- Sunday, April 5th – 11:00 – 12:00 am | Ozdome
- Sunday, April 19th – 9:00 – 10:00 am | Bell Sensplex
- Saturday, April 25th – 5:00 – 6:00 pm | Bell Sensplex ALL AGES
- Sunday, April 26th – 3:00 – 4:00 pm | Bell Sensplex
For more information visit the West Carleton Wolverines Football Club website.