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March 16, 2019

Dear Parents and Players,

I’ve been receiving some great questions about the upcoming 2019 Orleans Raftsmen season and I figured I would write a “Frequently Asked Questions” document, to answer some of your important questions. If you have any other questions that are not listed in this document, please send them to me and I will try to answer them for you.

Thank you.

Coach Ron Raymond

  1. What are the Orleans Raftsmen Midget Football Club?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen are a AAA Provincial Midget Football Club from the Orleans area for players wanting to play Provincial Football and they must be between the age of 16 and 17 years old. Formerly known as the Orleans Dukes and Gloucester Dukes.

  • What League do you play in?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen will be playing in the Bruno Heppell (Tier 1 Division) of the Quebec Midget Football League for the 2019 season. Last year, the Orleans Raftsmen played in the Wilbert Scott (Tier 2 Division) and finished the season with a 9-1 record. Since the Raftsmen won the Wilbert Scott division in 2018, they now qualify to play in the Bruno Heppell Tier 1 Division for the 2019 season.

  • Can players play High School and Raftsmen at the same time?

Answer: No, players must make a choice between playing high school football or the QMFL. Players must sign a QMFL contract at the beginning of the season, which states they cannot play for a QMFL team and a High School football team during the same season, or that team will forfeit their games. 

  • How many games do you play and when does the season start?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen will play 10 regular season games, plus playoff games. The 1st game of the season will be the weekend of August 10th.

  • How long are the Quarters?

Answer: The QMFL play 4 quarters of 12 minutes stop time.

  • How many players can make the team?

Answer: Teams can carry and register a maximum of 50 players on their roster and the Orleans Raftsmen look to carry between 40 to 45-man roster for the 2019 season.

  • Are you part of the NCAFA Midget League?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen Midget football Club is part of the Orleans Bengals Football Association which is associated with NCAFA, but the Orleans Raftsmen are part of the QMFL.

  • Do you play vs. NCAFA midget teams like the Norsemen, Eagles, Giants, Knights, Riders?

Answer: Yes, each team in the QMFL Bruno Heppell Tier 1 Division is part of the QMFL/NCAFA BIG10 conference and will play 2 interlocking games. For examples, the Orleans Raftsmen will play 8 games vs. QMFL teams and then a home and away game vs. NCAFA teams. Therefore, the Raftsmen will play 2 games vs. NCAFA teams and 8 games vs. QMFL teams in 2019.

  • What teams do you play against in the QMFL?

Answer:  Here are 2018 league divisions and teams. Some teams are subject to change this year 2019, including the Raftsmen. Subject to change.

2018 Bruno Heppell Division Teams: Sun Youth Hornets, North Shore Mustangs, Lasalle Warriors, Greenfield Park Packers, St. Leonard Cougars,

2018 Wilbert Scott Division Teams: Orleans Raftsmen, Chateauguay Raiders, Gaulois de Gatineau, St. Lazare Stallions, Sherbrooke Bulldogs, St. Laurent Spartans

  1. Do you play in Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the QMFL and what’s the difference?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen will play in Tier 1 this season in the QMFL and the only difference our coaching staff noticed in 2018 between the Bruno Heppell and Wilbert Scott division was the Roster sizes. Most teams in the Bruno Heppell division carried anywhere from 35 to 48-man roster, whereas teams in the Wilbert Scott division, carried between 28 to 35-man roster on average, which made a difference from a competitive point of view.

  1. What is the age group of the Orleans Raftsmen?

Answer: Players who play for the Orleans Raftsmen must be between the ages of 16 and 17 years old. Players cannot turn 18 years old during the playing calendar year.

  1. Why does the Midget NCAFA teams have 18 years old and Raftsmen don’t?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen are part of the QMFL which is for players age 16 and 17 years old only. 18-year-old players are not allowed to play in the QMFL. Players who play midget NCAFA, must be between the ages of 16, 17 and 18 years old.

  1. Is there other QMFL teams in the region?

Answer: Yes, the other midget football team in the region is the Gaulois de Gatineau, who plays in the Wilbert Scott Division and are part of the QMFL.

  1. What are the registration fees for the Raftsmen?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen registration fees for the 2019 season is $475. Players are asked to pay the $150 tryout fee at registration and once they make the team, they are asked to pay the balance of $325 before the first game. Players can pay the full $475 at once if they want as well.

  1. What is included in the Raftsmen fees?

Answer: Once players make the team, they will receive football equipment such as; helmet, shoulder pads, game and practice pants, game and practice jersey, along with game socks. Players are responsible for their own cleats, football girdle, and mouthguard. Also, players registration fees pay for practice and game day field rentals, along with bus transportation for road games.

