The Lakeshore Cougars finished a dream season with a 22-8 win over the St. Bruno Barons in the Ballon d’argent AAA atom football provincial championship in LaSalle.
The win capped a perfect 14-0 season for the powerhouse Cougars, who were a sparkling 10-0 during the regular season and 4-0 in the atom playoffs.
“We had a very strong team this year,” said Lakeshore head coach Jon Waind. “We had a very strong running back (James Malatesta).”
Malatesta rushed for 203 yards and three TDs to earn Game MVP honours in the championship game.
“Malatesta is the type of back who runs fast and runs hard and was a bit of an X Factor there,” Waind said. “We had a complex playbook so a lot guys got touches on the ball. “We were a strong team that way. When one guy couldn’t do it, other guys stepped up.”
In the final, Lakeshore’s Robert Orr shone defensively with 13 tackles and an interception, while Luke Hunger made five tackles.
“Our defence was just plain speed,” said Waind. “We weren’t the biggest team, but we used our speed to our advantage.”
“I’m very proud of our kids and I’m proud of the fact all of our players participated.
Seeing smiles on the boys’ faces at the end was a lot of fun.”
“Luke Hunger, Robert Orr, Josh McGrath and Justin Chaput played their hearts out on defence. They really set the tone in our last few playoff games.”
Members of the 2012 atom football provincial champs are Spencer Decary, Cole Bellas, Justin Chaput, Djibril Toure, Robbie David, Michael Mastrodomenico, Peter Malo, Carter Waind, Zachary Cyrenne, Robert Orr, Josh McGrath, James Malatesta, Andrew Hoffman, Nicolas Pavan, Brandon Ciccarello, George Krallis, Luke Hunger, Tommy Lefson, Nicholas Martoccia, Charles-Alexandre Paul and Shayne Bjorn.
Assisting Waind with coaching duties were Rick Hunger, Mike McGrath, John Orr, Roger Malatesta, Greg Bellas, James David and manager Marco Pavan.
“We had some strong expertise from our coaching staff,” Waind said.