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Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018
Year 2 of Joe MacDonald Football Scholarships on the go
2018-07-08
by Randy Pascal

Just one season in and folks from the Joe MacDonald Youth Football League (JMYFL) are reaping the rewards of a new scholarship program introduced in the summer of 2017.

"It's going to encourage more people, my age, to get involved with the league," suggested Brandon Maki, a graduate of the Lo-Ellen Park Knights program who has just completed his first year with the University of Toronto Blues.

"I coached for two years with Joe Mac, one as an assistant coach, and one as a head coach." This summer, the almnus of the Sudbury Gladiators was also giving back to his old team, helping out with the defensive line for varsity head coach Aaron Rehel.

"I always think it's good to start coaching at a young age," said Maki. "It gives you some really valuable life skills - communication, patience, stuff like that. It also helps you look at the game in a different way. It really gives to everybody. It gives to the kids that we're coaching, but it also gives back a lot to us, as coaches."

Maki was part of the inaugural group of recipients, as a total of $3000 were doled out to a collection of football folks that also included Sean Antonioni, Eric Greene, Alain Huneault, Samantha Shrigley and Graeme Stevens.

"It was a tremendous honour for me just to be mentioned in that category of bring someone who is worthy of receiving that scholarship," added Maki. And though he would spend his freshman season as an injured red-shirt, rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder, the well-spoken student athlete still noted the leap that is the move from high school to the post-secondary ranks.

"It was tough, I'm not going to sugar-coat it," said Maki. "It was a huge adjustment, even for someone like me, being hurt and not dressing this year. It was tough to juggle rehab, meetings and school requirements."

The Joe MacDonald Youth Football League will look to help locals with that transition, once again this year, with the application deadline for the 2018 season now extended through to July 31st (2018).

Information on the Joe MacDonald Youth Football Scholarships can be obtained by visiting the JMYFL website at "www.joemac.ca".

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