In his second championship appearance at the Rogers Centre, Matt Black finally got to experience the sweet taste of victory with the Toronto Argonauts winning the Grey Cup 35-22 over the Calgary Stampeders.
That made up for his first championship appearance – as a member of the Northern Secondary Red Knights. The Red Knights ended up losing that Metro Bowl finale 25-21 to Scarborough’s Cedarbrae Colts in 2003.
Earlier this month, Black returned to Northern Secondary – with the Grey Cup in tow.
“This is where my dreams of playing pro football started,” said Black in an interview on the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) website. “I wanted to bring the Grey Cup back, first to thank all the coaches and teachers that supported, encouraged, and pushed me to set ambitious goals, and gave me the tools to achieve them; and second, to show the students that if you dream big and work your butt off dreams really do come true.”
Black spoke to students about the power of sport, the importance of dreams, the value of setting goals, and lessons that come from making mistakes and remaining focussed.
“His accomplishments have come as a result of a commitment to values such as education, family and hard work,” noted Northern principal Ron Felsen, in the TDSB press release.
Besides football, Black ran track and played rugby and baseball for Northern. He also played competitive baseball with both North Toronto select and Toronto Playgrounds triple-A baseball.
He played youth football with the Metro Wildcats of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL), which plays a summer schedule.
Northern remains a football powerhouse with its senior team winning the TDSB championship and its junior team a finalist.