It’s been a long and event-filled off-season for the Niagara Storm youth football organization, as not only did they experience record-breaking growth, but the majority of players themselves have been training extremely hard, both indoors and out, since about mid-to-late January. They’re definitely ready for action.
To quote Storm President, Frank Trivieri, right now seems like “an opportune time to update everybody before the teams are fully entrenched in gridiron warfare.”
This year, the Niagara Storm have undergone a major transformation. “For our senior teams, which include bantam, junior varsity and varsity, this will be our inaugural season in the Ontario Football Conference (OFC), which is best known throughout the Province as Ontario’s largest and premier football league,” said Trivieri. “And our Atom and Peewee teams will be participating in a new interlock league with the Hamilton-Wentworth Minor Football Association (HWMFA), which now also includes Port Dover.
“We have gone from having two teams, to five – from approximately 70 athletes, to over 130. With this amount of growth, we obviously needed more coaches, field space, and not to mention, additional equipment – we needed to buy more equipment. And if anyone is wondering, we only buy the best equipment that is the exact same equipment that’s used in the NFL, CFL and in the University ranks. I’m also proud to say that for the first time ever, we’re actually able to let all of our players keep their jerseys at the end of the season.
“Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of our parents, volunteers and sponsors. We are very fortunate to have a core group who have done a tremendous amount of work up to today, and I thank them all,” added Trivieri.
This upcoming Sunday May 26th marks the official home-opener for all five teams, as the Atom and Pee Wee teams will be hosting the HWMFA Hamilton Orange (Atom at 9:30 a.m., and Pee Wee at 11:15 a.m.) and the senior teams will be hosting the OFC Forest City Thunderbirds (Bantam at 1:15 p.m., Junior Varsity at 3:30 p.m. and Varsity at 5:45 p.m.).
“For the most part, we’ll be hosting our home games with no less than three teams on those weekends,” said Trivieri. “And on certain weekends, where all five teams will be playing at home, some of us will be at the field from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“We’re definitely going to need a lot of extra help. For those who have children playing, it would be great to have some of the parents volunteering and helping out at the games that are either before or after when their own son plays. That way, everyone would be able to watch their own son play uninterrupted.”
The following is a list of the current volunteer positions that will be needed on game days:
- Gate and Concession Stand – food and spirit wear sales
- 50/50 Ticket Sales
- Stick Crew
- Game Announcer/DJ – the Storm will provide the PA system
- Videographer – the Storm will provide the camcorder (this is only mandatory for all Varsity games, but it is also very necessary for the JV and Bantam teams in order to help them with game planning and development)
- Statistics Crew – training will be provided (this is also mandatory for all Varsity games, but it is equally as necessary for the JV and Bantam teams in order to help with game planning and strategy)
- Field Set-up and Take-down at end of day
- Assistant to the trainer
“For siblings of our athletes, this is a great opportunity to get community hours for school,” Trivieri pointed out. “Please speak with any of our team managers or executive members if you are willing to help out.”
Needless to say, there’s a lot of preparation that goes into these games, but as Trivieri also points out, “this is a consequence of being the fastest growing football program in Niagara.”
By the sounds of it, and with a little help, this will definitely go down as a genuine break-out year for the Niagara Storm football club.
See you Sunday, football fans!