New Elite Football Academy coming to Niagara Region

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300dpi (2)

New Elite Football Academy coming to Niagara Region

Football in Niagara is being brought to the international stage with the introduction of the Royal Imperial Knights Football Academy. Part of Royal Imperial Collegiate of Canada, this prep school football program aims to attract Canadian, American, and international students who want experience and exposure playing top U.S. competition rather than their local high schools.

Directing this program is former Hamilton Tiger-Cat Jeff Brown, who also played in the NCAA and CIS. Brown has been coaching high school and youth football for 15 years and also owns and operates a training company called The Gridiron.

The school itself football is located in the former Merritton High, which has just undergone over a year of extensive renovations throughout the classrooms and boarding facilities. Renovations are currently being undertaken to improve the athletic facilities for the American football program. A state-of-the-art fitness centre has just been completed, and the next phase of work includes the addition of an athletic therapy room complete with hydro tubs.

The goal is to create an environment where student-athletes can be totally immersed in their sport, without any compromise to receiving a quality university-preparatory education. By providing an intense offseason training program, access to high-quality athletic facilities on-site and getting an early start on summer training camp, the Royal Imperial Knights plan to be competitive against top American teams. It will highlight the fact that students do not have to attend school in the U.S. in order to receive the level of development and exposure needed to earn a scholarship.

With its proximity to the U.S. border, Niagara makes an ideal location for a prep program geared at playing American competition. The team plans to travel across the northeastern United States, playing schools in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Connecticut, among others. While the Knights will usually travel across the border to compete, the hope is to work with the City of St. Catharines as the program grows in order to eventually host home games at the community park in Merritton. Plans also include utilizing the other surrounding facilities; for example, the arena could be used by a girls’ ice hockey team.

Day students are encouraged to apply for admission to the school and football team. Academic scholarships may be available for students who live locally.

For more information on the Royal Imperial Knights, visit Prospects are asked to contact Coach Jeff Brown at or 905-906-2331. For more information on the Royal Imperial Collegiate of Canada, please visit