Hamilton hosts MD Championship Day on Sunday

The Hamilton Minor Football Association is gearing up for Minor Development Championship Day at St. Thomas More field on Sunday (Nov. 17) after a full slate of playoff games in Ontario Varsity Football League play this past weekend.

Championship Day gets underway at 9 a.m. at STM with the Tyke consolation final followed by games every two hours until the Bantam final kickoff at 7 p.m.

Elimination games were played in Cambridge, Hamilton and Toronto during the weekend.

The Peewee West Mountain Riders sampled victory for the first time this season. After going  0-8 in the regular season, the team won in the first playoff game on Saturday in Cambridge. (Photo: HMFA)

The Peewee West Mountain Riders sampled victory for the first time this season. After going 0-8 in the regular season, the team won in the first playoff game on Saturday in Cambridge. (Photo: Don Wall/HMFA)

In Bantam MD play Sunday (Nov. 10) at Hamilton’s Mohawk Sports Park, the East Hamilton Stampeders fought the good fight against the Stoney Creek Bombers but came up on the short end of a 20-14 score. The Stamps had advanced with a 36-8 win over the Cambridge Lions the weekend before while the Bombers had a bye the first weekend of playoffs.

The Bombers now advance to the Bantam final against the Westdale Eskimos, who whitewashed the East Mountain Lions 22-0 on Sunday at Mohawk Sports Park. Nathan Jones, Roland Simmons and Everton Frost each scored a rushing touchdown for the Eskimos and Oliver Pederson was successful on two of three place-kick conversion attempts.

The championship game in the Peewee division will match the Stoney Creek Bombers and the Toronto Jets. The Bombers advanced with at 28-12 win over Cambridge Green on Saturday at Mohawk and the Jets reached the finals with a win over the East Mountain Lions Sunday in Toronto.

In Peewee MD consolation-round play, the eighth-place West Mountain Riders picked a good time to win their first game of the season, knocking off the host fifth-place Cambridge Lions 19-2 Saturday evening to advance to the Peewee 2 finals. Eric Faubert scored one touchdown on a 60-yard pass and run in combination with quarterback Thomas Saab in the first quarter and then matched that with a 38-yard running major in the fourth quarter.

Saab also scored six points on a one-yard dive in the second quarter. Running back Marcial Moses-Lobo was the workhorse on the ground for the Riders’ offense. Defensive standouts for West Mountain were Filip Marynowicz and Justin Gray, who each recorded a sack and a half.

The Riders will play the East Mountain Stamps in the Peewee consolation finals. The Stamps reached the title game with a win over Etobicoke at Mohawk on Sunday.

The MD Atom championship game will pit the East Mountain Lions against the Toronto Jets. The Lions earned their spot with a win over Cambridge Green Sunday at Mohawk while the Jets defeated Cambridge Gold in Toronto on Saturday to make the final.

The HMFA, celebrating 50 years of minor football in the city, reminds players, parents, supporters, sponsors and fans that MD Championship Day is an open event at Hamilton’s St. Thomas More Secondary School, 1045 Upper Paradise Road.

This season for the first time, the association’s house league teams played an interlocking schedule with teams from the Cambridge Minor Football Association as well as Toronto and Etobicoke programs as part of a broader association with the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL). The local HMFA teams joined a Minor Development (MD) program intended to bolster grassroots football across the province.

MD Championship Day is a culminating event for the league in its 50th season. The half-century celebration has included the league’s first-ever combine in May; the introduction of a program welcoming former HMFA players like Mark Verbeek, Jarrett Smith and Rob Hitchcock, who went on to play in the CFL, back to HMFA playing fields to meet with current players; efforts to gather photos and stories from the past 50 years to bolster the league’s archives; and a successful fundraising Dinner Dance in October. Halloween was the theme as the league celebrated its 50th year at the gala Dinner Dance on Oct. 25.

As part of the MD program, Hamilton teams are playing under OVFL MD rules designed to encourage fair play and greater participation.

“The HMFA this year has reconfirmed its commitment to the core strategies that we have followed for 50 years, which is inclusive player development at the grassroots level, practices at local neighbourhood parks and limited travel on game days,” said league director of coaching Paul Micieli.

The HMFA operates house-league (MD) teams in the bantam division (ages 13 and 14), peewee (ages 11 and 12) and atom (ages 8 to 10). Community teams are the East Mountain Lions, the Stoney Creek Bombers, the West Mountain Riders, the Westdale Eskimos and the East Hamilton Stampeders.

The HMFA also operates rep teams in each age division, playing in the OVFL as the Hamilton Junior Tiger-Cats.

MD championship Day schedule

Tyke B – Halton Cowboys Navy (Home) vs Toronto Jets 9 a.m.

PW B- East Hamilton Stampeders (Home) vs. West Mountain Hamilton Riders 11 a.m.

Tyke A – Cambridge Gold (Home) vs. Mississauga Warriors 1 p.m.

Atom – Toronto Jets (Home) vs. East Mountain Hamilton Lions 3 p.m.

PW A – Stoney Creek Bombers (Home) vs. Toronto Jets 5 p.m.

Bantam- Westdale Eskimos (Home) vs. Stoney Creek Bombers 7 p.m.