The Windsor Fratmen hosted the OFC Championship game for a second year...
Windsor Fratmen 3-Peat
Courtesy of the Windsor MediaPlex
The Windsor Alpha Kai Omega Fratmen are once more on top of the Ontario Junior Football world.
On Nov. 1 the Fratmen captured their third consecutive Ontario Football Conference championship by defeating the Ottawa Sooners 21-11 at Ecole secondaire E.J. Lajeunesse. The Fratmen finished their season with an 8-0 record, outscoring opponents 297-57. This year’s championship marks the Fratmen’s ninth championship in the team’s 69 year history.
Fratmen head coach Mike Lachance said he thinks AKO’s success can be attributed to the consistency of his staff as well as the players buying into his philosophy.
“I’ve been the head coach for the Fratmen since 2003,” said Lachance. “That has allowed a young coach to grow and develop a system with one message. It’s important that players and staff know that year-to-year the message is singular and unified.”
The AKO Fratmen have not trailed at any point this season. They currently hold a 19 game win streak and are winners of 25 out of their last 26 games dating back to last season. In 2014 the Fratmen partnered with St. Clair College to allow players who attend the college to receive scholarship money. Students who play AKO and maintain a 2.0 grade-point average and pass all courses may receive $1,250 for their fall semester and a credit of $2,500 for the full year.
Former St. Clair student and third year AKO quarterback, Austin Lumley said the team had one goal in mind at the beginning of the year.
“Every year is different, every team is different but going into the season we knew what we were capable of and we wanted to three-peat as OFC Champs,” said Lumley.
In 2013 the OFC raised their age restriction from 22 years old and under to 24 and under. Based on these changes, teams who win the OFC championship are not eligible to play for a Canadian Junior Football League championship against other teams across Canada. Teams in the British Columbia Football Conference and the Prairie Football Conference still play under the rules which states players must be 22 years of age and under to compete, disqualifying the OFC from competing for a national title.
OFC President Darren Cocchetto says these rules may change in the near future to allow Ontario teams to showcase themselves on a national level.
“The OFC experimented two years ago to increase the age limit to 24 and under. The wheels are already in motion to go back to 22 and under play by 2017,” says Cocchetto.
There is no official word on how a rule change may affect players who are already in the league and no longer meet age requirements by the time the rules are changed. No team from the OFC has won a CJFL national title since the AKO Fratmen captured one in 1999.
Even though they are not eligible Lumley feels his team could compete with any other team in Canada.
“I think we could beat them. British Columbia has some big, tough players but 24 year olds against 22 year olds, our team against theirs I think we’ve got a shot,” said Lumley.
The Fratmen are preparing for next season and hope to defend their OFC title.