ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD - Nick deChamplain
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER - Coleman Precht
OUTSTANDING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER – Ben vanLeeuwen
MOST CONTRIBUTION/LEAST RECOGNITION – Travis Heggart
OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Keegan Pawlik
OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE LINEMAN - James Suranyi
OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER – Logan McCullough
OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER - Cordel Callioux & Matt Coogan
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD - Quade Kozak
LEE GRANT MEMORIAL TROPHY - Ben vanLeeuwen
TRUE ROOKIE AWARD - Adam Rafat
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER - Zach Roberts
OUTSTANDING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER - Jakob Kikkert
MOST CONTRIBUTION/LEAST RECOGNITION - Ethan Mickleborough
MOST OUTSTANDING LINEMAN AWARD – Tanner deChamplain
OUTSTANDING SPORTSMANSHIP & DEDICATION– Luke Randhawa
OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER - Jordan Howe
OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER - Carson Antoniuk
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD - Zach Froese
On Sunday, May 21 at the Football Alberta Bantam Bowl banquet our own Larry (Coach O) Olexiuk will be inducted into the Football Alberta Life Membership/Hall of Fame. Larry's accomplishments listed below in the Football Alberta press release speak for themselves, but his passion and genuine devotion to the Bulldogs Football program is second to none. We at Bulldogs Football are proud to have such a distinguished and true gentleman teaching our boys how to become men first, and football players second.
Please join us in congratulating Coach O!
Life Membership/Hall of Fame Award
Larry Olexiuk – St. Albert Minor and High School Football
Larry Olexiuk’s involvement in football stretches back to 1967 with his first year of coaching the offense with the Jasper Place Bantam Lions. A year later he became the head coach of the Palmer 49er’s Bantam team in St. Albert and began a close to 50 year love affair with football in that city. Over the years, Larry was instrumental in coaching at all levels of the game in St. Albert and also supported the Edmonton District Bantam Football Association as head coach of their all-star team in 1986 and 1987. His most important role in St. Albert was as the main driver for the creation and initial funding of the St. Albert High School Football Association in 1986. Prior to that players had to leave the city to play high school football. Since that time the high school situation has grown from one senior team to football at all three high schools in St. Albert. Thanks to Larry over 200 young men get to play high school football in their hometown each season. Very deserving of the Life Membership/Hall of Fame award.
Congratulations to QB Quade Kozak voted by Metro League Carr Conference Division I coaches as the league MVP!
Quade had his amazing season cut short in the Carr Conference Division I semi-final with an injury but his stats for the season and his leadership on the field speak for his nomination and being voted as the league MVP.
QUADE KOZAK stats for 2017
8 Games played, 6 wins 2 losses
PASSING - 189 Passes attempted, 117 Completions for 1868 Yards 61.9% completion percentage. 18 TD, 6 Int.
RUSHING - 97 Attempts, 611 Yards 6.3 Yd avg, 5 TD
PUNTING - 46 Punts - 1673 Yards - 36.4 Yd Avg.
It might not have been the biggest fixture in Edmonton sports, but as far as local athletic endeavours go, the city sure lost a visible one.
Videographer and producer Rob Zittlau and his wife, Grace, were killed in a highway collision over Thanksgiving weekend.
Zittlau made it his life’s ambition to ensure all levels of Edmonton’s sports scene could be seen, spending the past three decades building his company, ICU Video Productions, into a top-notch focus on amateur broadcasts – or ‘procasts,’ as he called them – and practice film.
The fatal crash happened east of Legal at the intersection of Hwy. 651 and Hwy. 803, where Morinville RCMP responded around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Police say two adults in a southbound car died on scene, while a six-year-old girl and four-year-old boy also in the vehicle were taken to hospital. The driver and passenger in an eastbound SUV suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
“The sad part about it is, as much as we’ve heard of the accident is that he was trying to take his niece and nephew to the corn maze,” said Football Alberta executive director Tim Enger. “It is really sad. He and Grace did not have any kids of their own, but I know that they had a lot of nieces and nephews and they just doted on them.”
