Ravens Booted From Essex

Header-image-Shalapata-2By Ian Shalapata

(WINDSOR, ON) – The Essex Ravens, of the Ontario Varsity Football League, have been evicted from their home at the Sun Parlour School, in Essex, by the Greater Essex County District School Board. In a letter sent to the team, the Board gave the Ravens until the end of 2014 to vacate the clubhouse where they’ve operated from since 1997.

During renovations at the school, the Ravens last year split their age groups between Villanova in LaSalle, while the varsity team played at Alumni Field at the University of Windsor. Now the team has been left without a home due to the eviction notice from the School Board.

“This has been our town. This is where we chose to play,” varsity coach Glen Mills told the Essex Free Press. “I don’t think we will be playing in Essex any more. We had to move out of the school.”

Mills met with the School Board in October but couldn’t get a guarantee that the team could return to the clubhouse after the renos had been completed. Yet the Board wanted the Ravens to kick in money to complete the construction. Then, in the middle of December, an email was sent by the Board demanding that the Ravens vacate the premises by the end of the year.

Where the Ravens will play is anyone’s guess, but they may come home to roost in LaSalle. However, that would mean a number of costly renovations to the field including the installation of lights and the construction of a clubhouse.

“We’ve approached Essex Town Council on numerous, numerous occasions and haven’t been able to get any support there,” Mills said. “The most frustrating part is that there’s no rhyme or reason for this. No explanation. Nothing.”

The Ravens have been a mainstay in Essex for 17 years. The coaches have nurtured aspiring players at every age level, some of whom have gone on to bigger and better things. For instance, LaSalle’s Luke Willson is a graduate of the Ravens program and has earned himself a Super Bowl ring as a member of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

In the meantime, Mills will be coaching Team Canada in Dallas, TX, during the International Bowl on January 30. Canada’s Under-18 National Team will compete against Team USA at AT&T Stadium, site of the Detroit Lions’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys, while the U-19 Team will play the US February 7 at Maverick Stadium at the University of Texas-Arlington.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata

3 Comments on "Ravens Booted From Essex"

  1. It doesn’t surprise me that you would hide your identity. My son played every game, if you read carefully you would have seen he didn’t play the position he was begged to play. If he was given the chance, he would have danced around you and your cult. But oh no, not the new kid, he can’t look better then ours. As for skills oh boy he’s got skills your eyes couldn’t handle, and work ethic hmmm ask him trainner 4 times a week 200% oh oh! Swoosh! Born athlete sorry not many out there. We will send some of our blessings from Gid your way! Since your a hater! Cause all you can come back at me with is putting my son and I down. When you know talent, sorry my boys got it and heart! He’s lucky he doesn’t have the attitude like me cause you wouldn’t be a role model for kids. You would be picking up horse poop at a ranch in Alberta with your good coaching skills (record) says it all! God bless you doll xo

  2. anti-steph | 17 January 2015 at 13:15 |

    Steph – your amazing grammar and spelling skills give credence to your insightful point of view.

    The Ravens have developed several dozen players that have gone on to the next level (CIS, NCAA), as well as professional CFL and NFL levels. Their systems rewards hard work and determination, so apologies if you/your child paid the registration fee (that primarily covers equipment and travel expenses) and then did not have the work ethic, skill or determination to earn any playing time. Given your attitude I cannot say I am shocked.

    Have to love sour grapes

  3. It is Karma for treating kids badly. Begging them to play for them and not playing them in there position, choosing favorities and only show boating there own children and the friends. They take 600 dollars from you and promise you all these this and you come out with not even a pair of socks and didn’t learn a thing but not how to be a team. You have kids gunning for other kids in there own practices. Parents fighting Eachother at games. I have never expirenced a more digusting manner ship and leadership, coaching skills in my life. My child was almost never going to play football again and I would have be very sad cause he has so much love for every sport he plays and that’s not like my son.

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