|EMSB AND SUN YOUTH ANIMATOR TO COACH FOOTBALL IN ITALY|
MONTREAL, FEBRUARY 7, 2014 – With his playbook, a plane ticket and a dream, Sun Youth student mentor and long-time member of the English Montreal School Board family, Anthony (Tony) De Francesco will be saying arrivederci to Montreal to join the coaching staff of the Crotone Achei, of the Italian League of American Football.
Tony, a history and education major at Concordia University, began working as a mentor and animator at St. Léonard’s Dante Elementary School in 2008 through Sun Youth. He continued onto nearby General Vanier Elementary School in 2010 and then into his current post at LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent in 2012.
Currently, Sun Youth employs mentors at LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent, Marymount Academy in N.D.G., and Bancroft Elementary School in the Plateau.
“Tony De Francesco has dedicated himself to working with students and helping them develop a positive self image,” said Roma Medwid, Deputy Director General at the EMSB and Tony’s first principal at Dante. “He has helped students build on their abilities while minimizing their difficulties. He has reached many students through sports and taught them important skills and values like communication, sportsmanship, perseverance and working in a team towards a common goal. For some students, having Mr. Tony has been a life altering experience.”
During his time at the EMSB, Tony continued to pursue a career in coaching, serving most recently as an assistant coach with Cégep du Vieux Montréal, helping the team capture a silver medal in the most recent Bol D’Or Championship. Before jumping to the CEGEP ranks, Tony guided the Sun Youth Football team as well as was a Graduate Assistant for the McGill Redmen, coaching a number of star players, such as EMSB alumnus (Westmount High School, FACE), Canadian Football League prospect, and Governor General Award recipient, Robert Ravensbergen.
“It’s all been quite overwhelming. Making the temporary move to Italy seemed like a no-brainer from a coaching standpoint, but having to part ways with the EMSB, especially the staff and student body at LaurenHill Academy has been one of the most difficult decisions of my career,” said Tony. “My last day at LaurenHill will be quite emotional, but I look forward to visiting my extended family upon my return.”
"I do not know where I, as well as so many EMSB students, would be without the Sun Youth Mentoring Program,” added Tony. “So many have benefitted from having the mentors at their disposal, I feel like every school should build a relationship with Sun Youth. We act as big brothers and in many cases father figures to them, which directly correlates to some of my responsibilities on the football field.”
Tony will be returning to Montreal after the European season is completed where he will resume his duties with Vieux-Montreal and complete his studies.
Michael J. Cohen