It wasn’t always easy finding time to spend with family outside of football, baseball, hockey and, more recently, E-sports competitions that ran the gamut from amateur to high-school, semi-pro and professional levels across the Edmonton area.
“And he probably wouldn’t have been doing that on a weekend in the fall if we’d have had football,” Enger said of the cancelled high-school schedule. “So, it’s probably an example of him going above and beyond for family again.
“With something horrible happening while he was doing that.”
His love of family was about the only thing that rivaled his passion for covering amateur sports.
“It was like a security blanket,” Enger said. “When you went to any sporting event there was a good chance that Rob was going to be there. He was with the Edmonton Prospects, The Brick Novice Tournament, he did Golden Bears hockey.
“Every once in a while, I would take my family to a Prospects game or Golden Bears game and there’d be Rob, and you’d look at it and go, ‘Yup, now the world make’s sense because he’s here.’ So, he really carved out a nice effect on the Edmonton sports community for decades. It’s really going to be tough to replace Rob.”
Dave Foley worked closely with Zittlau at ICU for the past nine years, or, measure it in games and practices filmed, and they were well over 2,100 together. And that’s before all the editing and processing work that went into it.
“I’m devastated,” Foley told Postmedia in a phone interview Wednesday, following a video call from the crash site with CTV Edmonton, where Zittlau once worked as an editor. “I’m glad I went. I went out there and had a good ugly cry.
“I knew Rob knew lots of people, but getting the responses and hearing all of this is, like, oh man, it’s even a shock for me: Who doesn’t he know?”
Zittlau and his crew approached even the most minor of leagues like it was Stanley Cup-worthy and, in more than a few cases, the work played no small part in helping athletes grow beyond the grassroots of local fields.
“Very sad news to hear, condolences to the Zittlau family and his friends,” tweeted Edmonton Football Club punter and University of Alberta Golden Bears product Hugh O’Neill. “Rob was a staple of the football community and I used his film to help get recruited to university football.
The Ross Sheppard grad wasn’t alone, either.
“You look at guys out there right now, like Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma State), Ajou Ajou at Clemson, and Lwal Uguak is at Connecticut, one of the complaints when I first started here years ago was why aren’t the big-time scholarships being offered to Canadian kids?” Enger said. “Part of the problem is Clemson and Oklahoma State weren’t going to send somebody up here to watch this, so they were relying on game film. So, if you don’t have quality game film, it’s like you’re playing in obscurity.
“Once Rob got going, if a kid wanted to piece together a tape, they were getting NFL-caliber stuff, so (schools) could make their judgments better. I think that is why you’re starting to see players from the Edmonton area start to trickle into the Div. 1 schools in the United States.”
Although Zittlau just started working with the Edmonton Prospects, procasting around 30 games in 2019, the team’s managing partner, Patrick Cassidy said it set a new standard for what he would like to see streaming throughout the Western Canadian Baseball League in the future.
“He was just a hard-working, dedicated, straight-forward kind of guy,” Cassidy said. “He wasn’t done. He was still building and had ideas and wanted to do more. He was one of those drivers, an entrepreneur prepared to take the risks and make it happen.
“It was a pretty damn-good production and he did it at a fraction of what anybody else would do. That’s why you just appreciated the guy, because he had the kind of background and talent he probably could have gone and did something else and made more money.”
On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge
The rematch between the Bellerose Bulldogs and Salisbury Sabres in metro Edmonton junior football is Tuesday’s division one final.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Clarke Stadium.
The only loss for the Bulldogs (4-1, 145 PF/61 PA in league play and 5-1 overall with four shutouts) was 48-16 against Salisbury (5-0, 327 PF/30 PA) Oct. 1 in the pool A versus pool B regular season.
Wednesday’s semifinal results were 24-13 Bulldogs against the Harry Ainlay Titans (3-2, 103 PF/104 PA) in pool B and 63-14 Salisbury against the Jasper Place Rebels (2-3, 82 PF/179 PA) in pool A.
