2018 Year in Review

2018 Football Annual Reviewv 

Committee Members:

  • Chair: Jennifer Pinnell-Fisher
  • 1st Vice Chair: Mike Adams
  • 2nd Vice Chair/Concessions: Melissa Grasse
  • Treasurer: Marc Tremblay
  • Secretary: Tim Purdy
  • Convener: Rob Fisher

Head Coaches:

  • Jason Willman  (Andrew Barnes, Landon Marsh, Tim Rand, Andrea Wittliff)
  • Norm Peters (Stan Kita, Lucas Kita, Cody Morton)
  • Chris Churchill (Matt Churchill)
  • Dave Clark (Max Janson, Terry Janson)
  • Bryce Horner (Brent Gable, Joseph Dunham)
  • Jay Arns (Jeff Lambert, Jaxon Rawcliff, Kyle Sleightholm)
  • Mike Adams (Marc Tremblay, Kris Reed)
  • Steve Foley  (Mark Hanna, Greg Layne)
  • Jamie Dekelver (James Bennett, Jim Grasse, Scott Richard)
  • Micah Wittliff (Thomas Wittliff, Matt Hart)
  • Doug Downie (Connor Downie, Chris Isaac)
  • Mike Fioroni (Jay MacIntosh)


  • Paul Spearman
  • Jason Willman
  • Rob Klyne
  • Jason Gosselin
  • Jackson Grasse
  • Mickle McClintock
  • Nik Cain
  • Justin Cain
  • Max Janson
  • Terry Janson
  • Doug Janson

Regular Sponsors

  • Bigras Painting
  • Sylvan Learning Centre
  • Lambton Insurance Brokers Association (LIBA)
  • Hughes Intelligence
  • Elite Roofing (Sarnia) Inc.
  • Mammoet Crane Inc.
  • Sandrin services Inc.
  • Local 663
  • Custom Plumbing
  • HSE Integrated Ltd.
  • Robert Simrak, Realtor
  • Metcalfe Photography

Corporate Sponsors:

  • Mechanical Contractors Association
  • Sarnia Police Association
  • Royal Canadian Legion 62
  • Point Edward Ex-Servicemen’s Assoc.
  • Arlanxeo Canada Inc.

Chairperson’s Report:

For our 2018 Season we had 224 players register and complete the season. We had four teams in three age divisions (Atom: 7-9yrs, Peewee: 10-11yrs, Bantam: 12-13yrs) with both experienced and new players at all levels. We offered our head and assistant coaches a Coaches clinics, facilitated by three local St Pat’s Coaches as well as provide Safe Contact Training through NCCP.

Our fundraising efforts raised approximately $5,000 net profit through our annual Punt, Pass, Kit event and 50/50 draws on our semi-final and final game days. This fundraising was not as successful as hoped, so we will review strategies for 2019.

Due to the reduction of junior football in local high schools in Sarnia, many families are requesting SMAA Football add a division for grade 9 students. We are thoughtfully considering this endeavor in order to keep the sport of football going in our city to maintain senior football programs in secondary schools.

We maintained open dialogue with families and consistently communicated plans, activities, meetings and expectations. As a result, we received a great deal of positive feedback on how the season was organized. One of our big successes this year was the grade nine volunteers from St Pats who helped regularly at games in the booth, at concession, with teams as student coaches and at the pre-season combine. We hope to repeat this participation in 2019.

Convenor’s Report:

The 2018 season saw a slight  decline in number’s for SMAA football across all three divisions. For the first time we ran a combine to attempt to balance the teams in the peewee and Bantam divisions, in terms of player experience and athletic ability and size. Participation was not mandatory, but in order to consider player/coach requests by parents, participation was mandatory.  We had over 80% participation in bantam and over 70% in peewee.
Feedback from parents was, for the most part, extremely positive and we hope to build on the combine for the upcoming season and make it into an event.
Despite the lower numbers, a successful season was the result due to some slight modifications to the atom and peewee divisions and a number of  generous volunteers to ensure the gameday experience ran as smooth as possible.
Both student volunteers (coaching, PPK recorders, concession, stat recording, game filming) and adult volunteers alike helped the football executive and convenor provide for a safe and exciting season. With the help of these volunteers, we were able to provide a fun gameday experience with music between the action and play by play announcing that drew positive reaction from both fans at the games and people from neighbouring areas that could hear the sounds as they enjoyed their fall saturdays at home.
We changed the gameday scheduling from previous years (Some weeknights) to all games being played on Saturdays.  The only exception was our exhibition scrimmage that took place on Wednesday September 5th.
The Sarnia Football referees were very open to helping with this transition and made for some long days for them.  We are thankful for their cooperation.  A breakdown for each division is as follows:

Atom Division:

4 teams consisting of 15 players on two teams and sixteen on the other two. These numbers were down by 4 or 5 players per roster.  Our modification was to change from 10 players per side on the field to 9 players per side.
Our coaches successfully adapted to the modifications and their patience was greatly appreciated.

