NL Soccer Association award winners announced
The Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association (NLSA) has recognized outstanding players, coaches and volunteers for 2016.
Jeff Hunt, left, presents the Ottawa Redblacks’ symbol of excellence, a “wood cookie” cut by chainsaw from the team’s touchdown log, to player Brad Sinopoli, who scored one of the Grey Cup touchdowns.
Jeff Hunt was inspired to do something he’s not sure has ever been done when he found out The Western Star was looking to talk to him about his latest success in life.
He wants to show off the Grey Cup to friends and family in western Newfoundland.
Hunt, born and raised in Newfoundland, is all smiles this week after the Ottawa Redblacks eked out a stunning overtime win over the Calgary Stampeders in the 2017 Grey Cup final Sunday at BMO Field in Toronto.
The 53-year-old native of Stephenville is partner and president of the Redblacks, a role that comes under his title as president of Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which encompasses the Ottawa 67s of the Ontario Hockey League and Ottawa Fury of the United Soccer League.
Everybody gets their couple of days to have the Cup, so even while Ottawa has been his home for over 30 years, Hunt thinks it would be cool to bring it back to his roots.
“It’s going to get a lot of profile here in Ottawa so I don’t need to be bringing it anywhere here,” Hunt said Thursday while heading to a meeting in Toronto. “To bring it to my hometown and let everybody on the west coast have a chance to come out and get their picture taken by the Cup … I think that would be something I would love to do and I’m working on it.”
Hunt has focused his energy on bringing championships to Ottawa since he got immersed in the professional sports ownership game. He has a Memorial Cup and a Grey Cup to show for his efforts, and he’s confident a soccer crown will be Ottawa’s one day.
Sunday’s dramatic win over the Stampeders was a day to remember because it came 40 years after the last time Ottawa hoisted the championship trophy.
It was certainly a nerve-wracking experience for him, seeing the game unfold the way it did in overtime.
“The game itself is total misery. You’re just stressed the whole time, but once they dropped that ball at the end, for us to get the win, it’s total euphoria. You kind of ride a rollercoaster of emotions,” Hunt said.