A strong showing for Team Ontario at the Football Canada Cup in July has earned Napanee’s Braden Hart a spot on Canada’s U18 national team.
Hart was the Ontario’s lone linebacker named to Canada’s 40 man roster, which will take on the United States in the 2019 International Bowl in January.
“I was just going through social media actually and saw it was there,” Hart said of the roster. “I was like, ‘I wonder who they chose for linebacker?’ so I was just swiping through. I had to double check to make sure it was me.”
Sure enough Hart had indeed been named to the national team. Though he has experience playing at a high level will representing Ontario, this will mark his first time suiting up for entire country.
The exact date and venue for the series is yet to be determined, though Hart suspects it could be AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
“You’ll wake up, eat breakfast, go to meetings, go to practice, have another meeting then have another practice,” Hart said of what his week will be like leading up to the one game showdown. “There’s no free time. It’s almost like being in a university program.”
He’s hoping to absorb as much as he can while with Canada’s coaching staff.
“I always try to learn something from a coach, whether it be zone drops, man coverage, gaps to take for run games, just try to learn something,” said Hart.
Football has long been a way of life for Hart, having attended Ottawa’s Football North academy for two years, where his team played schools throughout the United States before returning to NDSS and playing for the Golden Hawks for this year.
He’ll continue the Hawks’ KASSAA season and then begin to gear up for the showcase. Though details of the game are still being finalized, it will be streamed online at FootballCanada.com.