TORONTO - The Sault Sabercats season ended here on a sour note but the first-year club will take a lot of positives into the future.
The Sabercats finished their inaugural Ontario Varsity Football League season at 3-5 after dropping a 42-10 decision to the powerful Toronto Thunder at Birchmont Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
While the team stayed in the playoff hunt for the first six weeks of the season, the Sabercats dropped their final three games to fall out of the playoff hunt.
But for the Sabercat players, it was the first chance for the vast majority of the team to play football at a high level against tough competition. While they experienced growing pains, the players have begun to learn what it takes to win at this level and can carry that into next season.
Once a team has developed a winning attitude, that personality will carry on and be absorbed by the newcomers each year.
The Cats were also successful off the field, developing a fan base that continued to grow each and every game. Team merchandise was a popular seller and strong sponsorship allowed the team to flow smoothly through the season.
Team president and head coach, Ross Viotto, who guided the offense, and defensive coordinator, Mark Cady, both did a fine job of fielding a competitive team on both sides of the ball comprised of players who hadn't played together and in certain positions before.
Sunday's finale marked the final game in a Sabercats uniform for Travis McLean, Tony Boniferro, Mike Sullivan, Sean Pratt, Adam Ross, Josh Gauthier, Quintino Dilabio, Joel Aro, Kyle Borgogelli, Rob Allen, Mike Palombi and Nathan Inch, who all graduate.