|CAPITAL AREA MINOR
"BETWEEN THE UPRIGHTS" NEWSLETTER- 2002 EDITION
2001 was another year of growth for the Capital Area
Minor Football Association. A record 429 players aged 7 and up played on 19 teams in
6 different programs. On the field, the Oromocto Alouettes won the six team Squirt Flag (Ages 7-9) championship in
that league's 6th season while the Nashwaaksis Axemen prevailed in the 3rd
year of our five team Mosquito (Ages10-11) program. The Oromocto Leopards were
our PeeWee champions, defeating the Fredericton Northside Mounties in the title
game. The Leopards would host and lose a hard fought 26-20 provincial semi-final
against the Sackville
Individually, a number of our volunteers were honoured. Our association's "Coach of the Year" was Gene Heather. Gene was Head Coach of both the Oromocto Squirt Alouettes and the Oromocto Mosquito Grizzlies, leading the Alouettes to the CAMFA championship. Marion McIntyre was selected to receive the association's "Ted Mather Volunteer of the Year" award. Marion has organized, officiated, fundraised and been the association's photographer.
Leo Hayes Junior Lions Head Coach, Leonard Gervais, was selected as the 2001 Football New Brunswick Bantam Volunteer of the Year. Marion McIntyre received Football New Brunswick's "Gridiron"Award for "Outstanding Contribution to Football" in 2001.
Off the field a large number of significant events took place. Our website keeps growing in size and is becoming more and more popular. Since its launch in December, 1999 we have had almost 30,000 visitors. Our website Trivia Quiz, now in its 3rd year complete with CFL and CAMFA merchandise for prizes, continues to be very popular. We held our 3rd Annual Fastest Player Competition. C.A.M.F.A. players wearing their game jerseys were admitted free to a Fredericton High School football game. At halftime, representatives from each the teams in our four divisions participated in 40 yard races to determine the fastest player. We also held our 3rd Annual Pass, Punt and Kick competition. Our 11 & Under winner, Jacob Thomas, would go on to win the New Brunswick championship.
On the equipment front , the Leo Hayes Junior Lions and the Oromocto Junior Blues raised sufficient funds through bottle drives, BBQ's, car washes. etc. to buy themselves brand new Riddell VSR-4 helmets. The Lions were also able to acquire porthole mesh practice jerseys. The association made $4,000 by selling "Peeler Cards" and another $3,000 from having parent volunteers do team pictures. This money was used to pay for year end Pizza Parties for all teams and to buy trophies for every single player on every team.
We changed the rules for PeeWee and Junior Varsity football, adding a fourth down to each series of downs with the restriction that one of the first three downs must be a pass. This substantially increased the number of passes thrown in these two age groups. We have used this downs setup successfully in Mosquito since 1999. We also decreased the width of the PeeWee field from 65 to 55 yards to encourage more blocking at this level of play.
Capital Area Minor Football was actively involved in the creation of the three team New Brunswick Senior Football League. The Capital Area Gladiators team participated in the league and used C.A.M.F.A. gear. The Gladiators would go on to win the league championship.
Dan McCullough of Fredericton High was the first ever winner of the Capital Area Minor Football Association Bursary. Dan received $500 to help him attend Champlain College in Lennoxville, Quebec.
During 2001 we were also able to conduct a Canadian Football Officials Association Level I clinic and certify four more much needed new officials for our programs. We now have 17 certified officials doing our games. We held a National Coaching Certification Level I Clinic at Leo Hayes High School and certified 21 coaches.
For 2002 we are attempting to start another Pee Wee team on the south side of Fredericton. We are talking to Albert Street Miidle School about having this team operate as a "Club" team in the school. This would give us four PeeWee teams, a number sufficient for our PeeWee program to be viable without relying on interlocking games with other associations.
We are also working on getting a Bantam team going in St. Stephen-Calais for the 2002 season in cooperation with the coaching staff of St. Stephen High School. This would give us a fourth Bantam team.
The New Brunswick Senior Football League is discussing a possible interlocking schedule with the three team Nova Scotia Senior Football League. If this transpires the Capital Area Gladiators would have a home and home series with each of Moncton and Saint John as well as traveling to play one Nova Scotia team and hosting another Nova Scotia team.
Now that they have new helmets the Oromocto Junior Blues and Leo Hayes Junior Lions will continue conducting fundraising bottle drives, car washes, BBQ's, etc. with the goal of raising enough money to buy new game pants. The Blues will also try to acquire new game jerseys.
On the development front, CAMFA will be hosting a National Coaching Certification Program Level II technical clinic at Leo Hayes High School on April 27-28, 2002. As well local football coaching legends Donnie Davis and Mike Dollimore are considering attempting to organize a football camp in late June. It remains to seen if this project will get off the ground in 2002.
On the administrative front we will be taking some major steps in improving how C.A.M.F.A. is organized and run. For the first time we will have a formalized constitution and association executive. As well a number of "coordinator" positions are to be created to formally assign to our volunteers the various tasks that need to be done each year. All executive and coordinator positions will have detailed job descriptions.