The resilient Bobcats refused to be controlled by the Bengals as they set the pace early on with dominant offence and great defence in their game on Saturday, Oct. 15 in Red Deer.
The result in the end reflected their grit as they came away with a win of 2-1 making their coaches proud.
“It was a true Canadian football game as the Atom Bobcats tangled with the Red Deer Bengal team in three inches of snow,” said assistant coach Mark Neitz. “The Bobcats had an axe to grind with the opposing Bengals as they took it to the Bobcats in the previous meeting earlier this season.”
Short-handed, but not to be discouraged the Bobcats played a little iron-man football, according to Neitz, and took the rematch with two touchdowns to the Bengals’ one.
“It was really exciting to see all the hard work pay off this year by the players and to see just how much they have improved since the beginning of the season,” added Neitz. “I’ve said all season that our goal wasn’t to win every game, but to teach the kids basic fundamentals of the game and hopefully leave with them a love of football.”
Reflecting the same sentiments, Assistant Coach Kevin Shuckburgh said, “Having the opportunity to play the Red Deer Bengals for a second time this season was a great way to gauge the team’s improvement.”
Shuckburgh added that the boys didn’t allow the snow to deter them.
“The players’ commitment to learning and working hard in practice is really paying off on the field,” added Shuckburgh. “You would expect the cold wet snow with subzero temperatures of minus three, along with our smaller than usual roster to take its toll but the boys stepped it up and played smart, tough, error-free football.”
Neitz said that the boys are in the infant stages of the game, and to see them progress to where they are now bodes well for subsequent seasons as these players move on year to year through the minor football program.
“To become a good football player is to have your teammates’ back and I can really see the boys taking care of each other on the field,” Shuckburgh noted. “When you see this develop it’s one of the most rewarding things you will get out of being a football coach.”
Bobcats have one more week of practice before they play their final two games next Saturday, Oct. 22 in Red Deer.