‘Canes up for the chal­lenge

Hol­land Col­lege foot­ball sea­son starts Satur­day ver­sus UNB Fred­er­ic­ton in Char­lot­te­town

Journal Pioneer - - SPORTS - BY CHARLES REID

It’s that time again as the Hol­land Col­lege Hur­ri­canes be­gin the hunt for its first At­lantic Foot­ball League ti­tle since 2015.

The quest starts Satur­day when the ‘Canes host the UNB Fred­er­ic­ton Red Bombers in Hol­land Col­lege’s sea­son and home-opener. Game time is noon at MacA­dam Field in Char­lot­te­town. Hol­land Col­lege went 1-2 over­all ver­sus UNB last sea­son, get­ting re­venge for two reg­u­lar sea­son losses by a com­bined 42-21 mar­gin with a 15-10 win in the semi­fi­nals to reach the fi­nal. There, the Dal­housie Tigers handed Hol­land Col­lege, the then de­fend­ing champs, a 29-11 de­feat.

So Ross Young, ‘Canes head coach, knows UNB won’t be an easy out ver­sus the young Hur­ri­canes. “Fred­er­ic­ton brings a big O (of­fen­sive) line with a strong run game and deep re­ceiv­ing threats,” said Ross. “We will need game ex­pe­ri­ence to test just our abil­ity as while we are deeper this year at po­si­tions, and have strong lead­er­ship at quar­ter­back, we are still very young so game pre­pared­ness is key and we can bet­ter eval­u­ate where we are at once we have our first game reps for our new play­ers.”

Ross said there sev­eral play­ers on both sides of the ball key to the team’s sucess. So he’s count­ing on de­fen­sive lead­er­ship from DB Dun­can Hill, lineback­ers Tor­ri­ano Cur­tis and John Ross Young and line­men Bran­don Wil­son, AJ Fields and Joshua Feaster.

Of­fen­sively, Ross said he’ll draw on the strength and ex­pe­ri­ence of the of­fen­sive line in Zach David­son, Ri­ley MacArthy, Ri­ley Aiello, Ken­zie Gert­ley-Gre­gan and Ed­ward Tin­g­ley, the arm of quar­ter­back Brady Crowe, the hands of rookie re­ceivers Cole Bry­dges and Adam Shambe­mir­dam along­side vets Thomas McKenzie and Al­lis­ter Ni­chol­son and the feet of An­dre Goul­bourne, Fer­nando Fuller and Dom Har­ris to move the ball.

“Our of­fence is deeper at ev­ery po­si­tion this sea­son. Our O-line is big, ath­letic and mo­bile. We had five QBs in camp and all are ex­cit­ing to watch. Our back­field and re­ceiv­ing core has size and quick­ness and good hands,” Ross said. “De­fen­sively we are big and quick off the line and our de­fen­sive sec­ondary has strong veter­ans and rook­ies who are very mo­bile and hard hit­ting.”

And for Ross, the team will need all that and more for what he said is a tough four-team cir­cuit.

“Over­all the league looks very strong with each team hav­ing the abil­ity to win on any given day. UNB Fred­er­ic­tion is a big, tal­ented well-coached squad and will be a very tough matchup. (As will) Dal­housie (now) at the top of the food chain this sea­son and a re­vi­tal­ized hard-nosed club out of Saint john.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Cole Bry­dges, mid­dle, and his team­mates cheer at the Hol­land Col­lege Hur­ri­canes last prac­tice be­fore its AFL sea­son opener Satur­day ver­sus UNB Fred­er­ic­ton. Game time is noon at MacA­dam Field in Char­lot­te­town.

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