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  • Writer's pictureMarc Lalonde

Off to the finals

When you coach 10-year-olds playing tackle football, it’s often a miracle if we can just get them to line up properly. So when the Mosquito AAA Lakeshore Cougars line up in their league’s championship game this coming Sunday against the Sud-Ouest Laurentian Wildcats, they’re hoping a victory will help them wrap up an impressive two-season undefeated streak that has seen them stomp most of their competition.

After a 10-0 regular season which saw them put up 383 points for while giving up 90 against, the Cougars punched their ticket to the finals with a convincing 32-0 victory over the Pointe St. Charles Aces. Led by head coach Glen Cooper, the mosquito Cougars are far from the only Lakeshore team lining up in their league’s final Sunday in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu. In fact, both the peewee (11- and 12-year-olds) and the bantam Cougars 13- and 14-year-olds) will also line up with a championship on the line after undefeated regular seasons of their own.

It will mark the mosquito Cougars’ second straight appearance in the Metro Montreal Football League finals after they defeated the Richelieu Pirates 36-6 to cap off an undefeated 2018 season a year ago.

Full disclosure: I coach the offensive line for the mosquito team and my son, who I wrote about earlier this week, practices with the peewee team, which I also help coach, because he needs a little extra challenge that competing with older boys can bring.

The mosquito Cougars are led by a stellar group of boys, including quarterback Matt Cooper, running back-linebacker-everything Niron Sexton and an offensive line led by Cole Lalonde, a five-foot-six, 160-pound behemoth of a 10-year-old guard. The offensive line is filled out by swing tackle-guard Nathan Macintosh, guard Nathan ‘Bettis’ Zeliger, second-year centre Ben Devine, rookie tackle Camil Gagnon and utility player Samson Sun. Other important players on offence include brusing fullback Roman Cordoba, tight ends Simon He and Simmion Hyde, running back Jeremy St-Vil, who also provides a ton of speed on defence. The receiving corps is rounded out by Chase Racine, Vincent Boisselle, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and Edouard Wright

On defence, rookie outside linebackers Jake Rokas, Ethan Feldman and Justin Lavigne, whose collective maturation helped the cement the Cougars’ defence into a rock-solid unit that pitched a shutout in the semifinals. Other important contributors on D include veteran linebackers Jackson Stote, Liam Cook, defensive back Nathan Piotrowski and lineman/kicker James Harrison. Vincent Barbier, Sebastien Fournier and Matteo Strippa also provided depth on defence, as did Emerson Lin, Elan Malki, Justin ‘Jumbotron’ Verrault, Niels Bechamp, Evangel Gundi and Hansel Rottman Cruz.

It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the older groups, as the peewee squad bowed out in the first round of the playoffs last year and the bantam team had to fold operations midway through the season because they didn’t have enough players to field a team. This year, with former Bishop’s University star quarterback Trevor Lovig taking over the peewee team and a slew of energetic new coaches on the bantam team, the Lakeshore organization can boast perhaps its most successful season in memory.

It helps immensely that the West Island of Montreal is a bit of a sports hotbed, and that we have many, many parents who can afford to give their kids every opportunity, but we also have some kids who may not be quite that fortunate and we are blessed as an association to be able to welcome each and every one of these kids. In addition, an emphasis on fundamental play and safe tackling has helped Lakeshore’s teams play sound and safe football.

For more information, visit the Metro Montreal Football League website at or simply head on down to Stade Alphonse-Desjardins on the campus of the CEGEP St. Jean campus in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Sunday Nov. 10. The mosquitoes play the Sud-Ouest Laurentian Wildcats at 9 a.m., the peewee Cougars will take on the Chomedey Blues at noon and the bantams will confront the Western Patriotes for all the marbles at 3 p.m. Admission is required. $5 per adult and $2 per child.

For more information, visit. or the Lakeshore Football group on Facebook.

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