Back Row: Jeff D’Souza,
Dave Lysecki, Will Harris, Kevin Fawcett, Pat Lang, Clayton Reiter.
Front Row: Ron Sinajon, Roman Myndiuk, Ernst Lueger (coach), Brian Seeto, Mark Fantegrossi (MVP). Photo by Duane Rendle.
View larger photo.
St Mike's Flag Football team defeated the combined forces of OISE & Innis to become the undisputed champions of U of T’s Div
Their victory avenged a bitter loss in last year’s championship game – a double overtime thriller that eventually went the way of their opponents. Fortunately, many of SMC’s players from last season returned to play again this year resulting in not only a championship, but an undefeated season as well (Record: 6-0-1).
The team was coached by Ernst Lueger, a third year residence student who also served as President of SMC’s Residence Council. Ernst points to a bitterly cold game in late October to illustrate the grit and determination of the SMC squad. Their opponent was Trinity College but due to some nagging injuries, St Mike’s found themselves shorthanded with only 5 players to Trin’s standard 7. To make matters worse, SMC’s starting quarterback, Roman Myndiuk, was among the missing. Although the situation seemed hopeless, SMC’s fortunes changed dramatically when Kevin Fawcett ran the opening kickoff all the way back for a touchdown. The auspicious start rallied the beleaguered squad and provided a sliver of hope in what seemed an impossible situation. Behind the stellar defense of Jeff D’Souza and Ernst Lueger, back-up quarterback Mark Fantegrossi connected for a pair of touchdowns with the aforementioned Fawcett, leading the undermanned team to a stunning 18-0 shutout.
When the final game of the season rolled around the squad was back at full strength and exuding confidence. Playing against formidable Victoria College, Roman Myndiuk engineered an offensive explosion, throwing 3 second half touchdowns to 3 different receivers (Brian Seeto, Patrick Lang and Dave Lysecki) en route to a 32-13 drubbing that sealed their undefeated season. As fate would have it, the semi-final game was a rematch against Victoria who were eager to avenge their humiliating defeat from the week before. This time Vic came to play and their renewed efforts resulted in an exceptionally tense and hard fought game. In the end though, SMC edged their arch rivals 7-6 on the strength of a crucial extra point, propelling them to the championship game for the second time in as many years.
The first 3 quarters of the finale was a defensive
gem with both teams locked in a scoreless draw. As
time wound down it appeared that whichever team
scored first would probably be victorious. With
just 8 minutes left on the clock the OISE/Innis
team finally broke the stalemate with a TD, ensuring
that SMC would have to come from behind if they
wanted to win. But their opponent’s
success provided a catalyst to the SMC offence. On
the very next play from scrimmage, Myndiuk connected
with Fantegrossi for a spectacular touchdown
that spanned almost the entire length of the
field. The tie held until the end of regulation
sending the championship game into overtime for
the second straight year. Mid-way through
the extra quarter, lightening struck twice as
Myndiuk again fired to Fantegrossi, whose circus
catch in the end zone sealed SMC’s victory
and brought home the Barbarian Cup. For
his stellar play at both wide receiver and back-up
quarterback, Mark Fantegrossi was awarded the
The championship victory means that SMC will be returning to the Div. I league next year (they were dropped to Div II in 2002, after a disappointing 1-4-1 record). With many of the team returning and a talented pool of rookies on the horizon, it appears that St Mike’s is well on its way to regaining its past football glory.
Congratulations to all the players for an outstanding season!