The U 15 Jr Gee Gees (players born in 2005 and 2006) finished an impressive third place out of eight teams at the NIKE XL Bowl Challenge in Montreal. It was the first time an Ottawa area team had won more than one game in the tournament. The Jr Gee Gees only loss was a hard fought game where they were only down 25-18 midway through the 3rd quarter, but a couple of late TD's, including one with 28 seconds remaining in the game, allowed the defending and eventual champion, Montreal Monstars , to move on to the tournament final. The tough loss to the Monstars was sandwiched between two impressive wins over the Montreal High School All Stars (EMS) and Monteragie (Montreal South Shore All Stars) by scores of 30-6 and 32-8 respectively.
Running Back Khalid Campbell from the Cumberland Panthers was the U 15 Gee Gee's top player and the talk of the tournament. He was awarded the game MVP award all three games scoring 12 TD's and accumulating over 900 yards rushing and receiving while also playing some at Defensive Back. North Gloucester Giants QB Jayden Bonhomme was also a top performer, electrifying fans with many great individual runs while also playing some Defensive Back and Receiver as well as QB. The Gee Gee's Offensive Line was arguably the top unit in the tournament with Jacob Branton (Raiders), Jonathan Stroud (Almonte), Cayden Metallic Janvier (Panthers), Daniel Sungani (Panthers) and Jeffrey Kalambayi (Panthers) consistently opening holes for Khalid Campbell and protecting the QB on passing downs.
Clark O'Connor (Panthers) was another top performer on offence, contributing at both Receiver and RB in addition to his duties long snapping. On defence the Gee Gees were led by MLB Henry Hollo (Panthers) and Zack Therrien (Gatineau) who both ranked high in many individual defensive categories. Other players on defence who had solid tournaments were DB's Hugo Djeumeni (Panthers) and Luca Galipeau (Gatineau). An important thing to remember is the NIKE XL Bowl Challenge is a very tough tournament and the U 15 Gee Gee's opened a lot of eyes with their play.
It should be noted that 12 players on the team's 40 man roster were born in 2006 , meaning they were all first year players in the U 15 age group. Hugo Djeumeni, who had a great tournament on defence and special teams, at 12 yrs of age, and not turning 13 until November, was one of the youngest players in the entire tournament. The U 15 Gee Gee's 40 man roster was comprised of players from 11 different NCAFA clubs and one player from Brockville.
The U17 Jr. Gee Gee's team opened the tournament with a 42-18 loss in game 1 to Laval, and 35-12 loss in game 2 against The Quebec Elites. Finally in the last game they played in the tournament they won 21-7 over the Outaouais selects.
QB Connor Vannase from Kanata won Team MVP in game 1 while REC Colin Doherty , formerly of the Raiders, Panthers Varsity and Bell Warriors in 2018 won Team MVP in the last two games and also led the tournament in receiving yardage with over 430 yards in 3 games. He also played QB and threw a TD pass in game 1.
Be sure to see the 2020 S.E.T. program being promoted towards the end of the 2019 NCAFA season. Lot's more to come including a NCAFA / Gee Gee's Football day October 11th when the University of Ottawa Gee Gee's host Windsor University at Gee Gee's field. Tickets for this event will go on sale shortly. Stay tuned!