On the list
Successful gridiron squad lands in 26th spot in list of top 50 in Canada
The Tantramar Titans, one of Canada’s most dominant high school teams over the past four seasons, hold down the No. 26 spot in the footballchat.com national rankings.
With an early onrush of winter – plenty of snow, freezing temperatures and high winds – and the wrap up of football in Canada with the completion of the Grey Cup and Vanier Cup, it may seem unseasonable to again talk about our own Tantramar Titans.
But the most recent arrival of the listing of the top-50 high school football teams in Canada is reason enough to take time to discuss the significance of where the local squad is ranked in relation to the hundreds of teams across the nation.
Because of their impeccable record over the past four months, the Titans have climbed the rankings to hold down the 26th spot, as compiled by canadafootballchat.com.
The rankings are issued each week during the season and the Titans have risen from number 32 to 26 to become the first Atlantic Provinces squad to ever be accorded such an honour.
The only other team from the Atlantic to be ranked is Citadel of Halifax at number 33. All of the others come from the power centres in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, with a few from Saskatchewan.
Occasionally, national rankings can become subjective, especially at the university level where St. F.X. was in seventh spot before being crushed 63-0 by Laval and suddenly dropped out of sight.
The position had been held temporarily by both St. Mary’s and Acadia before the X-men came on like gangbusters to capture the Atlantic Conference crown and advance to the Uteck Bowl.
But the Titans have remained in the top-50 high school rankings for the past four seasons, since they began their amazing run to four provincial championships and a record of 36 victories in 37 outings.
It’s hoped residents of not only this region but those across this country realize the significance of such an accomplishment by the students of likely the smallest school competing at such a high level.
As football experts have published nationally, the championship teams from every province feature outstanding leadership and especially at the coaching level.
Your columnist has spoken with a number of Mounties players who have observed the Titans in action. A former member of the Citadel team in Halifax said the two schools are playing a very similar level and it’s mainly due to the coaching.
Another, from a fairly large school in Ontario, voiced similar views, claiming the coaching here is perhaps the best he has seen at the high school level.
The local team has come a long way in the past 10 years due a number of wise moves, including the elimination of the bantam program and absorbing peewee graduates directly on to the team.
There was a long dry spell when the bigger schools took out their frustrations by running up huge scores against the Titans but those days are long gone. But the question remains, will the coaching staff be successful in weaving its magic in future seasons or will some of the other schools take a more serious approach and provide more serious challenges.
Only time will tell but in the meantime the school can bask in the glory of being ranked with the very best football teams in all of Canada.
The Tantramar football Titans recently climbed the top 50 high school football teams in Canada rankings, now sitting at 26. Much of the credit for the team’s performance in recent year’s goes to the coaching staff, led by Scott O’neal, shown above working with players in the local minor football system during the 2017 spring training camp.
Several members of the 2018 Tantramar football Titans squad hoist this year’s championship trophy last month. The Sackville team has won the last four consecutive provincial championship titles.
Tantramar Regional High School’s football program has become a recruiting mecca for universities throughout the region. Mount Allison University, for example, has welcomed many of the local high school’s players into the fold, including Aidan O’neal, shown above running the ball in an Oct. 28 game against the St. FX X-men.