For most schools, having one alumni player reach the big leagues is a source of pride.
On Sunday, École secondaire Oak Park High School was represented not once, but three times by alumni players. Before wearing blue and gold Winnipeg Blue Bombers Andrew Harris, Nic Demski and Brady Oliveira proudly represented the Oak Park Raiders.
The major victory, the end of a 29 year Grey Cup drought, was huge for Manitoba, Winnipeg and of course the Oak Park community. High school football coaches, Stu Nixon and Chad Mackay took time to reflect on the former players and how they noticed the talent and drive needed to reach the CFL from the very beginning. Physical education specialist, Murray Brown, has been working at Oak Park for 33 years. He too, saw the potential early on.
“With all three of them you knew they had a chance. You really knew they could play pro football. They were special, they stood out,” said Murray Brown, physical education specialist.
To celebrate the championship weekend, the school hosted a pep rally. Students and staff wore blue and made signs to cheer on their famous graduates.
“It boosts that pride. It creates a good feeling around the school. The kids have something really invested and seeing former students do well is good for us all.”
Congratulations once again to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. You have made us #PembinaTrailsProud
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Large group photo credit: Deanna Hinson