The last junior championship for the Bulldogs was the team’s fourth in a row in 2015 when Sturgeon Composite was a feeder school for the Bellerose football program.
This is also the third consecutive year Bellerose has fielded the only junior team in St. Albert.
Team stats for the Bulldogs after five games are as follows:
Passing: Evan Cox 25-for-54 for 311 yards, two touchdowns, one interception; John Cahoon two-for-seven for 89 yards, two TDs.
Rushing: Ryan Cassidy, 295 yards on 49 carries, six TDs; Cahoon, 248 yards on 45 carries, four TDs; Cox, 224 yards on 25 carries, one TD; Alexander Bennett, 221 yards on 35 carries, one TD.
Receiving: Ethan Maki, 10 catches for 100 yards; Patch Boyd seven catches for 132 yards, two TDs; Brennan Loblick, two catches for 89 yards, two TDs.
Solo tackles: Dominic Escamilla, 22; Ty Harrison, 21; Zak Zayshley, 18, Loblick, 15.
Sacks: Escamilla and Zayshley with four apiece.
Fumble recoveries: Christopher Kachmar and Noah Wasylyshyn with three apiece.
Interceptions: Lucas Cadger, three.
The Bellerose Bulldogs kicked off the playoffs Friday determined not to let the high school football season end with a loss.
“We’re very excited. I know for all the seniors this could be our last game that we play in our high school careers so let’s not make it our last,” said Adam Rafat, a prime-time Grade 12 slotback prior to Thursday’s practise at Bellerose.
The score against the Spruce Grove Panthers in the opening round of the division one Carr conference playoffs in the metro Edmonton league was unavailable at press time.
The previous week in Spruce Grove, the teams squared-off in the last game before the playoffs with Bellerose outscoring the Panthers 49-42.
The fourth versus fifth playoff bracket was already determined before the match as Bellerose (221 PF/202 PA) finished 4-3 as the No. 10-ranked Tier I (1,250-plus students) team in the province and the Panthers (236 PF/259 PA) wound up 3-4.
“It was a very important win because it gave all the boys on the team confidence. It got us rolling so going into this game we have a lot of confidence and we’re going to come out of it with the win,” Rafat, 17, said.
The teams combined for 894 yards offensively – 447 rushing and 50 passing for the Panthers compared to 131 rushing and 266 passing for Bellerose – and 13 touchdowns with six per side offensively and Max Taylor’s fumble recovery for points in the second quarter.
It was 7-7 at the end of the first quarter, 27-21 Bellerose at halftime and 35-34 Panthers after three quarters.
“That was definitely a team effort. Everyone played really good. We just have to work on our run (defence) and our offence has to play better,” Rafat said. “The weather factor is going to be a huge thing (Friday) especially since they have an advantage there because they’re primarily a run team. They’re running the ball a lot rather than passing.”
The Panthers averaged 8.7 yards per carry on 52 attempts for six touchdowns of one, two, 47, four, one and seven yards.
Gage Froese led Bellerose in rushing with 108 yards on 16 carries and TDs of one yard in the first quarter and eight yards to make it 34-28 in the third quarter.
Froese’s totals in league play are 534 yards on 92 carries.
Quarterback Tristan Olenick completed 13 of 22 passes of 266 yards and TDs of 21 yards to Jordan Howe and 26 yards to Caleb Akerley in the second quarter and Rafat’s 55 yard go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.
Rafat’s seventh TD reception of the season was converted by Mohammad Zeidan as Bellerose regained the lead at 42-35.
“I had a lot of adrenaline going through that play, but if wasn’t for Tristan I wouldn't have got that touchdown pass,” said Rafat, who estimated he latched onto the ball around the 25 en route to the endzone.
Rafat led all receivers in the win with 150 yards on five receptions for season totals of 27 catches and 560 yards.
“I’ve got to work on my blocking aspect of the game, but stats wise I’ve had a pretty good season so far,” Rafat said.
Olenick, last year’s MVP of the junior Bulldogs in his Grade 10 season, has racked up 1,588 yards and 17 TDs while going 92-for-154 and was picked off six times.
