Bantam Cougars kick off season with shutout win

.

Right on target - Stettler Cougars quarterback Jeremy Kirk prepares to make a pass during the bantam team’s Central Football League season-opener Saturday in Stettler. The Cougars blanked the short-staffed Wetaskiwin Warriors 38-0.

JOHN MacNEIL

Independent editor

The Stettler Cougars were convincing winners at home Saturday in their first game of the Central Football League bantam season as they blanked the short-staffed Wetaskiwin Warriors 38-0.

“Pretty good,” Stettler coach Mike Roach said in grading his Cougars’ opening-day performance.

“We weren’t playing against a really strong team, but they gave it everything they had. The advantage is we got all of our younger kids in and they played at least half the game. That really helps to get that game speed, because game speed is so much higher than practice speed. It doesn’t matter how good a practice you have, a game is always at a higher tempo. They got lots of reps.”

Beginning Aug. 22, the Cougars had nine practices over a two-week period leading up to their season opener.

“We generally run nine practices before the start of the season, but we do it over three weeks,” Roach said. “But this year, we did it over two, because I didn’t want to start in the middle of August, because you’re never going to have anybody back (from vacation).”

Wetaskiwin struggled to field a full complement of players Saturday, while Stettler was able to experiment with its 31-man roster.

“That (number) is right about where you want it to be,” Roach said. “You don’t want any less. We’ve played with as few as 22 players, but if you get 30 and up, that’s great.”

“We have a few players going both ways until we get the younger guys (up to speed). We only have (eight) returnees from last year’s program, so some of our Grade 9s will be going both ways until we get the younger ones ready to go.”

Quarterback Jeremy Kirk is among the returning Cougars. The others are Thomas Cassidy, Kyle Froese, Michael Loblaw, Kyle Nims, Adam Standage, Maverick Wilford and Christian Young.

The Cougars are part of a 12-team league. Stettler’s six-game regular season continues at home Saturday with a 1 p.m. game at the high school field against the Rocky Mountain Junior Rebels.

The Stettler Panthers peewee team plays its home opener at 10 a.m. Saturday against the Olds Huskies.

GAME SUMMARY

In the Cougars’ lopsided win over Wetaskiwin, Kirk completed five of eight pass attempts for 108 total yards. His 20-yard pass to Clayton Page resulted in a touchdown.

Cody Calihoo scored a pair of touchdowns — on a 44-yard run and a 70-yard kickoff return.

Cassidy, Loblaw and Andrew Shirley each picked up one touchdown as Stettler recorded 291 offensive yards. Kirk and Shirley each added points via converts, while Quinten Wen had two fumble recoveries.

On defence, the Cougars’ top tackler was Brett Roper.

“Christian Young, Austin Hatfield, Cody Calihoo, Michael Loblaw, Andrew Shirley, Carlie Gendre and Santiago Sierra all had multiple tackles as well,” Roach said. “Russell Steen and Kyle Lawrence led the defensive backs with great coverage and a number of pass knockdowns.”

Just Posted

Our town Stettler: Blast from the past

Stettler’s pharmacy opens in 1904 before Alberta was a province

Stettler Slam hip hop show

Rappers ignite crowd and dancefloor in Stettler Aug. 10

Endiang landmarks torn down

Posed a public safety hazard

Stettler woman facing 67 fraud-related charges appears with co-accused

Crown likely proceeding with more serious charge of indictable offence

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

Vintage vehicle subject of RCMP search

Two Hills RCMP seek to identify owner of recovered 1940’s vehicle

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

The plan would allow for more visitors but wouldn’t let Sunshine build additional facilities

Publication ban lifted on details about Fredericton shooting that killed 4

Judge lifts publication ban on court documents related to the Fredericton shooting

Feds to allow charities to engage in political, but not partisan, activity

The plan is to allow charities to pursue political activities

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

Canadian officials have insisted they’re unfazed by being left out of the discussions

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault on the job

Toronto photographer says he was attacked while covering a protest

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.