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St. Peter's Panthers fall in junior football finals

Collingwood Fighting Owls defeated Barrie's St. Peter's Panthers on Tuesday night to claim fourth straight Georgian Bay crown

The Collingwood Fighting Owls junior football team dominated the St. Peter’s Panthers on their way to another Georgian Bay Secondary School Association (GBSSA) championship title on Tuesday night in Barrie.

The Fighting Owls won the championship under the lights at Georgian College's J.C. Massie Field with a 39-6 victory.

It marked Collingwood Collegiate's fourth consecutive GBSSA junior title, a first in the local loop's history, which dates back to 1961. The junior Owls won in 2019, 2021, 2022 and can now add the 2023 crown to their trophy case. There was no season in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The Panthers put points on the board early on, but it was almost all Collingwood after that, as interceptions cost the south-end Barrie school dearly.

Jamie Kennedy, offensive and special teams coach for Collingwood, thought his team played a good game.

“St. Peter’s was obviously well prepared,” he told BarrieToday on the field after the game. “They had a good offensive attack and I think we responded defensively.

“They scored early on us and I think that was a bit of a shock to us," Kennedy added. "After we made some adjustments, we responded."

Collingwood player Bryce Brennan called it “an amazing game,” and described the best part of the game for him as “probably me catching an interception.”

Jacob Leenaars, a linebacker for the Fighting Owls, was fairly blunt as to why he thought they won the way they did.

“It was a pretty solid game, we both battled hard, but obviously the superior team came out,” he said.

“We worked hard this whole year — and I really don’t know what else to say,” Leenaars added as he continued to celebrate with teammates and family in the end zone.

For the Collingwood Fighting Owls, Tuesday night's win capped off a dream season as the team ran the table en route to an 8-0 record. 

Next up is the battle for the GBSSA senior football crown as the St. Joan of Arc Knights, winners of the Catholic School Athletics of Simcoe County title, take on the Bear Creek Kodiaks, victors of the Simcoe County Athletic Association, in a battle between rival south-end Barrie high schools.

That game kicks off later today at J.C. Massie Field, beginning at 5 p.m.

The Kodiaks (7-0) and Knights (9-0) are both undefeated this season. It's also a rematch of last year's GBSSA senior championship game, which Bear Creek won, 20-3.

Kevin Lamb

About the Author: Kevin Lamb

Kevin Lamb picked up a camera in 2000 and by 2005 was freelancing for the Barrie Examiner newspaper until its closure in 2017. He is an award-winning photojournalist, with his work having been seen in many news outlets across Canada and internationally
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