Falcons learning to fly

Coaches say Forest Hill's season will be one of discovery after a 22-0 exhibition loss to Panthers

It’s going to be a learning experience this season for Forest Hill CI’s football team.

Unable to field a senior team, the varsity league-winning Falcons made the jump to Tier 1 play with a combined junior and senior squad for the 2009–2010 season.

After a 22-0 exhibition road loss at the paws of the Lawrence Park Panthers, both of Forest Hill’s coaches, Ron Singer and Chris Parkin, said there’s a lot of work ahead.

“Moving up to the top level we knew it was certainly going to be a challenge,” Parkin said. “Where the disappointment lay today was we think we could have executed better than we showed overall.

“Hopefully for the guys it’s an eye opener.”

What clipped the team’s wings, Singer said, was undisciplined play.

“We have to play a perfect game to win,” he said. “We can’t make mistakes and we did.”

The Panthers offensive unit saw touchdowns from Justin Babin, Adrian Raffoul and Andrew Zanetta, and completed two of three 2-point conversions to Peter Alexis and Andrew Sinclair against an often-shaky Forest Hill defence.

Lawrence Park coach Mark Harrison said he was happy with his team’s effort, even though stats weren’t kept.

“Well it’s just a chance to actually play someone with refs, whistles and not have coaches on the field,” he said. “It’s the first chance to see if we can execute some things we’ve practised.”

Still, the offensive unit was not as tight as Harrison had hoped.

“The first quarter was pretty sloppy but we’re practising with 16, 17 kids, so it’s kind of hard to get organized for a game,” he said. “I hate to say it, even if you beat up on your little brother 20-0, it’s nice to win it right.”

For the Falcons, the coaches believe there were a couple of bright spots that will soar this season.

Parkin spoke highly of Jay Goldstein, who saw play on both sides of the ball at running back and corner.

“He was charged with covering their top receiver, Babin, one of the best in the province,” Parkin said. “So Jay not only had to carry the ball a lot on offence, but then turn around and try to stay with an exceptional athlete.”

Singer put his focus on offensive lineman Winston Miles.

“I felt we were able to run inside a lot because of the blocking of Miles, who by the way has been looked at by three (NCAA) Division 1 schools: University of Buffalo, Eastern Michigan and he’s also been looked at seriously by Georgia Tech.”

As for the loss, Parkin said he hoped his charges would use it as fodder for their next game, against Don Bosco Sept. 24. However, Forest Hill lost 57-7.

“We can talk about being in Tier 1 but until you actually suit up and start playing against a Tier 1 team, it gives you a reality check of just how hard you have to work if you want to compete,” Parkin said. “We’re hoping the guys will take this personally and use it as fuel at upcoming practices so we can address what needs to be done.”

About this article:

By: Brian Baker
Posted: Oct 6 2009 1:03 pm
Filed in: Sports
Edition: Toronto