Olenick’s second rushing TD this year, a one-yard effort, ended the scoring for Bellerose and the sixth extra point by Zeidan widened the gap to 49-35.
Jacob Patrick led the defence in solo tackles with eight while Jakob Kikkert, Taylor Schwam and Owen Fradette recorded six apiece.
Kikkert and Kyle Anderson were each credited with one sack.
The winner of the rematch will be the heavy underdog against the Harry Ainlay Titans (6-0-1, 312 PF/28 PA) in Friday’s semifinal at 7:30 p.m. at Clarke Stadium. The Carr championships the last two years and the 2018 Alberta Bowl Tier I finalists collared the Bulldogs 49-9 in the season opener.
“We’re trying not to look too far ahead, but the main focus is on Spruce obviously,” Rafat said. “But if we come out with a win in this game then Ainlay is definitely going to be a hard opponent to beat in the next round of the playoffs.”
Win or lose, Bellerose has shown marked improvement from last year's 3-4 team that ended the season with the 49-14 first-round playoff loss to the Austin O’Brien Crusaders.
“We've had an average season. It could’ve been better and it could’ve been worse, but obviously I’m happy where we are. We’re in the playoffs so it’s a completely different season now. Anything can happen,” said Rafat.
Tuesday’s metro Edmonton division one junior semifinal between the Bellerose Bulldogs and Salisbury Sabres kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Clarke Stadium.
The Bulldogs (5-1-1) and Salisbury (5-2) finished second and third, respectively, in the eight-team standings.
The Bulldogs beat Salisbury 33-29 in league play Oct. 24 in Sherwood Park. At halftime the Bulldogs led 27-0.
The winner plays the Jasper Place Rebels (6-1), the defending champions, or Harry Ainlay Titans (4-2-1) in the Nov. 14 final.
Last year’s 27-11 loss in the division one semifinals to the Rebels ended an undefeated run of four consecutive undefeated championship seasons for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs are 39-2-1 in league and playoff action since losing the 2011 semifinal after Monday’s 62-15 rampage against the Ross Sheppard Thunderbirds (0-7).
The Bulldogs cruised to leads of 39-6 at the end of the first quarter and 52-6 at halftime.
Jakob Kikkert scored on the first play from scrimmage on a 65-yard run.
Shep answered with a long run but the convert was no good.
The ensuing kick-off was returned by Kikkert 75 yards to the house.
The next TD was Zach Froese’s quarterback designed run of 44 yards and the rout was on.
Froese connected with Ethan Mickleborough on a 30-yard catch and run TD and Dylan Young’s one-yard TD burst was set-up by Adam Rafat’s reception from Froese.
Ethan Engele and Denes Demeter took over the QB duties for the last three quarters as the Bulldogs emptied the bench.
Jordan Howe pulled off a pick-six, Engele hooked up with Rafat on a 40-yard TD strike and Gage Froese ran in a two-point conversion.
Howe also returned an interception for a TD but it was called back because of an iffy illegal block. That set up Kikkert’s third TD on a short completion by Demeter.
Shep aired the ball out for a long TD, followed by the two-point conversion and then got a single off the kick-off.
A suspect holding penalty wiped out Will Baker’s 75-yard TD on a trick play.
Adam Rafat was a touchdown machine with four scores as the Bellerose Bulldogs stomped the Austin O’Brien Crusaders 41-0 Tuesday in metro Edmonton junior football.
Zach Froese and Jordan Howe also produced TDs as the Bulldogs improved to 2-0-1.
The junior Dawgs led by 20 points at halftime and running time started in the third quarter as the Crusaders (2-1) struggled to stop the Big Three on the Bellerose offence. Rafat is the team leader in TDs with eight while Froese, the quarterback, has rushed for three majors and Howe has four TDs.
Up next is Tuesday’s tilt with the Jasper Place Rebels (2-1). Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Johnny Bright Park.
