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Chaldeans Flag-Up the 30th Official Season of the CFL
By Ray Yono :: Friday, July 31, 2009 :: 62406 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment

Michigan, USA - The 2009 Chaldean Football League (CFL) season begins this Sunday, August 2nd holding their season game opener at West Bloomfield High School.  The CFL celebrates 30 years of community sport service.  This '09 CFL season promises to be one of the more electrifying as player match-ups, rookie talent, and new coaches add a highly unpredictable dimension of excitement and uncertainty. 

The '09 season caps the third and final year of player protection leaving the 2010 season wide open as all sixty CFL player contracts are available for draft.  The change leaves two rookie coaches little time to review player talents or adapt to the highly competitive league.  Coach Mike Zeer will be leading team White replacing Coach Joey Kejbou, who was forced to step down due to required hand surgery reports Commissioner Jonna.  Team Black's Coach Roy Sitto is sidelined with a shoulder injury and being replaced with Coach  Tarik Kama.   "Both new coaches have years of CFL experience and are looking to make the most of the coaching opportunity," said the CFL commissioner. 

The CFL also released a press announcement that Bruce Toma, Scotty George, and Al Abbo have decided to retire this year.  The Commissioner commented that the talented players leave with exemplary records and impressive play.

The Commissioner's preliminary comments set the stage to what is considered the biggest story at the start of the season involving the quarterback trades.  "QB prospect Anthony Ocho Acho as well as Timmy Acho to Red for Stefan Kalabat and Ray gives Red an athletic QB with huge upside in Anthony and a big target in Timmy. The trade appears to be a benefit for both teams as Ray will play the slot position key to Nate's running attack as well as the middle on defense and Stefan will fill in as the go-to guy on offense,"
the Commissioner said. 

As experienced players take the field, the league also welcomes eight new rookie drafts this season with what the Commissioner claims to be one of the more athletic group he has seen. Commissioner Jonna says, "CFL draft picks, Sean Mattia, Pat Kinaya, and Max Sheker went 1, 2, and 3 in the draft despite the availability of some solid veterans.  The rookie class also has its first players from the CCSL which is very exciting for both leagues.  Hopefully the CCSL will continue to feed talent into the CFL with talent for years to come."

CFL TEAM ANALYSIS

TEAM WHITE: 
Mike Zeer takes over this squad coming off a rough season a year ago. Mike took advantage of a strong rookie class by drafting three super rookies with his first three picks. However, White faces the same major issue as last year- the lack of a true QB.

As it stands, Mike Zeer will start the season under center, with Sal Kesto as the backup plan. Whoever plays QB will have plenty of time to throw with Fadi Gulli and Max Sheker blocking for them. Sean Mattia and Pat Kinaya will have impacts on both sides of the ball, and Lance Sitto will make the rush impressively strong.

TEAM BLUE: 
Chris Zeer looks poised to make the playoffs for the first time as coach of Blue with the league's top WR/ DB Tony Attisha as well as the top two-way lineman Dylan Putrus.  Rookie Bret Burlingame will be a nice compliment to Tony, especially on defense.

Brett is the first  non-Chaldean given the honor to play in the league since Jeff Bogden retired 9 years ago.  Pete Rabban rounds out the receiving core and Gabe Zawaideh and Chris Denha will join Dylan on the offensive and defensive lines.

Chris has stated on the record that he will step down as coach if he does not make the playoffs with this team. On paper this is a playoff team, but we all know the game isn't played on paper.

TEAM GREEN: 
This is essentially the same exact team that lost a heartbreaker in last year's playoffs, minus Mohawk. And like last year, they will only have Nolan for half the season.  Nolan will be assigned to med school residency in Chicago leaving Coach Bobby Seman five regular season games (the minimum required for playoff eligibility) and the playoffs.

The fact that he's willing to skip out on his residency to be at CFL games demonstrates he is extremely dedicated to the CFL and is willing to fight to keep his status as one of the league's top players. 

TEAM BLACK: 
New coach Tarik Kama steps in to take over a revamped Black team.  Assistant Coach Chuck Dalou is a trade master and is consistent for another blockbuster a season. 

If this team stays intact, Sinan Abdul will anchor both sides of the line, and JP Namou will be T-Rock's primary target on offense.

Black will need a re-emergence of Ernest Yeldo on both sides of the ball to be their best.   Fearless JK and Mike Toma will be steady for Black at any variety of positions, and Steve Sagmani and Joey Foumia will help with blocking and rushing.

TEAM RED: 
Coach Anthony Toma has been in the final game the past two seasons but come up short both times. Red is a completely different team than last year with the addition of the Showstopper Jordan Rassam and the subtraction of QB Tarik. But the QB void was filled quickly with Anthony Acho, who will also be a lock-down corner.

Red has size and speed on the outside with Tim Acho and Lance Samona. Two CCSL'ers, Dani Jajou and Brandon Shafou, will add youth and speed to AT's always solid defense.

TEAM YELLOW: 
The '08 Champs have reloaded. Led by coach and the league's most electrifying player Natham Karrumi, Yellow appears primed for another run at the Chy Cup.

Karrumi acquired Ray Dawood and Stefan Kalabat via trade to go along with two-way lineman Derek Putrus. New additions Nick "Mohawk" Hermiz, Justin Orow, and Chris Sesi give this team a whole new level of speed and quickness.

If the team can remain healthy, Karrumi will have an arsenal of weapons at the receiver position that will be able to run, catch, and block very effectively.

Rookie Mark Hajjar will help on both sides of the line and Branden Yono will assume his center position from last year.

Rating
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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.