Bisons return to spring football with six teams

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The Brantford Bisons are back with great success.

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After a break in play during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bisons are competing with six teams in the Ontario Summer Football League. It is the first time since 2019 that Brantford has played teams in the spring.

Brant and District Football Club president Jason Nagy said there was “huge demand” among players.

“Registrations for all ages were up,” Nagy said, noting that the organization has two U10 teams and individual teams in the U12, U14, U16 and U18 OSFL divisions. “I know that we actually had to make some cuts for the U16s and U18s.

“The players are very happy to be back and the parents are happy that spring football is back.”

For the Bisons executive, it wasn’t the first push to get back to gaming after the pandemic. Last fall, Brantford fielded several tackle teams to compete in league games and also invited players to try out Under Armor’s new flag football league.

When play began this spring, the Bisons found themselves in a new league. Before the pandemic, teams had different leagues to play in. But Football Ontario decided when play resumed that it wanted everyone under one roof and introduced the OSFL.

Not all centers are created equal, so AAA and AA divisions were created for the U14, U16 and U18 teams, with each organization deciding the level at which they would compete.

Brantford chose AAA and competes alongside five other centers in the South Division. There is also a North Division and a Greater Toronto Area Division.

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“Our vice-president for football, Kelly Ireland, and I have decided that if we want to get better, we have to compete with the best teams in the province,” said Nagy, noting that the under-10 and under-12 sides are not tiered and simply compete in the East and West divisions.

“We felt that being AAA (Tier) in the South Division gave us the best opportunity to do that.”

All of Brantford’s teams have been challenged and the Bison premier team – U18s – are 2-3 so far.

Each under-18 team plays a six-game regular season, although there were two development games early in the season. Results from development matches are not included in the regular rankings, but can be used to break ties at the end of the season.

“We were reasonably competitive,” said Nagy of the U18 team, which he also coaches.

“In this AAA division, we play against some of the best teams in the province. We hang in every game and play as best we can.”

Brantford has three weeks left in the regular season before the playoffs begin.

Postseason has A, B, C, and D tiers. The A bracket includes the top two teams from the South, North, and GTA divisions, as well as the next two teams with the best records from each of the three divisions.

The B class is based solely on wins and losses. There will be eight teams in the bracket, with the last two teams coming from AA with the best records. The C and D brackets are filled in with the rest of the AA teams.

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Brantford will most likely play in the B bracket and Nagy said it doesn’t matter what the team is playing for at this point, they just want to play to the end.

“Any chance to win a championship or fight for a championship, whether it’s A or B, that’s an achievement for every team in our program,” he said.

Just like the players and parents, the Bisons executive is excited to see the kids play again.

“We’re pretty excited to be back on the field, the kids competing and learning the game,” Nagy said.

“Any time football is played in Brantford, whether it’s at the Rep level or in high school, it’s a great thing.”

Visit www.osfl.club for more information on each of the teams.

Brantford will compete with his younger teams in the Ontario Fall Football League this fall.

Schedule

The following are the next games for the Brantford Bisons teams (all at the Bisons Alumni North Park Sports Complex):

• U10s –– Bisons Black (3-2) v Guelph Jr Gryphons, Sunday 10am; Bisons Red (2-3) v London Jr. Mustangs I, Sunday noon.

• U12s –– Bisons (1-3) vs Guelph Jr. Gryphons, Sunday 2pm,

• U14s –– Bisons (2-1) v Burlington Stampeders, Saturday 11am

• U16s –– Bisons (0-3) v Niagara Spears, Saturday 2pm

• U18s –– Bisons (1-2) v Niagara Spears, Saturday 5pm

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