So here we are, just a few days removed from the beginning of the junior season, and while I won’t be checking out any games (my cousin will be visiting this weekend), I know someone who sure will be, and he’s written down a bit of a preview of the upcoming action. So let’s give a nice welcome to Bulls coach, board member and friend to all juniors, Stijn De Backer!
Let’s get ready for some football!!!
This Sunday, the Junior Tackle season starts. As you all know, we have a six-man developmental league and a nine-man championship league (not unlike FBS and FCS in college). All the action is in Brussels this weekend, so get ready for a fun-filled afternoon with the kickoff of the nine-man games in Anderlecht at noon, and at 14:00 the six-man games begin in St Agatha Berchem.
Junior powerhouse Brussels Bulls kick off against the Fighting Turtles in what should be an exciting opening day game between a new nine-man junior squad and a rebuilding Bulls team that still has a couple of junior stars with QB Alex Nicolajeff, DE/OL Nico Rusch and DE/OL Michael De Nolf.
Game 2 will feature another new team to the nine-man scene with the Dudelange Dragons who will try to spoil the Brussels Black Angels quest to return to their own powerhouse status, one they had at the inception of Junior Tackle football 5 years ago.
Six-man football will start at 14:00 with former nine-man power Brussels Tigers taking on the Cougars from Charleroi. It will be interesting to see how the Tigers handle the transition after losing much of their junior squad to “old” age, forcing them to swap to six-man.
The last game of the day starts with a rematch of what had to be the most exciting game from last year. When the Brussels Bulls face off against the Tournai Phoenix they will try to reverse the tables on the birds and try to be at the winning end this time around.
The weekend of 1 and 2 Octoebr will have no games, as all coaches are required to attend a coaching certification weekend. So the next games are set for October 9.
Random thoughts :
– Soccer makes balancing a schedule hard
– Teams not planning around their juniors makes creating match ups difficult
– Sometimes it feels really stupid to take the youth first approach
– Although there are more six-man teams starting up, the dream of 11-man junior tackle football seems farther away than ever.
– I want to be proven wrong on my previous thoughts
– Thank God for (junior) Football, this is why I coach and sacrifice a lot of free (and not so free) time each week!
And thanks to Coach Stijn for sacrificing a little more time for us all so we’ve got something to read! Best of luck to all the juniors, especially those making their first ever appearance on the gridiron. I still remember my first game, and I’m sure all those kids will too. Until next time