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Eastern Ontario football champion to play in first of nine OFSAA bowls
Posted: September 25th, 2013 @ 10:10pm
Eastern Ontario's senior football champion will play in one of nine provincial high school bowl games in Toronto on Tuesday, Nov. 26, it was announced Wednesday.
In a memo circulated to member associations, Peter Morris, the football convenor for the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations, presented the plan for a festival of games held over four days at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke, Nov. 26-29.
The eastern Ontario champion will play the Region of Peel champion in the first game, at 11:30 a.m. The Peel conference comprises 65 schools from Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. Former Queen's Golden Gaels star Paul Correale is a coach at Mississauga's St. Marcelinus.
Pairings were determined in a draw held by a committee at the OFSAA office in Toronto on Monday. The games have not been named. According to the memo, each will ultimately be named for a sponsor.
Seventeen regional champions will participate, with the host Toronto public association having both its champion and a so-called host team to complete the draw.
The four-day festival replaces the one-day event that featured five regional bowl games that has typically been held in Rogers Centre in Toronto, save for one year when it was held at the University of Toronto's new Varsity Centre.
The day at the Rogers Centre was held in the week preceding the Buffalo Bills' annual game there, and rent for the high school event was heavily subsidized by the National Football League club.
Negotiations to have that happen again this year fell through, however, and in late August it appeared that the high school games might not happen at all.
"The total cost to rent the dome for the day is so high there was no way (OFSAA) could recoup it," Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association commissioner Frank Halligan said. "The Bills have been basically looking after that for them. I'm not sure where things separated but had been in place for five years.
"I think they were in a situation where they decided to come up with a stop-gap measure for this year."
In the new format, the post-KASSAA playoffs won't be as onerous as they have been, when the Kingston-area champion would play the AAA challenger from eastern Ontario and then the National Capital region champion, before advancing to what was known as the National Capital Bowl against the winner of the other regional semifinal between the champions of the Central Ontario and Georgian Bay conferences.
More often than not that's meant Frontenac against Peterborough Crestwood.
"One of the advantages of this is the Kingston team won't always play the Peterborough-area team," Halligan said.
This year, the four triple-A teams in Kingston will play for the county title with the winner facing a challenge from Thousand Islands in Brockville, the only other triple-A school with football in eastern Ontario. The winner of that game will go straight to Toronto.
In the revised format, the National Capital and Central Ontario champions will play in Game 2 of the nine-game series on Nov. 26 at 2:30 p.m. There will be three games Wednesday, Nov. 27, two on Thursday and the final two on Friday, Nov. 29.
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