Belleville, Ont.—Efio-Ita Ekpenyong, 18, stands outside of the Robert E. Ladoucier transit centre on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. Three months earlier, he was standing in the same spot when a bus driver approached him about joining the Quinte Skyhawks football team. The bus driver, who was on break at the time, briefly mentioned the Canadian Junior Football League (CFJL), then promptly asked for Ekpenyong’s address. “He said, ‘You know what? I'm just going to pick you up today,’” Ekpenyong said of the brief, five-minute conversation. That same day, Ekpenyong was driven to his first Quinte Skyhawks practice and not long after, he signed a five-year contract with the team despite having never touched a football before.