Rage football taking off
If it’s 40-6 win against the Pincher Creek Mustangs, Oct. 13, is any indication, the Rocky View Rage AAA football team’s first season has been a success.
“It’s been going quite well,” said Rage Head Coach Paul Netzband. “A third of the team hasn’t played football before, so it’s a lot of learning for them and some of those players are in key positions, like middle lineback, fullback and quarterback. We’re a young team, but we’ve done quite well.”
Netzband said when the team started with camp in June, it drew between 15 and 20 kids and they’ve added more players as the season has gone on, but what surprised them was the amount of players who were new to football. He’s also pleased with how the players have taken to the game and the commitment level.
“In many cases, we have first-year players who have quit other sports to play for us,” he said. “They don’t want anything to get in the way of them playing football. They’re all very engaged, even the parents. When a player is smiling at the end of the game or practise, it makes mom and dad happy. When players just want to play football, it’s a testament to the sport and what we’re doing.”
The win against Pincher Creek has the team at 2-2 with its two losses to Lethbridge and Lacombe teams, but Netzband said all the games have been a good test for them and have acted as an audition for the team to enter the Central Alberta Football League.
“That’s their way of taking a look at teams that are requesting to be part of their league,” he said. “Both Lethbridge and Lacombe are good teams and have been to provincials, so we’re using it as a test point for what we’re attempting to do with our teams and to keep on par with the provincial-level play.”
The last few weeks of the season have the team playing in a jamboree tournament in Magrath, Oct. 27, as well as games against teams from Lethbridge and Innisfail. Netzband is hoping for consistency the rest of the way.
“It’s a big reward when you can see a team come out and be consistent,” he said. “I hope we continue to have invested players in the game. So far they’ve had a blast and it’s been a lot of fun for everyone.”