The Essex Ravens have both of their teams playing for a championship Satuday. The Junior Varsity team is playing the Napean Eagles while the Varsity team takes on the Napean Broncos.
Jr. Varsity head coach Joe Mlinarek had his team sign a ball for him as a momento. Following four years away from the program Mlinarek returned as head coach this season. He was head coach of the JV team for two years in the early 2000's before jumping to the varsity team for 13 years.
He wanted a signed ball because, as he explains, "First time back and never had the chance to win a championship at the JV level. It's a really special group and I want to remember the great time we had, win or lose Saturday".
The Ravens have put up a lot of points this season but know defence wins championships. They'll be anchored by safety Ryan Connolly. He started the season as a running back but made the switch to defence following an injury to a teammate, "It's been fun", said the grade 10 Brennan student.
He played on the defensive side of the ball in grade school and welcomed the return, "I like playing safety, I picked it up pretty quick."
A quick study Connolly is focused on helping his team win a provincial championship in North York Saturday, "It would be great to get a ring"
The varsity team is also looking to bring home a title. Wide receiver Kiano Elliott says both the Ravens and Broncos have walked over their opponents this fall setting up a battle of the titans for provincial supremacy.
The JV's play at 2:30 while the Varsity team clashes at 5pm. You can watch the games by clicking the link: Football Ontario : Powered by GOALLINE (ontariofootball.ca)