On Saturday, Sept. 14th the Warriors Bantam Football team faced a rematch of the preseason loss suffered to the Fort McMurray Knights.
Most teams including the Knights on Saturday are all hype before the game, bouncing a round, yelling, screaming and trying to get in their opponent’s head. Then there’s us. The entire team on one knee, eye’s closed being led through a breathing exercise, blocking out the noise and instead focusing on the thousands of moments that make up one game. The importance of not getting stuck on one bad moment but instead the immortality of one good moment. The value each player brings by doing their job to the best of there ability. The importance of playing with trust and respect, playing as a team and having each other’s back. Echoing what we talked about all week in practice. Most might have seen us doing this a weakness, nerves, thought it was an opportunity, but they didn’t sense the calm before the storm.
We are still learning, still growing but in the game, we were more balanced then we’ve been before. Finding success in the air and ground. When the Knights focused in and tried to stop one thing, we went to another, and another, and another. By the end of the game we had five players with points on the board, six who had the ball in their hands and where able to get positive yards on offense. Its great when we’re able to involve this many player’s, but we strive to involve more. We strive to make other teams defend every player we put on offense.
Our defense played strong, physical and smart. Sure, we bent a few times but never broke. They imposed their will for a lot of the game. They rallied back after big plays by the Knights Offense, picked each other up when a teammate needed them. Ultimately holding back a team that thought they had us pegged. Every player we plugged in on defense did their job to the best of there ability and it showed.
We were not perfect, far from it. I made mistakes, the players made mistakes, but we made less then our opponent. As a team we need to do a better job at maintaining after halftime. Starting the 3rd like we started the 1st. We did not panic when the knights came out of the locker room after half time strong but instead, we rallied and quickly. Finishing the game victorious, 43-12.
The Bantam Warriors next game is Saturday, Sept. 21 at12:30 p.m. vs Camrose at Rudy Swanson Park in Camrose.
-Submitted by Coach Branco