skip navigation
Title of the document !!! FALL Registration is now OPEN!!! for players born 2011-2016

Coaches plus teamwork equals U14 Hamilton Jr. Ti-Cats success for Karsten Kumar

HAMILTON, Ontario — When 13-year-old Karsten Kumar decided to try out for tackle football with the U14 Hamilton Jr. Ti-Cats this year, he never dreamed he’d end up making the starting line-up. Although he has previously participated in hockey, basketball, volleyball and touch football, this was his first foray into tackle, so his success with the Jr. Ti-Cats is truly impressive.  “Making the starting line-up in my first year was pretty exciting for me,” says Karsten. “My next goal will be to make the junior football team when I get to high school next year. If I’m successful, I hope that will be an opportunity to play at the university or college level.”  One of Karsten’s biggest focus areas this year will be playing a consistently strong game, week after week.  “I’ve found the way to make this happen is just practicing relentlessly the same plays and drills over and over again,” he says.  Karsten plays the position of linebacker on the Jr Ti-Cats and has nothing but positive things to say about.  “I love the rush and intensity of contact sport. I’ve also always really enjoyed team sports,” he adds. “Your team becomes your family and you can always count on your team mates both on and off the field.”

For Karsten — who enjoys hanging out with his friends playing video games, going to the movies, or to the mall when not on the field — being part of a team has also taught him some valuable skills.  “Making plays in football is all about every player knowing their role in the play. If one player makes a mistake, it can mess-up the entire play,” he says. “This game has taught me that communication and team work is everything if you’re going to be successful.”  The game has also helped him face some fears head on and overcome any problems he encounters both on and off the field.  “When I first started, I was a bit nervous going out on the field for the first time. I let the other team get in my head and intimidate me a bit,” he says. “I realized I had to put that out of my head, have more confidence in myself and just bring my best game. Now I just love getting on the field and instead of being nervous, I’m excited.”

As with all athletes, Karsten has some pregame rituals he follows, including “getting into the zone” by listening to music to hype everyone up, as well as a chant the entire team does on the field right before the game starts.  Of course, no team is successful without great coaches, and Karsten has learned some valuable lessons from his.  “One thing my coach always says that sticks with me is that the hardest player you’ll ever face is yourself. I try to keep that front and centre in my mind every time I step on the field,” he says. “I’ve been really lucky to have some amazing coaches. I want to give Coach Vinny and Coach Max a shout-out. They have really helped me become a better player this year.”


Hamilton Football Association (HFA)

The HFA is a non-profit organization supporting minor football in the greater Hamilton Area.  The league’s objectives are to demonstrate and inspire integrity, character, fair play and sportsmanship among our young players.

HFA works hard to provide athletes, ages 19 and under in our region the opportunity to play football where they can develop their skills and fitness.

Our emphasis is on teaching football fundamentals and understanding fair play while competing at the highest levels.

HFA was the first "Safe Contact tackling" association in Canada.