Toronto Catholic high school football team dominates the annual Metro Bowl
TORONTO -- Toronto’s Chaminade Gryphons dominated the annual Metro Bowl Wednesday at Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University.
The team that hadn’t played a game in a month shut out the Notre Dame Irish from Welland 47-0 in the first half, ultimately cruising to a 47-6 win.
Head coach Robin Legault said he kept his team focussed as they waited for Wednesday’s game, by practicing hard, watching a lot of game film, and being motivated by what happened last year.
“These kids have worked for years. Last year we were disappointed in the OFSAA final. So now that we’ve finally won, it means everything to myself and to these kids.”
His players were ecstatic as the game clocked ticked down to 0:00, and the crowd of a couple hundred fans who were bussed in to Hamilton cheered on their team.
Chaminade students were clearly pumped about the win.
“It’s huge man, like these guys worked really hard, and it shows, in the OFSAA championship 47-6, big 'W' by the boys you know," one student said.
The players hoisted the trophy and cheered and hugged at midfield. Quarterback Jonathan Dimarino lead his team to the win, but was giving credit to the entire group.
“It feels great man. We put in so much work, we went a month without playing a game," he said. "We all worked hard. We won. That’s all that matters. And we’re going to be back here next year, winning again!”
His father, Mario Dimarino, was among the crowd sitting through the chilly game, played mostly in the rain. He liked what he saw on the field.
“He had an excellent game. I’m proud. Makes me proud to see him out there with that team. He’s done well, and he’s accomplished a lot.”
The Chaminade Gryphons all gave credit to Notre Dame for playing a good game. And while one team had to lose, it’s not all for nothing.
McMaster Marauders head coach Stefan Ptaszek was watching from the sidelines, along with scouts from other Ontario university teams. He says games like this can help him as he looks to the future.
“You’re trying to confirm some of the guys you’ve already identified. You’re trying to find a few new ones.”
Jeff Brock is the OFSAA convenor for the game and said that the Metro Bowl "is still the biggest game on the slate.”
"Any of the nine bowl games... is a big deal for these kids, to have the opportunity," he added.
Anthony Burch was hugging a Gryphon player on the sideline after the game for a long time. When the embrace finished, the assistant coach wiped his eyes and explained why he was so emotional after the win.
“I went to this school as a high schooler, graduated. Coached these guys for three, now going on four years, and you know we had a heartbreak ending last year. We lost in a terrible fashion.”
That loss is in the rear view mirror now, and the team is focussing on repeating next year.