The WCHS Sabres football program dates back to 1953. Over the decades there have been some powerful and successful teams. From 1954 to 1958 the Sabres had a run of five consecutive league championships and from 1975 to 2006, the Sabres teams won 10 league championships. To date, the 2006 WCHS Sabres Football team is the most successful WCHS football team. This football team not only won the league championship but became the first and only WCHS football team to win the provincial championship. The 2006 Sabre’s season was perfect with a 12-0 win-loss record. Besides being champions the fellows on this team were dedicated and hard-working athletes. They showed commitment, leadership, mental and physical toughness and were great ambassadors of Wetaskiwin. Their accomplishments and attributes make the members of this team worthy of induction into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame.
The 2006 Sabres played six league games in the Central Alberta High School Football League that was comprised of nine teams. In 2005, the Sabres had lost in the league finals and the provincial semi-finals and among the returning coaches and players the sting of the season-ending defeats carried over into the 2006 season. They pledged to complete “Unfinished Business” and this phrase became the team’s slogan during the 2006 season. The first game of the season was held on Sept 8. The Sabres won the game 40-10 over the visiting Lacombe Rams and it was the start of and set the tone for a dominating year for the Sabres.
During the 2006 season, the Sabres performed in a powerhouse manner. They won every regular season game overwhelming their opposition by scoring an average of 44.7 points per game and limiting scoring against them to an unbelievable average of 6.7 points per game. The Sabres led the league in all categories; offence, defence, and special teams. They had the highest average and totals on offence in rushing, pass receiving and pass completion. The stats for points against shows the strength of the defence.
In the league semifinal the Sabres defeated the Settler Wildcats 21-7 and in the league finals against the H.J. Cody Sylvan Lake Lakers the Sabres won 43-14. Led by the offence and very strong play by the defense, the Sabres dominated the game after the first quarter. It was a satisfying victory to defeat the team which had defeated them the year previous.
Playing at Norm Brown Field in the Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA) Tier III Provincial quarter-final the Sabres won over the St. Paul Regional Lions of the Wheatland League 37-0. In the semi-final game played at Foote Field at the U of A against the Holy Trinity Trojans of the Metro Edmonton League the Sabres were victorious with a 31-7 win.
The Provincial Finals saw the Sabres pitted against the Cochrane Cobras. Prior to 2006, the Cobras were four-time consecutive Tier III Alberta Champions and formidable opponents. The final was played on an icy, snow covered Norm Brown Field. The final score was Sabres 15 and Cobras 10 and the Sabres became Provincial Champions. With the undefeated season the Sabres removed the “Un” letters in their season-long slogan to read “Finished Business”.
The 2006 team record was an incredible achievement and very deserving of recognition. These young men left a legacy that WCHS teams continue to strive to emulate.
The Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner will take place on Saturday, April 7 at the Best Western Wayside Inn Banquet Room in Wetaskiwin. Invitations are open to everyone and banquet tickets are available for purchase at the Encompass Credit Union in Wetaskiwin The deadline for purchasing tickets will be March 30. For further information about the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame, check out www.wetaskiwinsportsfame.com.