Essery a ‘special’ player for Burlington Braves


Burlington Braves Brody Essery has scored a victory even though his football team lost its Ontario Football Conference opener in junior play.

The Braves’ wide receiver was named the conference’s Special Teams award winner in its first Player of the Week awards. In addition to catching his team’s only touchdown pass in a 27-7 loss to the Hamilton Hurricanes, Essery returned six kicks 136 yards and two punt returns for nine yards.

At his wide receiver position, Essery had four receptions for 69 yards.

Essery, in his third season in the OFC and second with Burlington), leads the conference with his kick-off return yards. He finished the game with 214 all-purpose yards. He could add to his totals when the Braves visit Hamilton on Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Ivor Wynn Stadium in a rematch of their Week 1 contest.

Other OFC weekly awards went Ottawa Sooners wide receiver Eric Letourneau, who had 10 receptions for 230 yards and caught two touchdown passes in a 40-26 loss to Windsor AKO Fratmen.

Letourneau, a second-year player, picked up where he left off from last year. After winning Canadian Junior Football League rookie of the year honours and being named an All Canadian, he begins 2011 setting a Sooners record for receiving yards in a single game with 230. Letourneau leads the OFC in receptions with 10, receiving yards with 230, and is tied with three others for most points with 12.

Defensive honours went to Windsor AKO Fratmen’s Richard Veenstra. The defensive back had nine tackles and three interceptions (two for touchdowns) in the win against Ottawa.

A rookie, Veenstra’s two TDs on his interceptions tied an OFC record, and sets an AKO record.