Last year, the Eagle football team left the United States to head up north to St. Michael’s College School in Toronto.
This season, the Kerry Blues of St. Mike’s trekked down from Canada to play American football. The Eagles had to adapt to the Canadian football rules in last year’s victory, which, according to the players, was not too difficult.
“The atmosphere was very nice and it was pretty cool to be able to play football in a foreign country, I never thought that I would ever go to Canada, let alone play football there. The circumstances and rule changes did not affect us too much but it was definitively an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.””
-Charlie Vaterott, senior
There are a couple distinguishable differences between American football and Canadian football. The major differences that may have a negative effect for the Canadians is that the American field is both shorter and narrower. This is because in American football, only eleven players from each team play at one time. Canadians rules dictate that there must be twelve players from each team on the field.
“We started [the Basil Bowl] a few years ago when we had a couple openings in the football schedule,” Kenny Martin, athletic coordinator, said, “(Football coach Tim) Fitzpatrick and (Athletic Director Mike) Netzel had just came back from a Basilian gathering with all of the priests and they discussed ways in which both St. Michael’s and St. Thomas could work together. Coach Netzel suggested that we play St. Michael’s in football.”
Scheduling the match-up turned out to be more opportunistic than perhaps originally thought.
The difference in weather could have a negative affect on them because they are used to a much colder environment that is not as humid as ours.
-Kenny Martin, Athletic Coordinator
“We called them and they just happened to have an opening the same weekend we did,” Martin said.
On the field, the struggles proved to be helpful for the Eagles. The Eagles dominated the Kerry Blues last year while in Canada, and they repeated the custom this year with a rousing 49-10 score. With the change in environment, both on and off the field, St. Michael’s was playing in an extremely foreign environment.
In Toronto, they use subway transits to get around and the amount of traffic is at a minimal. They also walk everywhere because everything is closer together and more accessible. This differs from Houston in that the Canadians took buses that were provided by the school and they were not able to walk around to places.
The tradition that was started last year will hopefully last a long time and further St. Thomas’ relationship with them. This relationship works both on and off the field. The distance between Toronto and Houston prevented many Kerry Blues spectators from coming and cheering on their team, giving the Eagles another considerable advantage.
The school hosted a pep-rally October 9 to show off our Southern hospitality and share our brotherhood. The two teams also interacted a lot together both before and after the game. After the game ended, St. Mike’s joined in a dinner where they interacted and made acquaintances here in Houston.