Outlaws hone skills despite lack of a season

August 21, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The fact that the 2020 summer football season was cancelled left a big hole in the lives of a lot of local football players who enjoy getting out on the field every summer and both delivering and taking some punishment on the gridiron.

The Orangeville Outlaws were forced to cancel all activity right in the middle of their indoor spring training.

Since then, players have not had a chance to play any competitive sports.

After more than four months of sitting idle, the Outlaws executive decided to get the kids active while keeping within the limits of social distancing protocol.

The idea of a summer training program was actually brought to them when Nick Shortill, a linebacker with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL contacted the team executive to see if they were interested in running a summer program.

“Nick Shortill contacted me out of the blue,” explained Outlaws executive member, Sue Ellies. “He’s a really nice guy. We were going to do some kind of camp or training. He reached out to me and said he was on hiatus and wanted to throw a football around. He asked if we were interested in doing some training with these kids. I checked with the coaches and the rest of the executives and they said it sounds like fun. Of course a lot of the draw for training is having an Argonaut here, and all the boys wanted to come out. We’re getting some valuable instruction here.”

During the two-hour training session Shortill works with the Peewee and Bantam players for an hour then switches to the Junior Varsity and Varsity players. 

Team coaches take over for the other hour.

Shortill played with the Montreal Alouettes before signing on with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and playing three seasons with that squad. He joined the Argonauts this year.

The summer training sessions may lack the total excitement of playing a full game against an opposing team, but the players showed a lot of enthusiasm and enjoyed getting out and throwing the ball around and keeping in shape while keeping their football skills sharp.


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