Atom Ti­tans en­joy per­fect sea­son

Sackville Tribune - - SPORTS - Wal­lie Sears Write Call

It’s no se­cret that a ma­jor rea­son for the on­go­ing foot­ball suc­cess by the Tantra­mar Ti­tans is the con­tri­bu­tion be­ing made each year by the Sackville Mi­nor Foot­ball pro­gram.

And guess what? The Atom Ti­tans re­cently com­pleted a per­fect 6-0 sea­son, com­pet­ing in the Greater Monc­ton Con­fer­ence. And like their big broth­ers, they also dom­i­nated their op­po­nents to the tune of a to­tal score of 268-7.

Ac­tu­ally, the atoms out­did the work of Tantra­mar, which also went 6-0 but gave up more points – eight – while scor­ing 275 dur­ing reg­u­lar-sea­son play.

And Isaac Cormier, the head coach of the Atoms, says fans should ex­pect play­ers like Oliver Hicks, Ash­ley Beck­ley, John O’neal and Gil Allen to be­come lead­ing forces for the high school team in 2021 and be­yond. Each is due to grad­u­ate at the end of this year and join the pee­wee Ti­tans for fur­ther sea­son­ing next sea­son.

The atom team con­sists of boys in the 10-11 age bracket and while they may be play­ing six-man foot­ball, each player is com­mit­ted to im­prove­ment and to fol­low­ing a stan­dard sys­tem that will best pre­pare them for high school foot­ball.

From an early age the play­ers learn “foot­ball vo­cab­u­lary,” which makes them bet­ter pre­pared to move up through the ranks,” said Cormier, dur­ing a re­cent dis­cus­sion. “We teach them such things as foot­work and how to prop­erly tackle.”

Two years ago, the Monc­ton league banned tack­ling and the lo­cal team played its sea­son in Saint John. How­ever, Cormier says of­fi­cials in Monc­ton saw the er­ror of their ways and now the young­sters learn how to prop­erly tackle so when they move up a level they are not at such a dis­ad­van­tage and more likely to sus­tain in­juries.

Coach Cormier is typ­i­cal of most men teach­ing fun­da­men­tals in the Sackville sys­tem. He was a mem­ber of the Tantra­mar Ti­tans from 1989 to 1991, first as a full­back and later as tail­back.

He has a strong sup­port­ing cast, which may be re­spon­si­ble for the de­vel­op­ment of the young ath­letes more quickly here than in some other com­mu­ni­ties – it al­lows time for spe­cial at­ten­tion to be given to each young­ster.

Work­ing with Cormier are Ian Hicks, Andy Phin­ney, Tim Wil­son and Spencer Deck­ley.

While there are no medals awarded in the atom di­vi­sion, the Sackville team can le­git­i­mately lay claim to the un­of­fi­cial crown; no play­off is held but six vic­to­ries by such over­whelm­ingly scores def­i­nitely shows where they stand.

“One of the main rea­sons we can en­joy such suc­cess is be­cause we have such ded­i­cated kids, ded­i­cated par­ents and ded­i­cated coaches,” says Cormier.

While he did not men­tion the sup­port of his brother Tim, who heads the pee­wee pro­gram, it was he who has con­tin­ued to en­cour­age oth­ers to be in­volved, demon­strat­ing what suc­cess looks like.

Ev­ery kid on the team gets a fair share of play­ing time and all Isaac Cormier asks is that par­ents leave the coaches alone to do their job – and, for the most part, this is ex­actly what hap­pens.

And while he says it would be dif­fi­cult to name which class has been the best, he feels this year’s crop is one of the most tal­ented with lots of speed and smarts.

So, Scott O’neal, your work may be made just a lit­tle lighter when these young men reach Grade 9 and join one of the most win­ningest high school foot­ball pro­grams in the coun­try.

AN­DREA CORMIER PHOTO

Sackville’s Atom Ti­tans, un­der the lead­er­ship of head coach Isaac Cormier, went un­de­feated this sea­son.

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