Canadian Bowl 2013 Blog: Day 3 in Regina

James Ryan

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Today couldn’t have been any better. I woke up knowing that I didn’t have to be down in the hotel lobby until around 1:00 p.m. in order to catch the shuttle to the CJFL Canadian Bowl football game between the Vancouver Island Raiders (BCFC) and the Regina Thunder (PFC), but I also knew that I’d probably have a lot of explaining to do concerning the events that transpired the previous night with the Langley Rams Head Coach and his disrespectful comments on social media re: Windsor AKO Fratmen player, Mason Beekhuis, who deservingly won the CJFL Defensive Player of the Year award.

So rather than have to relive the whole experience several times throughout the day, thus ruining my entire experience at the game, I worked feverishly to get my Day 2 blog post completed, so as to share the details with the other delegates, but mainly just so I could finally put some closure on an otherwise upsetting evening. Which I did.

Once published, I slowly closed my laptop and gently rested my head down on my desk. I was both mentally and emotionally exhausted to say the least, but I was also tremendously relieved just to have been able to write something so complex in such a short amount of time. It felt good.

Once we arrived at the Mosaic Stadium, I quickly learned that the Field Pass I had brought with me from home was a lot like a badge and a search warrant. I literally walked around down in the player tunnels and explored around under the stadium, and nobody said one word to me. Eventually, I headed up to the VIP lounge with the rest of the OFC executives and CJFL delegates. It was awesome! A truly amazing stadium.

Once the game started, I proceeded to Tweet the entire game from @OFCMEDIA, and I have to say – it was a really fantastic game. The Thunder jumped out to an early lead, and despite never giving up and finding some level of success late in the second half, the Raiders were simply outmatched on this particular day.

Much respect and congratulations to the Regina Thunder for becoming the 2013 CJFL Canadian Bowl Champions in such a dominant fashion. They absolutely deserved to win that game, and as the host city, I can’t say enough good things about the city of Regina or the entire Thunder organization.

On behalf of the OFC, I’d just like to say, thank you. I know we all had a really great time, and for me personally, it’ll be an experience that I’ll always remember for a lifetime.

I’d also like to thank all of my new friends from the OFC. Thank you for bringing me along on this trip, and thank you for giving me the opportunity and platform to truly make a difference in youth football in Ontario. I for one, am excited for what the future holds.

And thanks to our volunteers this season. We couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you. You are truly what makes the OFC one of the best amateur youth sports organizations in all of Canada.

I’d say, “See you in 2014” but the reality is that we’re not about to sit on our hands just because it’s the off-season. We still have a lot of work to do as an organization, as we aim to bring the excellence that we’re known for on the field to a higher level of exposure and community development off the field.

If being in Regina has taught me anything about amateur sports, it’s that great things can be achieved when an entire community stands behind and supports the development of tomorrow’s leaders.

Thanks again. Til next time.

James Ryan

James Ryan
James Ryan

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