The “toaster” Michael Jr. has no problem running his opponents down on defence, and then switching sides and running through them on offence. (Courtesy Mike Phillips Sr.)
For you American football lovers out there, there’s an up-and-coming star you’ll have to be cheering for in the coming years, and his name is Mike Phillips Jr.
Being 15 and still in high school, Phillips has plans for his future.
“To go to the next level, play college football and maybe even pro one day,” said Phillips when asked what his football career goals are. “I know that it’s a pretty unrealistic goal, but it’s a goal.”
Phillips was selected to play for the U17 Quebec Bantam Football League Elites and helped place his team in the finals.
Playing as a running back, Phillips only got the ball three times in his first match on July 8 but managed to squeeze a 99-metre run in, leaving the field with a 50-9 win against Ottawa’s National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA), with the intentions of winning their next game versus Montreal-Metro (LFMM).
They did just that. Their second match was played July 12 in St. Leonard at Stade Hubert. Phillips upped his game and scored two touchdowns for his team, scoring on his first carry and his second coming soon after.
The final whistle ended the game with the scoreboard leaning towards QBFL with a 28-5 victory, securing them a spot in the finals.
In the finals Sunday, the boys went head-to-head against Laval Laurentides Lanaudiere (LLL). They stayed ahead by one point after the first half at 14-13, but then lost the game with an end score of 43-16.
“Their defense figured our team’s offense out and shut us down,” said father Mike Phillips Sr., when asked what happened to change the tide of the game. The Spalding 2018 Cup ended with the QBFL in second place, and LLL took home gold.
Phillips started playing football when he was a youngster of seven years old.
“Playing elite football is always fun because the people you play against and have rivalries with become your teammates. So in the end I make a lot of friends from other teams and the experience has been pretty great,” said Phillips.
Phillips also plays for the touch football team at Howard S. Billings.
“I coach the north shore team in the regular season and I’m scared to play against him,” said head coach Stephane Nodan of the QBFL U17 men’s football team. “He plays as if he’s six-foot-two and 240 pounds.”
Both Nodan and the running back coach Terry White told The Eastern Door that the potential in the young football player is great.
“He made the team on his first year, and that’s quite a feat in itself. He would’ve made Team Quebec,” said White. “He lacks size, but he doesn’t lack heart.”
Phillips has also played for the U15 Montreal Region Football League (MRFL) Monstars all-star team in 2016 and 2017 one-week tournaments, like the Spalding 2018 Cup.