Local football teams back out on the field
After months of waiting, two local high school football teams in Airdrie are back out on the field as they look to capture a championship after falling just short one year ago.
As the Bert Church Chargers football team kicked off its training camp on Aug. 26, the enthusiasm of starting a new Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) season was easy to see on Head Coach Andy Kirk’s face.
“It’s always an exciting time to see who is going to come in to play and where we are going to be with the team,” Kirk said. “Everyone in the league is always hoping for good things, and we hope to grow in all aspects of our team.”
After winning the Tier II bronze-medal game last season with a 12-8 triumph over the Chestermere Cowboys, the Chargers will have a younger squad this year after a number of players graduated last year.
“We’re going to be a pretty raw team to start off the season, but we expect things to improve as the season goes along,” Kirk said. “Every year, we usually have some surprises when it comes to who replaces those players who have graduated, which is always nice to see.”
The Chargers will travel to Cochrane for the pre-season jamboree event on Sept. 6 at 3:30 p.m. the main focus during the team’s practice sessions will be on fundamentals.
“We need to take the basic steps first before we can branch out,” Kirk said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of plays you run on offence or defence if you can’t execute them.”
George McDougall Mustangs
While Kirk is preparing for another season on the sidelines, the George McDougall Mustangs have a brand new head coach leading them into battle.
Nolan Rohl, who served as the Mustangs’ offensive line coach for the last four seasons, will be the new head man for the team after former bench boss Brent Legault became the assistant principal at Chestermere High School.
“I’m really excited about it,” Rohl said. “I already had experience with being a head coach for the Peewee and Atom programs here, so it feels like I am just wearing another hat instead of taking a step up.”
The Mustangs are coming off of a trip to the RVSA Tier II championship game last fall, where they came out on the losing end of a 27-0 decision to the Springbank Phoenix.
As his squad looks to get into the provincial tournament this season, Rohl will be changing the look of the Mustangs offence from its traditional formation.
“It still works the same way, but we will be running about 90 per cent of our offence out of the shotgun formation,” Rohl said. “A number of our key players have been here for a number of years, such as our halfback Josh Duazo and wide receiver Phil Hallett, so we should get up to speed quickly.”
The Mustangs started its training camp on Aug. 23, with the offensive and defensive units already going head-to-head with one another as soon as they took to the field.
“We have a very strong roster this year with a lot of returning veterans, and we look to have a lot of talented players all over the field,” Rohl said. “Our goal and expectation is to go for gold this year, and I think we will have a very good shot at it.”
The Mustangs will open up their season at East Lake Athletic Park on Sept. 13 at 4:30 p.m. when they will take on Springbank in a rematch of last year’s Tier II title game.
The Chargers will also start off their campaign on Sept. 13, as they travel to Chestermere for a 7:30 p.m. contest with the Cowboys.
The RVSA regular season will officially get underway on Sept. 10, when Cochrane will entertain the Bow Valley Bobcats at 4:30 p.m.