Watching 3 former players in Grey Cup game will be ‘surreal,’ Winnipeg high school coach says

One was once a sponge for training recommendation. One introduced pleasure into each room he entered. And some other was so excellent he regularly had to be taken off the football field to provide the other teams a possibility.

On Sunday, Stu Nixon will watch all three of his former avid gamers at Winnipeg’s Oak Park High School — Andrew Harris, Nic Demski and Brady Oliveira — constitute the Winnipeg Blue Bombers within the largest game in Canadian soccer.

“The Gray Cup is going to be exciting whilst your group is in it for sure, proper? but when your alumni are all within the sport, it is virtually surreal,” Nixon mentioned.

Earlier this week, students at Oak Park packed into the health club for a pep rally sooner than the 108th Grey Cup, being performed in Hamilton in opposition to the homeland Tiger-Cats.

Almost everybody wore blue and gold, and a few held indicators cheering at the Bombers — including a few outsized cutouts of Harris, Demski and Oliveira’s heads.

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“the varsity used to be buzzing,” Nixon mentioned.

“There Is three of them from one school. It’s hard to consider. And the students are thinking about that. they are a part of that custom, proper?”

WATCH | Oak Park Highschool students cheer on soccer alumni: 

Watching 3 former players in Grey Cup game will be 'surreal,' Winnipeg high school coach says

Oak Park students cheer for three former Raiders on Bombers roster

2 days ago

Duration 1:04

Students at Oak Park Highschool held a pre-Grey Cup pep rally for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and their three homegrown avid gamers, Andrew Harris, Nic Demski and Brady Oliveira, all of whom appropriate up for the Oak Park Raiders after they have been younger. 1:04

The Previous football educate, who stepped down from the function a few years in the past, got to watch Harris and Demski win the Canadian Soccer League championship in 2019.

Oliveira used to be injured for that sport — which means this yr’s final marks the first time Nixon gets to watch all three compete in the massive recreation.

A runner, a ‘real joy’ and a file-breaker

The Previous soccer instruct stated he recalls Harris, now a working again for the Bombers, as a dynamic player whilst a thin Grade 10 pupil.

“He was the most productive football player within the province his age. every time you kick the ball to him, he is going to attain a touchdown,” Nixon stated.

“Nobody could seize him. And for a skinny child, he was actually heavy to hit.”

Watching 3 former players in Grey Cup game will be 'surreal,' Winnipeg high school coach says

Running again Andrew Harris speaks to media in Hamilton on Saturday. His former highschool football teach recalls him as a dynamic player, at the same time as a thin Grade 10 pupil. (Nick Iwanyshyn/The Canadian Press)

Nevertheless It wasn’t just Harris’s skill that set him aside in highschool.

“He was once very coachable. He might take heed to and do the rest you requested him,” Nixon mentioned.

“that is the difference between him and talented kids in high school that you by no means pay attention from again: The talented children that you just listen from again is what’s going on within their head. they don’t allow egos to turn into a component of it.”

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As for what it was like to train Demski, now a large receiver for Winnipeg, Nixon stated one thing comes to mind.

“It used to be an actual joy,” he said.

“He simply introduced pleasure to every class he used to be in — just such a satisfied, amusing-loving kid within the health club. His enthusiasm used to be infectious.”

Watching 3 former players in Grey Cup game will be 'surreal,' Winnipeg high school coach says

Nic Demski catches the ball all over a practice prior to the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary in 2019. His former highschool soccer teach remembers him as a ‘real pleasure’ to have round. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

And remembering coaching running back Oliveira, Nixon said he recollects a player who — whilst regularly past due to the apply field — labored more difficult than anyone else off it, from the load room to the observe.

All that coaching created a player who continuously needed to be taken off the sphere if the staff was once crushing its opponent, something Nixon mentioned came about very often within the pastime of sportsmanship.

Watching 3 former players in Grey Cup game will be 'surreal,' Winnipeg high school coach says
The Weekend Morning Display (Manitoba)EIGHT:16Oak Park High School cheering on three alumni in the Grey Cup!

One used to be a sponge, one was always overdue for practice however a pleasure to train, and one used to be so good he needed to be taken out of video games in order that they would not get too lopsided! Stephanie Cram caught up with Oak Park Phys-Ed instructor Stu Nixon who has 3 of his former avid gamers – Andrew Harris, Nic Demski, and Brady Olivera – hitting the sphere for modern day Gray Cup. EIGHT:SIXTEEN

“It drove him nuts,” he mentioned. “He hated coming off. He was a competitor to the sour finish. He simply desired to go and cross and move.”

But getting pulled out early from every other recreation didn’t boring Oliveira’s chances of shattering records at the same time as he was once at the field, Nixon stated.

Watching 3 former players in Grey Cup game will be 'surreal,' Winnipeg high school coach says

Brady Oliveira, carrying No. FIVE within the first row, and his teammates rejoice their 2015 highschool championship win for the Oak Park Raiders. Stu Nixon, his former instruct on the team, says he shattered virtually each and every highschool football document. (Submitted by means of Oak Park High School)

“He broke almost every working file that there has been,” he stated.

“Actually, at least half the games he may have played only two quarters and he still did what he did.”

Getting Ready for retirement

Nixon is now in his ultimate yr as a physical training instructor at Oak Park sooner than retirement.

He mentioned seeing his former avid gamers deliver house the gray Cup once more — which he is anticipating — can be the easiest option to finish his profession.

And if there’s one thing he knows approximately his 3 former gamers, it’s that they’re going to supply it their all.


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“They had been such a lot better than anyone else … on the field, but they were by no means satisfied with their own efficiency,” he mentioned.

“They all the time have been searching for tactics of getting higher. They were, like, impatient to change into a hit.”

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