I decided to attend one of the optional practices the Cornwall Wildcats U18 OSFL squad hosted at Benson Centre. As I watched each young player stand and listen to the instructions from their coaches, one word came to mind, Dedication. It was a refreshing sight to see how dedicated this coaching staff is to building and shaping the minds and bodies of these athletes. This is an incredibly experienced coaching staff, with decades of experience at the university, provincial and OSFL level. I spoke to a few players, and they explained what was happening on the field, going through offensive formations and defensive fronts, conditioning and working football fundamentals. Each coach would explain a specific portion of the game. Fundamentals and improving football IQ was the focus. The U18 OSFL level is the top level of amateur football in Ontario. This Wildcats organization is professional, well organized and has already brought considerable success to Eastern Ontario. In 2022, this team was 4-4 and were finalists in the Tier 2 Provincial Championships held in London, Ontario. They are hopeful all this off-season work will lead to another very successful season. Next Saturday is the last of their "optional" practices. Try-outs and training camp opens Saturday March 4th. There are 75 hopefuls registered for training camp. I'm looking forward to seeing how they will perform on the field. - Ryan Hollingsworth
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