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Local football team travelling to Ohio to play its top squad

Huron Heights Warriors to travel to Ohio in October to play state champions, as they still lack a league to play in
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The Huron Heights Warriors will travel to Ohio to play Oct. 18.

Newmarket’s champion high school football team is preparing to go stateside for games as they continue to struggle to finding a league to play in.

The Huron Heights Warriors will travel to Steubenville, Ohio Oct. 18 for the first time since 2018, to play against the hometown team and in a stadium that can seat 5,000. It is one of several trips the team will schedule as it plays without a league for yet another season.

Coach Heath Weir said the team is excited by the opportunity, but added that it is very difficult to find games in the fall.

“I would much rather be playing here in Ontario. I would much rather be playing in York Region and the surrounding areas, but unfortunately, without having a (York Region) league to play in … we’re independent.” 

Each season, the team schedules its own games against teams throughout Ontario and in American states close to the border. Other football teams in the region will play in neighbouring leagues, but Weir said they have not been able to secure a spot in any of the leagues.

That is the case once again this season, Weir said.

“We may need to branch out,” he said. 

However, Weir said the team is still eager to play in Ohio, going up against four-time state champions.

“It’s going to be a great challenge,” he said. “The stadium’s rocking, they got over 5,000 people there, it’s packed with their fans … It’s pretty amazing. It can be intimidating. I think our guys will be just fine.” 

The game was arranged when Steubenville reached out to them, Weir said, as they are also looking for teams to play against.

Although the Warriors are independent, they still retain their eligibility for the OFSAA to compete to be the top team in Ontario, as well as Canada. Both the junior and senior teams were provincial champions last season and the program is considered one of the best for high school football in Canada. 

“We’re hoping for a great 2024 season, a lot of exciting games against some really great opponents,” Weir said. “Hopefully, we come out on the winning end most of the time.”