Stu Nixon's Oak Park Raiders football program: an incredible factory of producing professional football talent
The most popular person in Winnipeg last week not on the Blue Bombers’ roster was the high school coach of three players who played in the Grey Cup.
Stu Nixon, former Oak Park Raiders coach and now a trustee with the Pembina Trails School Division, is in very rarified territory: he’s got former players playing on the Argonauts and the Bombers.
For the last two Grey Cups, Oak Park alumni Andrew Harris, Nic Demski and Brady Olivieri were teammates on the Bombers. After the team and Harris couldn’t agree on a contract, he signed with Toronto at the beginning of this season.
So heading into the 109th Grey Cup, championship teammates were suddenly adversaries.
Who did Nixon cheer for? You’ll have to watch and listen and read his interviews (listed below) to find out.
It’s an enormous accomplishment for any high school in Canada to produce one professional football player. So for Oak Park to produce not one, not two, not three but four star players – not fringe players so a club can say they have a local player on the roster, but genuine stars who play integral roles on their respective teams – speaks volumes about the quality of the football program at Oak Park.
The excellence of Oak Park’s football program under the guidance of Nixon goes even deeper than most Blue Bombers know. If the Montreal Alouettes had won the eastern final and were in the Grey Cup instead of Toronto, Nixon would still have had three players in the Grey Cup.
That’s because Montreal’s starting centre – Sean Jamieson – is yet another graduate of the legendary Oak Park Raiders football program.
And it’s that amazing legacy of excellence, achievement and success that is the reason why every sports reporter in the city wanted to talk to Nixon about his incredible Raiders program.
The final score in the Grey Cup wasn’t what Bombers fans wanted, but Nixon and his Oak Park Raiders legacy of producing marquee football players, came out a huge winner.
Congratulations to Stu, his entire coaching staff and everyone associated with the Raiders football program over the years! What you have accomplished is amazing.
Here’s a sampling of Nixon’s many interviews last week.
CBC Television (fast forward to the 20:00 mark)
Globe and Mail
Winnipeg Free Press