|CAPITAL AREA MINOR
"BETWEEN THE UPRIGHTS" NEWSLETTER- 2001 EDITION
2000 was a banner year for the Capital Area Minor Football Association. A record 386 youth aged 6-16 played on 17 different teams in 5 different programs. On the field, the Fredericton L & A Metalworks Argonauts won the five team Squirt Flag (Ages 7-9) championship in that league's 5th season while the New Maryland Rams prevailed in the second year of our five team Mosquito (Ages10-11) program. For the first time in its history, our association had teams in both the PeeWee (Ages12-13) and Bantam (Ages 14-15) provincial championship games. The Fredericton Southside Red Bombers won the Western Conference PeeWee title before losing to a strong Sackville squad in the New Brunswick championship game held on MacAulay Field at Mount Allison University in Sackville. Our Fredericton Junior Black Kats won their second consecutive provincial Bantam title. The Capital Area 16 & Under Elite team participated in the 2nd Annual Provincial Tournament and was very competitive with both Moncton and Fundy; finishing with a 2-1-1 record after the two day competition.
Individually, a number of our volunteers were honoured. Our association's "Coach of the Year" was PeeWee Red Bombers Head Coach Rick McClellan. Rick, a survivor of brain cancer and in his fourth year of coaching, lead his team all the way to the provincial championship game. More importantly, his kids had loads of fun and were totally turned on to the game of football. Longtime official Ted Mather was selected as our first recipient of the association's "Volunteer of the Year" award. As well, Football New Brunswick recognized Ted's long term contribution to football by presenting him with its "Lifetime Service Award". Kris Bober, Head Coach of the two time provincial Bantam champion Fredericton Junior Black Kats, was selected as Football New Brunswick's 2000 Bantam Coach of the Year. Capital Area Minor Football Association President, Terry McIntyre, received the New Brunswick High School Football Western Conference League Service Award and the Football Canada Bill Leveridge Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to Football.
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 over 14,000 visitors. Many people tell us they have it set up as the home page on their computers. Our website Trivia Quiz, complete with CFL hats for prizes, proved to be very popular. We held our 2nd Annual Minor Football Day. 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 2nd Annual Pass, Punt and Kick competition. Our 13 & Under winner, Nolan Gervais, would go on to win the New Brunswick championship.
On the fundraising front, the Fredericton Junior Black Kats raised $8,000 through bottle drives, BBQ's, car washes. etc. and bought themselves brand new black Riddell VSR-4 helmets and porthole mesh practice jerseys. The association made $4,000 by selling "Peeler Cards" and another $2,000 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 kid on every team.
We had logos designed for our three Bantam teams, our three PeeWee teams and our five Mosquito teams. Our Squirt teams are named after CFL teams and use these logos. The Bantam and PeeWee players were able to buy T-Shirts bearing their team's name and logo. As well we developed a Capital Area Minor Football logo and T-shirt.
During 2000 we were also able to conduct a Canadian Football Officials Association Level I clinic and certify eight much needed new officials for our programs.
For 2001 we are attempting to start a Pee Wee team in St. Stephen-Calais. This would give us four PeeWee teams and perhaps lead to a revision in the overall conference and playoff setup in New Brunswick PeeWee football. If this new PeeWee team takes flight, a Bantam team may follow in a couple of years.
In order to keep up with the Fredericton Junior Black Kats, our other two bantam teams, the Oromocto Junior Blues and Leo Hayes Junior Lions are now conducting fundraising bottle drives, car washes, BBQ's, etc. with the goal of raising enough money to buy their own new Riddell VSR-4 helmets, complete with the colours and logos of the schools they are affiliated with.
Capital Area Football is also involved in attempts to start a June to August New Brunswick Senior Football League for players aged 18 and over. Teams will rent equipment from participating High Schools and football associations. Hopefully the new league will get a total of four teams to start out from among Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, CFB Gagetown and maybe even P.E.I. . Plans are also being made to try and launch a Maritime Junior Football League in the autumn of 2001; or more likely 2002 or 2003. Capital Area Football is interested in participating in this project at the appropriate time.
On the development front, CAMFA will be hosting a National Coaching Certification Program Level I clinic at Leo Hayes High School on April 28-29, 2001. As well new Leo Hayes Varsity Football Head Coach, Lee Hoyt is attempting to organize a football camp for the second weekend in August, 2001. He is hoping to convince local football coaching legend Donnie Davis to lend his name to the camp and act as its director. It remains to seen if this project will get off the ground in 2001.
2001 will also mark the beginning of the Capital Area Minor Football Association Bursary. One graduating student each from Fredericton High and Oromocto High will be awarded a $250 bursary. Leo Hayes High and St. Stephen High will be added in 2002.
Also during 2001 we are planning to make our first concrete step in encouraging girls to take up football. We will attempt to recruit an "all-girls" team to play against the boys in our Squirt Flag Football League for youngsters ages 7-10. We believe that the girls can be competitive with the boys at this age level.