(Left to Right: Caleb, Phil, Logan, Marshall & Thomas)
“The B-Town Boys are in the House!”
That’s the slogan several exuberant fans were chanting from the stands in the Canad Inns Stadium on October 14th for five teenage guys from Beausejour in the Midget League of Manitoba’s 2012 semi-finals. The B-Town Boys played for the Transcona Nationals, a team in northeast Winnipeg including three receivers (Caleb Jordan, Thomas Gut, Phil Gut), one full back (Marshall Sinclair) and one defensive back (Logan Tomasson). Although the Nationals lost 37-21 to the undefeated Nomads, these Transcona titans fought hard with courage, respect and integrity all season long.
It was a long and hard road to the playoffs for this football club, and especially for the boys from Beausejour. All five of these guys have a love for football and have been playing for three years. Because there is no local football club, they have been carpooling together to Winnipeg for three practices and one game every week. Here’s a look at each of the boys’ experiences and challenges this season:
Thomas had to sit out during training camp in the spring while he was waiting for surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn labrum. Thomas couldn’t play quarterback this year as he had the two previous years because of his injury, so he played receiver. He was finally ready to play by the second game of the season. He played three games before dislocating his left shoulder, this time needing an ambulance ride. His doctors advised him not to play for the rest of the year, so he sat out, but he continued to be involved with the team helping his fellow players and coaches out at practices. When he found out that his team made it into the playoffs, he got a doctor’s note that allowed him to play in the quarter-final game as this was his last year in the midget league. The game took place a day before his surgery, and the Nationals achieved an 18-14 victory over the Falcons. In the semi-final game the following week, he stood on the sideline in a sling and cheered the team on. Even though he only played three games, he finished as the tenth receiver in the league, and won his team’s Alex Rodier Award.
Caleb too sustained a major injury courtesy of a nasty tackle during a pre-season game against the Thunder Bay champions. A broken collar bone. A trip to the hospital. The doctor confirmed his worst fear: There was a good chance it would not heal before the end of the season. Caleb was devastated because of his love of the game. But being a young person with a strong faith in God, he and his family and friends prayed for a speedy recovery. And sure enough, four games into the regular season and he was playing again. Caleb says, “It was an exciting season. When I first went on the field in the Canad Inns stadium, it was an indescribable feeling. My dream is to play pro-football, and to be able to play on the Bombers stadium was surreal.”
Logan experienced a neck and back injury where he had been hit from behind and slid for about four feet on his head and then was piled on. He had no feeling from his neck down and couldn’t move. He felt paralyzed and immediately he and his parents and friends started praying. Within ten minutes, he miraculously walked off the field, and an X-ray and CT scan gave him a clean bill of health. Three weeks later, he was playing football again, and has had no back or neck problems since. One of the highlights for Logan was in the semi-final game against the Nomads was when he got a pick-six – a touchdown after receiving an interception. About playing in the Bombers Stadium, Logan said, “I just felt good to be playing in there. It felt like a huge accomplishment coming that far after last year’s season of only winning two games.” He was also excited to have been scouted out by the Winnipeg Rifles during the Midget Bowl.
Phil entered into this season as a rookie receiver and had an inflamed spleen at one point and was out for a week. Despite this very minor health issue, Phil was able to play every game and came out as the ninth place receiver in the league. Not only that, but he won the Rookie of the Year Award for the Transcona Nationals, and was chosen as a member of the Rookie All Star Team. With two more years ahead of him in the Midget League, he has a promising football career ahead of him.
At age seventeen, Marshall was also in his last year in Midget. As a fullback, Marshall got 462 rushing yards. Anyone who ever watched the Nationals play on their home field will remember the local announcer’s booming voice whenever Marshall would carry the ball, “Fill the truck with diesel, it’s Marshaaaall Sinnnnnclair!” Marshall said, “It was a wonderful experience making it to the semi-finals. The coaching staff is great. The highlight of the season for me was the drive to and from the city with the boys.”
It’s noteworthy that all five Beausejour boys were chosen to play in the Midget Bowl – a game for the top players in the league. Even though Thomas was unable to actually play the game because he was recovering from his surgery, he was selected as an honorary member of this team.
One of the things that is important to all five of the B-town boys is their personal faith in God. At the beginning of every game, the five guys would take time to get together and pray. By the end of the season, many of the other players were joining in their prayer time, too. Their faith, integrity, respectful playing and great attitude were an inspiration to the other players and the coaches as well. It was a good season, and three of the boys look forward to playing again next year.
- JERSEY #: STATS:
- #43: Logan: 40 tackles, 1 pick six
- #70: Marshall: 462 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns
- #81: Thomas: 11 receptions, 243 yards, 3 touchdowns
- #83: Caleb: 18 receptions, 183 yards
- #86: Phil: 23 receptions, 321 yards, 6 touchdowns
Quarter-Finals: Oct 14, 2012
- Cornhuskers 6 @ Mustangs 56
- Nationals 18 @ Falcons 14
Semi-Finals: Oct 20, 2012
- Nationals 21 @ Nomads 37
- Mustangs 7 @ Raiders 21
Championship Game: Oct 27, 2012
Raiders 21 @ Nomads 42
INTERESTING FACT: The name Transcona Nationals has been around since 1912. The Transcona Nationals name derived from the Transcontinental Railway which had its railway shops in the heart of Transcona, Manitoba and is known as the CNR shops today. They are celebrating their Centennial as a football club this year.
Note – this article was published on the front page of our local newspaper, the Beausejour Review, today. You can see the e-edition online HERE.