Last year’s 27-11 loss to the Rebels in the division one semifinal ended a spectacular run of four undefeated championship seasons in a row for the Bulldogs.
The only high school junior football team in St. Albert is 36-1-1 in league and playoffs combined since losing the 2011 semifinal.
A tie was better than a loss for the Bellerose Bulldogs in high school junior football.
The Bulldogs are 1-0-1 after clawing back to even the score at 28 against the Harry Ainlay Titans on Tuesday night at Larry Olexiuk Field.
“It’s a good tie because we brought our way back up,” said Jordan Howe, a Grade 10 receiver and defensive back. “We can’t let any numbers go up in the middle section so that means no losses and we’ve got to keep working on that.”
The Bulldogs shook off a 14-point deficit in the third quarter with Howe and quarterback Zach Froese scoring touchdowns and Adam Rafat’s two-point conversion.
“We made a great comeback,” Howe said. “We couldn’t take an L against these guys because our senior team lost pretty bad to them (44-14 in the division one Carr conference) so we had to prove that we can do better.
“We’ve also got to keep our junior streak going.”
The Bulldogs have yet to lose a regular season contest during a 35-1-1 stretch that started in 2012 and included last year’s 27-11 loss to the Jasper Place Rebels in the division one semifinals that ended a run of four junior playoff championships in a row and one short of the metro Edmonton league record.
The Bulldogs got off on the wrong foot while falling behind 21-14 at halftime.
“When we were losing everyone was down but we just had to keep pushing. They had a good running game and we just had to make more tackles and less mental mistakes,” Howe said. “Everyone got a few nice touchdowns and we were able to pull through in the end.”
The team’s first TD was a four-yard run by Froese early in the second quarter and the convert was no good.
With one second left in the half, Howe was on the receiving end of a TD pass from Froese on the five-yard curl into the endzone.
Froese and Ethan Mickleborough also combined on the two-point conversion.
Down 28-14, Howe turned on the jets during a blazing 60-yard catch and run with Froese pulling the trigger and the convert was unsuccessful.
“I just get so amped up when I score a touchdown like that,” Howe said. “I think the smile on my face gets the team hyped up.”
The Bulldogs tied it up with Froese’s quarterback sneak after Howe was stopped short of the goal line and Rafat ran in the two-point conversion on a jet sweep play.
The Bulldogs kicked off the season with a bang by blasting the O’Leary Spartans (0-2) 47-7 before buckling down against a formidable foe in the Titans (1-0-1).
“It was a better game because O’Leary wasn’t as strong as a team as Harry Ainlay so it was good competition. Now we know what we’re facing so we’ve got to come better prepared next time,” said Howe, 15, a bantam product of the St. Albert Fury.
Tuesday the Bulldogs tackle the Austin O’Brien Crusaders (2-0) at 6 p.m. at Larry Olexiuk Field.
The top four finishers in the eight-team division qualify for the division one semifinals and the rest of the teams compete for division two honours.
Congratulations to #6 Matt Coogan, LB and #68 James Suranyi, OL for making the 2018 Senior Bowl All-Star Roster. Matt and James will compete in the 2018 Senior Bowl on Monday May 21, 2018 at Foote Field in Edmonton.
A shout out to 9 of our Bulldogs players who were voted by the Metro Carr Division I Coaches as Metro Athletics All Edmonton All-Stars. Please note, coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players so this is recognition by our competitors.
2017 All-Edmonton Carr Division I Players from Bellerose Bulldogs.
Quarterback – Quade Kozak #39
Running Back – Ben VanLeeuwen #29
Receiver – Travis Heggart #86
Receiver – Logan McCullough #7
Offensive Line – JP Parent #99
Offensive Line – James Suranyi #68
Defensive Line – Keegan Pawlik #63
Linebacker – Matt Coogan #6
Defensive Back – Cordel Callioux #2
9 Players from the Bulldogs is the most from any team in the Carr Conference in 2017.
Congratulations to these players for their well-deserved recognition.
Please see the document listed below for the actual announcement by Metro Athletics and All-Stars from all 3 Football Divisions.