Two years of finishing in the runner-up position at OFSAA has St. Michael’s College School hungry for a return to gold in provincial
Before varsity Blue Gaels qualify for Ontario’s top tournament, however, they’ll have to do battle against CISAA rivals St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, and hometown nemesis Upper Canada College.
The regular season starts April 30, and for coach Alex Frescura the big test will be the four consecutive weekends travelling south of the border to face some of the toughest schools on the American fields.
“We build the schedule to challenge these guys, knowing that on paper we’re supposed to be good,” he said.
The trips Stateside are chances to see how the team will fare against the best teams on the continent, and with 12 NCAA Division 1 prospects playing for the Blue Gaels they’ll need all the seasoning they can get.
“This year, all the guys are older, even though our entire defence is still Grade 11 or younger,” Frescura said. “Now they’re going to be able to bang with the big boys now.”
Included in the potential NCAA mix are Grade 12s Tanner Thomson and Adrian Torok-Orban, as well as Grade 11, Nick Ellerton.
Midfielder Thomson has committed to Marquette, attackman Torok-Orban with Robert Morris and defender Ellerton with Boston University.
Though they look forward to what fall brings, all agree the goal is to win OFSAA.
“We have a great team this year, and I don’t see how we couldn’t achieve that,” Torok-Orban said. “We have a pretty tough lineup in front of us, so hopefully we can do well against some of the top competition we’re going against.”
That tough schedule he refers to is against SAC and UCC.
Thomson casually jokes about the grudge match with SAC Saints last season.
“Last year was the main rivalry year because the Grade 12s didn’t like each other very much,” he said. “Still there’s a little bit of
The foreseeable weakness could be the defence, but Ellerton doesn’t mind.
“We don’t have any Grade 12 poles,” he said. “Last year three of us out of the four started in Grade 10, and the fourth one, Brenden [Mullen], played for Team Ontario.”
As for having 12 NCAA stalwarts, the boys don’t let it get to their heads.
“I don’t think it’s our only sense of confidence,” Ellerton said. “Regardless of how many Division 1 prospects we have, we’re pretty confident with our abilities.”