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The Raider Crusader?
St. Paul’s High School and the Oak Park Raiders Football Club Alumni Association are pleased to announce the 1st Annual Nick Laping Classic Football Challenge. The inaugural game will be played on Friday, September 11, 2009 at 6:30 pm at Connolly Field at St. Paul’s High School at 2200 Grant Ave. The Nick Laping classic will be played annually during the regular season game between the Oak Park Raiders and the St. Paul’s Crusaders.
The game is named in memory of Nick Laping ’61 who was both a player and a coach for the Crusaders but also helped to build the early Raiders teams in the 1990’s.
Nick Laping attended St. Paul’s High School and graduated in 1961. He was the team quarterback and class president. After graduation, Nick went on to play for the university of Manitoba Bisons, while completing his degree in education. Nick began teaching at St. Paul’s in the fall of 1967, but more importantly began coaching the Crusader football team with fellow teacher and former classmate George Dawson ’61. Nick coached the Crusaders until he left the school in 1973.
After leaving St. Paul’s Nick began coaching with the University of Manitoba Bison football team where he met fellow coach and two-time Vanier cup winner Gil Bramwell. As a result of this coaching experience the two formed a life long bond of friendship. In 1991 Gil Bramwell started the first Raiders football season with Nick as his trusted Offensive Coordinator. Nick helped the Raiders to their first MHSFL championship in 1993, but left the Raiders in 1995.
Nick returned to St. Paul’s as the Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations in the Spring of 2007. He helped coach Stacy Dainard with the Spring and Fall camps in 2007 before hanging up the whistle for good.
Nick felt very strongly that the lessons learned from football were some of the most important lessons a young person can learn. Nick remained a great supporter of both St. Paul’s High School and Oak Park Raiders football until his passing in February of 2009 of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
The Laping Family, St. Paul’s High School, and the Oak Park Raiders Football Club Alumni Association are very proud to support the 1st Annual Nick Laping Football Classic.