The result was a very exciting season in which most games came down to the final possession to determine the outcome.
The championship game pitted the first snd second place teams facing off against each other.  The game was played in Freezing temperatures on a rock hard playing surface. Each team traded scores and neither team could pull away.
The undefeated Bears, coached by John Peters were upset in double overtime by the underdog Sharks, coached by Jason Willman.  

Peewee Division:

4 teams consisting of 18 players on 2 teams and 19 on the other two.  Similar to the atom division, these numbers were down by roughly 4 or 5 players per roster compared to previous years. Our modification was to change from 12 players per side on the field to 11 and we also narrowed the field from regulation width. We narrowed it by roughly 10 yards, similar to an american size field where they play with 11 per side.  Again, our coaching staffs adapted to the changes made and produced a very competitive division.

The peewee division was the most competitive in terms of the records of the teams. Similar to Atom, many games came down the the closing moments and in some cases the last play of the game.
The championship game saw the first place Eagles coached by Bryson Horner taking on the 3rd place Titans, coached by Mike Adams.  Having upset the second place Wolverines the week prior, Coach Adams and his Titans were looking to do the same to the Eagles.  The Eagles struck first, and then a second time.  However, The Titans roared back late in the second quarter and took a lead into halftime.  Horner’s Eagles fought throughout the second half but as the game wound to a close, they could not get the winning score and the upset minded Titans were victorious.

Bantam Division:

4 teams consisting of 22 on 2 teams and 21 on the other two.  Again, numbers were slightly down, but still strong enough to not have to modify the number of players on the field.  The season was bitter sweet as we unexpectedly lost Toros coach Jamie Dekelver in October.  He had coached SMAA football for 42 years and was also pivotal in ensuring the equipment needed was always available and in good order.  In Jamie’s  memory, we have created the “Dekelver Cup” which is the championship trophy that is to be handed out to all 3 championship teams, each year.  Also, the Jamie Dekelver memorial award, which may be handed out to a deserving team that, from the coach, to the players, embodies all that Coach Dekelver stood for.  It may not be handed out if there is not a deserving team.  This season there was such a team.  The WARRIORS, coached by first time bantam head coach Micah Whitliff.  The Warriors record did not show how well coached, how disciplined and how sportsmanlike they were.  But it was noticed by parents, other coaches and officials.  Micah and his Warriors were more than deserving and Coach Dekelver would have been proud of them all.

The Championship game showed the first place Toros, now coached by James Bennett, face off against the Steelers.  The Steelers were coached by another long time SMAA volunteer coach, Doug Downie. The Steelers fought valiantly, but the Toros prevailed and took home the inaugural Dekelver Cup.  

Awards & Presentations:

One player per team was awarded the following: Dedication, Grit. Character and MVP. 

Dedication Award Recipients:  Jacob Acs, Devon Somes, Avery Robichaud, Patrik Charette, Jaxon Raymond, Owen Parco, Owen Piggott, Mason Broer,  Gavin Hanna, Landyn Irwin, Garret Masson, Max Arns. 

Grit Award Recipients: Nathan Cope, Cameran Jolicoeur, Noah Baldwin, Nicholas Churchill, Parker Hughes, Rylan Smith, James Parco, Liam Warne, Coltin Hutchinson, Roemello Campbell, Logan Lawrence, Hunter Johnson. 

Character Award Receipients: Connor Cini, Ameer Sulaiman, Ban Aguiar, Seth Pevec, Maylynn Kingdon, Mitchel Williams, Logan Sygrove, Seth Stonhouse, Reece Foley, Kennedie Urquhart, Samuel Stephen, Max Howell. 

MVP Award Recipients: Aaron Grant, Tyvayon McGann, Carter Grasse, Aurillius Campbell, Preston Marsh. Evan Boers, Owen Evoy, Orion Vazquez, Lucas Nesbitt-Tinney, Liam O'Rourke, Carter Pegano, Dylan Kremer. 

Finance report: Our Net Profits for the 2018 is approx.$10,000 which is requested for application to the 2019 for the purchase of new uniforms and equipment.

Concession Report: We had a very profitable season, thanks to Melissa Grasse and her host of student volunteers from St Pats. Net profit was $4,648 of the tota stated above.