  1. Why do I have to pay $54 for OFA fees?

Answer: Each player must register and pay their own OFA fees, which is separate from the Raftsmen registration fees; as the OFA fees is insurance coverage for the players. Each player who signs up to play for the Orleans Raftsmen must be insured in order to be allowed on the field.

  1. Are there territories for the Raftsmen?

Yes, players who play for the Orleans Raftsmen must belong in our territory which covers the following areas; Orleans, Cumberland and the open territories from NCAFA South Gloucester Raiders, NCAFA Mustangs Territory, Russell, Rockland-Clarence Creek, Limoges, Embrun, Rockland-Clarence Creek, Casselman, Glengarry Hawkesbury and Cornwall area.

  1. Where and when do you practice?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen practice at Garneau High School and the Raftsmen have their own clubhouse which is in the north end zone of the Garneau High School field. Players will be assigned their own locker stall, should they want to keep their equipment at the clubhouse.

Here are the Practice times before our first game.

*Note: After Week 1 of the Regular season; the Raftsmen will practice twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30pm to 8:30pm) with 1 game on weekends.

  • Tuesday, July 23rd – 6:30pm        Day 1 of Training Camp  Garneau High School
  • Thursday, July 25th, – 6:30pm     Day 2 of Training Camp  Garneau High School
  • Tuesday, July 30th, – 6:30pm       Day 3 of Training Camp  Garneau High School
  • Wed, August 1st, – 6:30pm          Day 4 of Training Camp  Garneau High School
  • Thurs, August 2nd – 6:30pm        Day 5 of Training Camp  Garneau High School
  • Tues, August 6th – 6:30pm           Day 6 of Training Camp  Garneau High School
  • Wed, August 7th, – 6:30pm          Day 7 of Training Camp  Garneau High School
  • Thurs, August 8th, – 6:30pm        Day 8 of Training Camp  Garneau High School
  • Friday, August 9th – 6:30pm        Day 9 of Training Camp Garneau High School
  1.  Where do you play your Home and Away games?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen will play their 2019 home games at Millennium Stadium and the playing surface is a turf field.

  • How do you get to your road games in Quebec?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen travel via Coach Bus on road games, as the bus company we used last season was Leduc Bus lines.

  • Do you have home and away jerseys?

Answer: Yes, the Orleans Raftsmen colors are Black, Red and White. The home jerseys main color is White with Black and Red trimming, while our road colors are Black with Red and White trimming. 

  • Is there a dress code in the QMFL?

Answer: Yes, the QMFL has a strict dress code and players must obey by the dress code or teams will be fined. Players cannot “skirt” and they must wear their game socks and cannot wear sleeves that are not team approved.

  • Do you have scouts at your games?

Answer: Yes, last season, we had coaches from the CEGEP and CIS schools scout our games and Head Coach Shawn Mayne from Champlain St. Lambert Cavaliers attended our banquet as our guest speaker. CEGEP is a great path for players who want to continue post secondary school and football.

  • Is there a league banquet at the end of the year?

Answer: Yes, the QMFL host a league banquet at the end of each season and it’s a first-class event. Last season banquet was held during the first weekend of February at the Sheraton Downtown hotel and one of our coaches summed it up best, it was like being at the ESPY’s. Check the video of the entire banquet on the website, it was a fantastic event.

  • Do you guys film your games?

Answer: The Orleans Raftsmen knows the importance of game film for players and we have one of the best film guys in the league with “Justin Marion” who films every home and away games. Many players need film to help them get into CEGEP or University and we film all our games from a “birds eye view”, so you can see the entire field. 

  • Do you guys have HUDL?

Answer: Yes, each player will be assigned an Orleans Raftsmen HUDL account and this is where players will find their playbooks.

  • Who are the Raftsmen coaches and Staff?

Answer: The Head Coach is Ron Raymond who will be going into his second season as the Raftsmen Head Coach. Coach Ron has coached at several levels including; CIS, OVFL, High School and is a certified quarterback coach by football Canada. Our manager is Jodie Marion who did a fantastic job in year 1 and we are extremely happy that she will be returning for another year with the Raftsmen.

Here are the other coaches and staff.

  • President – George Zigoumis
  • Vice President of Football Operations – Micheal “Chilli” Johnson
  • Vice President of Admin – Cynthia Morgan
  • Manager – Jodie Marion
  • Head Coach – Ron Raymond
  • Offensive Coordinator – Christian Nalli
  • Defensive Coordinator – Nic Lortie
  • Position Coach – Jim Kearns
  • Position Coach – Rene Beauchemin
  • Position Coach – Ryan MacPherson
  • Position Coach – Paul Ingram
  • Position Coach – Mike Black
  • Head Trainer – Lona Beck
  • Trainer – Luc Barbe
  • Trainer – Rene Beauchemin Sr.
  • Video and Camera Technician – Justin Marion
  • Equipment Manager – Jason Riznek
  • Equipment Manager – Richard Oare

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