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www.niagaraspears.com Niagara Spears Gear up for 2010 (November 10, 2009) The Niagara Spears Football Club is off to an early start in preparation for the 2010 Ontario Varsity Football League season. Their October 13th Annual General Meeting saw the introduction of a new President, a new pee wee team and a date for their 2010 player registration. Following in his father’s footsteps, Mark Fortier of Niagara Falls was introduced as President of the club, replacing outgoing President Alex Tacinelli. Spears co-founder Ed Fortier was the club’s first President when the Spears were formed in 2003. Mark Fortier has served as Governor of the Spears’ Junior team since 2006. “We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us, but we’ve got a great team of volunteers working on and off the field pretty much year-round now” said Fortier. “I’m thrilled to be taking on this new role. Alex has been a great leader over the past three years and I know I’ve got some big shoes to fill.” One of the biggest challenges heading into next season will be the fielding of a third Spears team. Local football coaching legend Kent Risko was confirmed as Head Coach of the new Spears 14 and under pee wee team at the AGM. “Kent’s track record speaks for itself”, said Fortier. “He’s been coaching and winning championships in the Niagara Region for nearly 40 years”. In a strange twist, it turns out Risko is no stranger to the “Spears”. Despite the fact that the Niagara Spears have only been playing in the Ontario Varsity Football League for six years, Risko actually came up with the name - in 1973. As Head Coach, Risko led the original St. Catharines Spears to back-to-back all-Ontario bantam championships in 1973-74. Risko spent the 35 year “gap” between Spears gigs coaching dozens of teams in Niagara, most recently with Niagara Minor Football, where he coached tyke and atom teams. “I can’t wait to get started” said Risko. “We have a wealth of talent here in Niagara, thanks in very large part to a thriving minor football program. This new Spears team will give elite pee wee players an opportunity to play against a higher caliber of opponents, which will in turn raise their own game.” While Risko is still putting the finishing touches on his coaching staff, the Spears’ new defensive coordinator will certainly be no stranger to CFL fans. Rob Hitchcock played twelve years for the Hamilton Ti-Cats, retiring in 1996 as the franchise’s all-time leader in defensive and special teams tackles. Frank Prantera has been selected as Governor of the new Spears team. Registration for all three Niagara Spears teams will be held on Saturday, November 21st from 9am to 12 noon at West Park High School in St. Catharines. Pee wee Spears hopefuls must be 14 or under, Junior Spears 16 or under and Varsity Spears 19 or under as of June 1st, 2010. Additional registration information may be found on the Spears website at www.niagaraspears.com. -2- All three Head Coaches would be pleased to speak with the media or any interested players and may be contacted directly. Pee wee Head Coach Kent Risko may be reached at (905)934-7226 or via e- mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Junior Varsity Head Coach Brian Duguay may be reached at (289)213-6791 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Varsity Head Coach Dave Howe may be reached at (905)321-0973 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information on the Niagara Spears may be found at www.niagaraspears.com. Gameday pictures are available upon request. Additional information on the Ontario Varsity Football League may be found at www.ovflontario.com. Thank you for your continued support. For more information, please contact: Mark Fortier President - Niagara Spears Football Club (905)380-3011 (cell) email@example.com
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