The learning won’t stop when school’s out for Owen Malott-Bennett and Brennen Dodman.
The Chatham-Kent Cougars junior varsity teammates will play for Team Ontario at Football Canada’s U-16 Eastern Challenge.
The four-province tournament July 9-12 in Kingston will be preceded by a four-day training camp.
Malott-Bennett, 15, and Dodman, 15, look forward to picking up tips from the university coaches there.
Malott-Bennett has been a quarterback for only two years after being moved from the defensive line.
“I hope to learn a lot about coverages, so if I ever go on to the university level I’m ready for that level,” he said. “ …I’ve never really learned about Cover 2, Cover 3. I’ve just learned to hit the open guy, so hopefully I get to learn some coverages up there.”
Dodman is eager to learn how to be a better defensive lineman. He wants to know more about getting past blockers.
“I’m hoping to get a few more skills on defence, like rip moves (for) advancing to the next level,” he said.
Dodman loves plowing through the offensive line and going after the quarterback.
“I’m really good at my ripping, first off,” he said. “I get off the line fast.”
Malott-Bennett and Dodman are wrapping up their Grade 9 year at Ursuline College Chatham.
The longtime teammates were chosen for the 40-player provincial team after attending a tryout.
Team Ontario’s training camp will be followed by two games at the U-16 Eastern Challenge.
Ontario will play New Brunswick on Tuesday, July 9, and either Quebec or Nova Scotia on Friday, July 12.
“I’m pretty pumped about it,” Malott-Bennett said. “I’m just excited to play with some good players, not that I don’t play with some good players here. I play with some amazing players here. But just to meet some new guys and win some games.”
Their Team Ontario leaders will include university coaches. University scouts are expected to be in the stands.
Dodman wants to put on a good show for the scouts he hopes will be watching for the rest of his high school and varsity careers.
“I’m excited because they’ll see me in the future (and) be scouting me more often,” he said.