The Ontario Football Conference has welcomed the Hamilton Hurricanes back into its fold.
After an absence of 13 years, the Hurricanes will take to the field again for the 2008 season. Hamilton’s acceptance into the OFC was unanimously confirmed at the organizations recent annual meeting held in Toronto.
The OFC, formed in 1959 and a member of the Canadian Junior Football League, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2009.
Leading the Hurricanes back into the OFC will be Former ‘Canes’ players Brian Copeland, the team president and Jason Hayes, the head coach.
The meeting also heard from two other potential teams, the Toronto Junior Argonauts and an as yet to be named club from Sudbury/North Bay. The Toronto group has decided to forgo its entrance into the OFC until 2009.
The OFC also announced the start of a varsity division for players 19 years of age and under. The three-down league, led by president Mike Ramsay will begin play this year. The inaugural season is expected to include, at a minimum, teams from Burlington, Toronto, York-Simcoe, Kitchener-Waterloo and London although other centres have expressed an interest in joining this new venture.
At the meeting, Kevin McDonald, Canadian Football League director of football operations and development, reaffirmed the CFL’s pledge of support to the OFC and the CJFL. Adding his support and that of the Hamilton Tiger Cats to this pledge was Ticat president Scott Mitchell. Both emphatically emphasized the need and desire for the CFL to work closely with the OFC and the CJFL for the development of Canadian players, coaches, officials and team officials.
In other OFC news, the executive for 2008 was selected and Dave Harding was re-elected as vice- president. Mike Ramsay, president of the Varsity Division of the OFC, will sit as 2nd vice-president. Rob Annen takes over as treasurer/recording secretary while Bill Butcher (referee-in-chief), Jim Stevenson (statistician), Gary Strong (registrar) and Jack Emerson Low (media coordinator) were re-appointed to their positions. Paul Bartle remains the OFC past-president.