This year’s annual VIP Day football event, held Saturday at Alexander Park in Pierrefonds, had a twist of nostalgia.
On hand for VIP Day were Norm Horner and Rick Ballard, two members of the 1962 champion Alexander peewee Ticats.
“It was great to have those guys at our event,” said Terry White, football director for Alexander Park.
“Norm Horner spoke to my players at halftime about the importance of respect and teamwork. I think seeing guys who played peewee football for Alexander 50 years ago was really cool for the kids.
“They also talked about the friendships you build in football can last a lifetime, and those guys are proof of that.”
Include White among those who thought “it was cool” for North Shore football alumni to make an appearance at VIP Day.
“Fifty years is a long time,” White said. “I’m 45 years old, so these guys were playing before I was even born. But their experiences of playing peewee football haven’t changed much from then to today.”
Horner, a 62-year-old retired teacher now living in Pointe-Claire, also drove home the value of education, a subject White often touches upon through his Study Hard program for young players.
“It’s all about teaching our players to do their best in school,” White said.
“If they’re getting 60s, try to get 70s and so on. We want to recognize their efforts in the classroom, not just on the football field.”
White estimates that more than 500 supporters came to cheer on the home side’s football triple-header at Alexander Park. “It was a success,” White said. “It poured early Saturday morning, but it let up as the day wore on.”
The home teams managed to win one of three games. The Alexander peewee Roughriders fell 44-20 to St-Léonard.
The mosquito Cardinals prevailed 40-12 over St-Léonard, while the atom Bills dropped a 26-13 decision.
Even the tykes flag football program saw action.
Elsewhere, the Lakeshore Cougars continue to dominate the Scott Division of the Quebec Midget Football League.
The Cougars improved the unbeaten record to 8-0 on Friday with a 43-27 victory over the previously unbeaten Greenfield Park Packers.
The Cougars set the tone early when Matt Laporta intercepted a Greenfield Park pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game.
Laporta paced the Cougars with three touchdowns. He also contributed three interceptions on defence.
Michael Collard had two interceptions for the Cougars, while teammates Timothy Wilding and Omar Malki had one each.
Lakeshore receiver James Ohayon had a pair of TD catches, while Christian Senechal and quarterback Olivier Achard had one apiece.
Mark Rossi rounded out the scoring with a 30-yard field goal and four converts.
Next up for the first-place Cougars are the Repentigny Rhinos (4-5) on Saturday night (7: 30 p.m.) at Parc Bousquet in Repentigny.