7:30 a.m., May 12)
Panthers prepare for new season in a new league
By Mike Beasley
exciting season of Cumberland Panthers JV football is
about to get started at Millennium Park within a new and
Ontario Provincial Football League (OPFL) was formed late
last fall and will feature 12 teams from across the province.
Cumberland Panthers junior varsity team will
kick off a new season in the fledgling Ontario
Provincial Football League this Satuday against
the Cambridge Lions. File photo
birth of the new league comes after several concerns,
the main one being that the Ontario Varsity Football League,
which the Panthers have been apart of for the past eight
years, was plagued by too many lopsided games.
the new league consists of most of the powerhouse teams
from previous years in our circuit, said Jeff Koradi,
head coach of the Cumberland Panthers.
few of the club executives wanted out because of several
internal issues. They wanted to build a different league.
I really like what theyve done. It should make for
a very high level of football.
of 12 premier-level teams com-peted in the OVFL last year
and three of the them played in the Ontario Football Conference.
The exception is the Ottawa Sooners who are new to this
OPFL will continue with the tradi-tion of showcasing the
best 15- and 16-year-old football players in the province.
the Panthers and the Sooners, the JV East Division consists
of the Burlington Stampede, the Mississauga Warriors,
the Durham Dolphins, and the Kingston Grenadiers.
West Division is made up of the Essex Ravens, the Guelph
Jr. Gryphons, the Hamilton Varsity Tiger Cats, the London
Jr. Mustangs, the Cambridge Lions and the Niagara Spears.
team will play an eight game schedule with the season
starting on Friday, Feb. 9.
Panthers begin their schedule on the road this weekend
when they visit the Cambridge Lions. Kick-off is 1 p.m.
on the campus of Sir Wilfred University.
will play their home opener on Monday, May 29against
the Burlington Stampede at the Millennium Sports Park.
Kick-off is 3 p.m.
expect us to have a good season, it should be a lot of
fun this year, Koradi admitted. We have a
very strong group of players, but well be up against
sever-al skilled teams and play in an ultra-competitive
and his Panthers will play their first contest against
a West Division opponent in Game 1 of the 2017 season
when they lock horns with the Cambridge Lions.
Panthers made it to the OVFL bantam championship game
in 2015 and were upset in last years semi-finals.
As a result, Koradi admits the team has some unfinished
business to attend to.
the end, our goal is to earn our way to the final,
QPFL championship game will be hosted by Cumberland on
Friday, Feb. 9.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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