Upper Canada College has a new hall of famer in its midst.
Horizons program coordinator and CAS assistant Elaine Ticzon has been inducted into the United States Flag and Touch Football League National Hall of Fame for her 21-year career in the low-profile sports, and she’s still competing at the highest level.
Ticzon, known as “ET” by her teammates, was introduced to touch football by some Filipino league basketball teammates and discovered flag football when her coach started to put travel teams together to play in the United States.
“I have had some great teammates and coaches that have helped me to excel as an athlete,” says Ticzon. “The more success our team had, the higher the level of competition.”
The 5’4”, 120-pound athlete has built an impressive resume playing centre, linebacker and safety for six different teams over the years. She’s been a team captain, has appeared in every U.S. national tournament from 2004 to 2015 and has been named to five All-American teams.
“I’ve had several career highlights over the last 20-plus years, but I guess the biggest would be winning the 2006 Canadian Touch Football National Championships in Winnipeg, winning back-to-back USFTL National Championships in the contact flag division in 2007 and 2008 in Orlando, and then this past January being inducted into the USFTL Hall of Fame.”
Ticzon is the first male or female Canadian player to be inducted into the USFTL Hall of Fame. While the hall doesn’t have a building, Ticzon’s honour will forever be commemorated by the plaque and ring she received from the organization.
“Although being inducted is in recognition of my playing time with the USFTL, to me it symbolizes my entire football career — which for the majority of the last 20 years, I’ve played in Canada,” says the 38-year-old George Brown College graduate. “We play a totally different style of football here (seven-on-seven touch) as opposed to what I play when I go down to the States twice a year (eight-on-eight contact flag).
“As a Canadian, I know that we have a tremendous amount of football talent here. I hope that by being recognized by the USFTL, more Canadian players and coaches will follow. We have some great tournaments run here in Canada, but none of them can compare to the magnitude of the ones that happen in the U.S. At the nationals in Tampa this past January where we competed, there were over 400 teams in several divisions and styles competing.”
Ticzon plays in two summer leagues in Toronto and Hamilton. She also plays in seven tournaments, including provincial and national championships, in Ontario and Quebec from May to October. She usually plays in an indoor league in the fall and winter, when she also starts preparing for the contact flag football season south of the border, which usually consists of a regional tournament in Ohio and then the national championships in Florida.
“I plan to keep playing as long as I’m having fun, learning and my body allows me to,” says Ticzon.
“Growing up, I didn’t even know such a thing as touch/flag football leagues for women existed. Right now there are many high schools that have girls’ flag football teams but, once these girls graduate, many don’t know of the opportunities to still play. So I guess I’d like people to know that we are around and that some of the best football talent in Canada is right here in Toronto.”
Ticzon is a second generation Filipino-Canadian and the local community showed its pride in her with an article in The Philippine Reporter, which took the photo of her at the top of this page.