At­lantic Schooners would make CFL a coast-to-coast foot­ball league

Yar­mouth County res­i­dent given hon­our of an­nounc­ing name of pro­posed new fran­chise

Tri-County Vanguard - - SPORTS - ERIC BOURQUE THEVANGUARD.CA

As host of one of the most pop­u­lar so­cial events of Grey Cup week, John Ry­er­son, a Yar­mouth County res­i­dent, has been a part of the cel­e­bra­tions sur­round­ing Canada’s big­gest an­nual pro­fes­sional foot­ball game for years.

In Ed­mon­ton, this year’s host city, Ry­er­son again was at the helm of the kitchen party that has been bring­ing a taste of the East Coast to the CFL’s sea­son fi­nale, but this year was ex­tra spe­cial, given that Ry­er­son got to de­liver some big news.

“I’m happy to an­nounce that the 10th team in the CFL will be known as the At­lantic Schooners,” said Ry­er­son.

The name had been cho­sen through a con­test, although it’s not new. In­deed, Ry­er­son and the other vol­un­teers who help him put on the East Coast kitchen party each year have helped keep the name At­lantic Schooners alive through their pres­ence at the Grey Cup.

The pro­posed new team would play in Hal­i­fax. The group pur­su­ing the bid for the new club is look­ing to ac­quire land in Shan­non Park to have a stadium built.

The At­lantic Schooners was the name granted to a con­di­tional CFL ex­pan­sion team in the early 1980s. That team never ma­te­ri­al­ized, as own­er­ship failed to se­cure fund­ing for a stadium and the fran­chise ap­pli­ca­tion even­tu­ally was with­drawn.

In Ed­mon­ton on Nov. 23, two days be­fore the 2018 Grey Cup game, Mar­itime Foot­ball Ltd., the group pur­su­ing the new bid for a Hal­i­fax-based CFL squad, let Ry­er­son make the of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment of the pro­posed new fran­chise’s name.

Ry­er­son later de­scribed the whole ex­pe­ri­ence as “quite an ex­cit­ing week­end. And to cap it off, Trooper took our stage as a sur­prise. We did At­lantic Canada proud.”

Aside from keep­ing the name At­lantic Schooners alive and putting on a pop­u­lar an­nual kitchen party in the city host­ing the Grey Cup, Ry­er­son and his fel­low vol­un­teers have raised thou­sands of dol­lars over the years for food banks across Canada.

The Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers de­feated the Ot­tawa Red­blacks 27-16 in this year’s Grey Cup game.

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