Despite great weather, Saturday afternoon, Sept. 10 was not that bright for Stettler Panthers as they were annihilated by Sylvan Lake Bears 37-0.
According to head coach Zeke Ryan, their opponents played a far superior game because of the 30 players on their roster, only six new players.
“This was an advantage for them as we have 23 players and 17 of them are new,” said Ryan. “This was only the first real game and we lost huge.”
Yet, Ryan is confident that his boys will make a comeback.
“It’s a learning experience for them,” added Ryan. “We have different plays we’re going to try next game, but we have to remember that these are 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds,” added Ryan. “There’s a lot to learn and they need to pay more attention to what’s happening.”
Ryan said that he has faith in their abilities and believes once they understand their true strength and ability to play, they will do a great job at achieving a win.
“These kids are truly amazing and each and everyone of them have potential to succeed,” said Ryan. “They were all outstanding young gentleman and we are very proud of each and everyone of them.”
Cougars score a big win in first season game
Stettler Cougars defeated Ponoka 37-8 on Thursday night, Sept. 8.
Gerson Gamponia, Curtis Myshaniuk and Brett Mercier all scored touchdowns in the first half to give the Cougars a 22-0 lead at half time.
The big play of the game occurred with the kickoff to start the third quarter as Blake O’Conner took it to the house with a 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Starting quarterback Cole Nichols finished off the scoring, after a touchdown by Ponoka late in the third, with a 40-yard quarterback keeper for a touchdown.
“Cole also kicked two converts, out of four attempts, and kicked a 19-yard field goal,” said head coach Ernie Shirreff.
Stettler recovered two fumbles and recorded two interceptions while turning the ball over only once.
“It was a solid first effort by the Cougars but the team has lots of room for improvement,” said Shirreff. “We took 11 penalties so discipline is one of the things we will be focusing on this week.”
The Cougars face Notre Dame in Red Deer on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.