Simonds Sharks Bring Home the Peewee Provincial Championship
Fundy Minor Football Coverage in the Telegraphy Journal
Simonds peewees return to football glory
The Simonds Sharks ended a 26-year championship drought by winning the New Brunswick peewee football title Sunday in Moncton.
SAINT JOHN • The year was 1992 and the world was wowed by the Dream Team – the Michael Jordan led
USA men’s basketball squad that became the rock stars of the Barcelona Olympics.
It was also a year that featured the first World Series games on foreign soil as the invaders from Canada –
the Toronto Blue Jays – beat the Atlanta Braves to claim the Major League Baseball championship
Locally that year, football enthusiasts with good memories may recall a fall afternoon when the Simonds Sharks topped the Moncton Stampeders to capture the New Brunswick peewee championship.
It would be the last time the Sharks would claim the crown… that is, until the 26-year drought ended Sunday in Moncton on a snow-filled Rocky Stone Field as Simonds raced to a 13-0 halftime lead it would never relinquish en route to a 19-7 triumph over the Sackville Titans.
“It was a great win for the program,” said Scott McNamee, cohead coach along with Rusty Kirkpatrick. “We’re calling it the Snow Bowl; conditions were tough for both teams, but the kids
were great, just great.”
Championship game most valuable player Matt Watson scored two rushing touchdowns to lead the Sharks while offensive player of the game Connor McNamee hooked up on a 75-yard pass to Ty Dalling for the other major. Reid Calder, the game’s top defensive player, chipped in with an extra point.
Meanwhile, the bantam championship went to the Fredericton North JV Lions, who beat the Riverview
Royals 19-14 for their third consecutive crown. In the Varsity Girls’ Division, the Simonds Stomp earned
their sixth consecutive Harlow Cup with a 26-14 win over the Fredericton Predators.
The Sharks’ triumph not only provided historical context, but it capped an outstanding campaign – they
finished 10-0 overall and outscored opponents 369-34. After a 6-0 regular season, they went into playoff
mode, topping the Saint John Saints 46-0 in semifinal action and the Kennebecasis Valley Raiders 38-8 in
the Fundy Minor Football League final. The Sharks then punched their ticket to the N.B. championship by
beating the Nashwaaksis Nordics 42-6 in the provincial semifinal.
“The biggest thing for the Sharks was building continuity and consistency in our program – we have 18
players who will be moving on to the bantam ranks next season and 10 players returning to the team,” said
McNamee.“A lot of these players have been together for a while, not only with the Sharks, but at camps
and with provincial age-class programs They have devoted a lot of time into learning the sport and striving
to advance to the next level.”
The championship brings to seven the number of titles won by the Simonds peewees. McNamee believes it
won’t be the last time these players taste success on the gridiron.
“They started a provincial under-14 program and we had 11 players on that team, all starters,” said McNamee,
a defensive stalwart on the Saint John Wanderers’ dynasty teams and the Maritime Football
League club’s current president.“It was our year – Matt Watson is, by far, the most-dominant player in U14
football. Reid Calder is a first-year peewee and is already a complete defensive player. In most key
positions, we seemed to have it all this year – Connor (McNamee) and the others… these kids play well
beyond their years. We’re very proud of them and what they accomplished.”