The 21st Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) men's rugby regular season begins on Sunday with the defending champion Georgian Grizzlies hosting the Mohawk Mountaineers.
It's the first of 15 regular season matches in the West Division. Georgian is looking to keep its undefeated streak alive, having won all eight OCAA matches last season. The Grizzlies are led by Edwin Addai Sarfo (Bradford), last year's OCAA Championship MVP, and Henry Do (Toronto), a 2016 OCAA League All-Star. The duo combined for 87 points last season.
Mohawk is looking to build on a post-season berth in 2016. The Mountaineers are led by returnees Jacob Metcalf (Hamilton), Andrew Allender (Rosseau), and Ben Lotenburg (Owen Sound).
The West Division schedule continues on Tuesday when the Sheridan Bruins visit the Conestoga Condors. The later advanced to the OCAA bronze medal match last season. Owen Schimpl (Richmond Hill), an OCAA League All-Star for the Bruins in his rookie season, makes his return with the Bruins.
The Seneca Sting will have to wait another week to begin their season, when they visit Sheridan on Sept. 17.
The East Division teams have to wait until next weekend to get their seasons rolling, as the St. Lawrence Vikings host the Loyalist Lancers on Sept. 16, and the Fleming Knights travel east to play the Algonquin Thunder on Sept. 17. A total of a dozen games will be played in this circuit.
The Knights, which had their best OCAA result in eight seasons with a silver medal in 2016, have OCAA League All-Star Ethan Wyatt (Peterborough) back in the fold. The Vikings also had one of their better seasons in school history last season with an OCAA bronze medal. Another reigning OCAA League All-Star, Tyler Shemko (Quinte West), will be a veteran presence on St. Lawrence this season.
A pair of anticipated matches take place between the reigning silver and bronze medalists takes place on Sept. 30 and Oct. 21.
East does not meet West until after the regular season. The top two teams in each division receive a bye to the semifinals, while the second and third place teams from opposite divisions battle in the qualifying rounds a week before. The sites of the OCAA medal matches are not predetermined, as the games are hosted by the highest seeded team. If the seeds are the same, then the West teams hosts these matches (alternating with the East from last year).
2017 OCAA Schedule: http://ocaa.com/sports/mrugby/2017-18/schedule
2017 OCAA Rosters: http://ocaa.com/sports/mrugby/2017-18/rosters
2016 OCAA Regular Season Standings: http://ocaa.com/sports/mrugby/2016-17/standings
OCAA Records: http://ocaa.com/sports/mrugby/records
- OCAA -
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