Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Northern Secondary School Back on Track
Two years ago the mighty had fallen. The 2002 Northern Red Knights (Toronto) struggled through a rebuilding year finishing with a disappointing 1-5 record, one of their worst records in years.
The Red Knights got back on the horse in 2003 and continued their strong tradition of football dominance in Toronto, reaching the Metro Bowl final before succumbing to a strong Cedarbrae team.
Despite last season's championship loss, Northern has won two Metro Bowls - 1990 and 1994 and has more than twenty league championships.
The 2002 season was an anomaly, more of a rebuilding year than a downturn in the program. A young team in 2002 turned into a veteran squad in 2003. The Red Knights have always had a strong junior program (usually more than 60 players every year) that feeds into the senior system. The new seniors, combined with veteran players, helped Northern rebound with an 8-2 record with two of those victories over rival Central Tech.
Although Northern is a large, centrally located school in Canada's largest city, much of the success is owed to head coach Dan Dominico. Football at Northern is a year round commitment with off-season training sessions. Dominico, who is entering his 11th season after replacing long-time coach Clarke Pulford, recently purchased a video editing system so his players can watch game tape, learn plays in the classroom and make their highlight tapes to send to university coaches.
Northern's impressive alumnus includes current CFL defensive back Tom Europe, Stanford defensive end Louis Hobson and Miami University (Ohio) tight end Matt Brandt. In 2003, Brandt caught 35 catches from projected top NFL draft choice Ben Roethlisberger. Other players who could shine at the university level over the next several years include former Team Canada linebacker and OVFL star Anthony Thomas.
Former CFL star Leif Petterson and Neil Lumsden are also Northern grads while York University head coach Tom Gretes was a defensive coordinator with the team.
If you know of a program that you feel should be spotlighted please email Admin@NFLCFLfutures.com
. Please contact us if you know of any other news, articles or other amateur football information.