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Sep 29 2022

Toronto Catholic Schools League Features Seven Participating Squads

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By Sam Laskaris

Seven clubs are competing in the Toronto District Catholic School Board senior boys’ football league in 2022. 

A closer look at those teams follows.



Paul Massaro has a Herculean task ahead of him. The Cardinals’ bench boss has a short amount of time to teach the sport of football to his team.

The Cardinals’ roster this season features about three dozen players. But very few of those have played football before.

“A lot of them are displaced soccer guys or guys who love football,” Massaro said. “We have really dedicated kids. Even if they don’t really know the game, they are passionate about it.”

Bishop Allen last fielded a team three years ago. So only those who would have been in Grade 9 at the time and played the sport then would be the ‘experienced’ players on the club now.

“That’s probably the biggest challenge we have,” Massaro said of the need to properly teach the sport to his players in a relatively short time period.

The Cardinals will rely on centre Vinny Pongod, tailback/fullback Enea Preka, safety Nevan Patterson and halfback Joe Pontes.



Tim Hughes, a community coach who is heading up the Bulls’ program, is confident his charges can have some success in 2022.

“I think we’ve got to set our goals of at least going 3-3 this season,” said Hughes, of his squad, which features a roster of 36 players.

Hughes is pleased with how his side is shaping up defensively.

“Our defence is really strong,” he said. “They really know what they’re doing.”

Brebeuf’s D is led by linebacker Martin Benford and tackle Ajanyi Baker.

“For us to have success we’re going to have to be able to run the football as well,” Hughes said.

On offence, the Bulls will be relying on slotback Justin Young and wide receiver Daniel Pascione.



Chaminade head coach Robin Legault has a veteran-laden roster this season.

The Gryphons’ 42-player roster includes about 35 individuals that also suited up for the squad in 2021.

“I think we’ll do really well this year,” Legault said.

The Gryphons advanced to the league final last year, losing out to Unionville’s Bill Crothers Secondary School, which competed in Toronto’s Catholic circuit last year but is not returning to the loop this season.

Chaminade is expected to challenge for the league crown in 2022.

“It’s always good to be one of the early favourites,” Legault said. “But it also puts a target on your backs.”

Veterans the Gryphons will count on include quarterback Salvatore Folino, running back/safety Makaya Williams, halfback Nicholas Ventura, defensive back Peter Gallo, offensive lineman Nico Iaboni and running back Reiven Salen.



The Trojans certainly don’t have to worry about their numbers this season.

Trojans’ head coach John Royiwsky said that in the recent years prior to the pandemic his team only had about 18-20 players per season.

This year, however, Michael Power’s roster features 44 players. 

“Maybe only 4-5 of them have played football before,” Royiwsky said. “A lot of them are new and just wanting to play it.”

Royiwsky considers it a win that there is tremendous interest in the sport at his school.

“The fact we got as high numbers as we did is great,” he said. “I’m already exceeding expectations.”

Players expected to stand out for the Trojans include running back Bolu Ekong-Williams, fullback David Garcia, quarterback Nathan Constancio, quarterback Nathan Elliott and Michael Partchenko, the team leader who will in all likelihood see action as an offensive lineman, defensive lineman and fullback.



Raiders’ head coach Stephen Carey has a rather youthful group to work with this season.

Though the Romero side, which attracted 42 players, is participating in a senior division, it is actually a Varsity squad featuring individuals from Grades 9 through 12.

“That’s our challenge,” Carey said. “We’re a young team playing in a senior league.”

The Romero club has several junior-aged players that are starting. This list includes middle linebacker Ricardo Remolina and centre Lincoln Faustino. Both are Grade 10 students.

Other Raiders’ players expected to play key roles include tailback Matthew Di Matteo and Arnold Rukiko, who will be utilized as a tailback and slotback.

The Raiders won their first game in program history, edging Bishop Allen 14-13 in their season opener.

“That’s a huge victory for us and we’re hoping to build on that,” Carey said.



Former Canadian Football League player Samir Chahine is among those that have resurrected the Villanova program.

“This is the first team we’ve been able to field at the school in eight years,” Chahine said. “That’s a win by me.”

About 65 students showed up to take part in the Villanova program this year. But the majority of those are at the junior level. Chahine’s senior squad features 26 players.

“Everybody is starting off fresh,” Chahine said, adding his club includes very few Grade 12 players.

Those expected to play key roles for the Knights include slotback/safety Marcus Valdassarre and defensive lineman Jerry Giovannone.



Chris Osmond has a rather simple goal for his squad.

“I just want them learning and being able to play better in November than they are now,” said Osmond, who shares the Wyverns’ coaching duties with Shane Blundell.

Woodbridge College opted not to field a team last year as a York Region board rule wanted any of its schools that operated a club to wear masks during games. But the Wyverns are now part of Toronto’s Catholic league.

“They’re coming along,” Osmond said of his club which includes 33 players. “There’s a lot of teaching them the game but I’m hoping we will be competitive.”

Woodbridge College is expected to be led by three individuals who also play community ball with the Vaughan Rebels’ organization. They are running back/linebacker Justin Serratore, running back/linebacker Jacob Volpe and offensive lineman Obi Odimma.

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