With a few more weeks of winter left, football season is not far behind, as the Stettler Minor Football Association (SMFA) gets ready with their coaches and trainers.
According to President of SMFA, Desmond Ansorger, the head coaches for the year are Mark Neitz for Atom, Ernie Sherriff for PeeWee and Brian Matchett for Bantam.
“For our atom program we have reassigned Clint Lang and Earl Radford along with some new coaches, Cody Scheerschmidt, Petros Zourpakis, Colton Ansorger and we are still in talks with a few more,” Ansorger said. “Our peewee team has Chad Ponto and Jamie Muhlback from last year and we have brought up Kevin Shuckburgh and Kirk Blake from the atom program.”
Some other new faces to the lineup will be Mark Dennis, Brandon Bond and Colton Ansorger among others, who are still to be finalized.
The bantam team has reassigned Grant McQuay, Gord LaRose, Curtis McCord and Desmond Ansorger, with Tyler Matchett being the new addition.
“We are still on talks with a few more coaches in this group as well,” Ansorger added. “We have some amazing trainers coming back again this year as well, but a few of our coaches have decided not to come back and we would like to wish them the best in their new endeavours.”
The SMFA board has already approved and ordered new jerseys for the peewee team this year and have plans of upgrading the bantams’ new jerseys next year unless they get a sponsor who is interested this year.
“SMFA has a couple new programs too, one is called Put a Lid on a Kid and the other is Light up a Kid’s Life with Football,” Ansorger said.
With Kevin Shuckburgh appointed as the equipment manager this year, SMFA is ensuring that they are well prepared for the season.
“We have a great group of volunteers that have taken the time to come in and help us go through our equipment to ensure everything is 100 per cent good to go for spring camp,” said Shuckburgh. “We have been purchasing new high quality pads and helmets as our budget allows to ensure players are comfortable and protected.”
The Put a Lid on a Kid program has been rolled out as well by SMFA to continue to raise funds for their helmet inventory.
“It’s a unique sport as we supply kids with all the gear they need to play, putting more of a financial stress on a football team than you would find in other minor sports,” Shuckburgh explained. “Helmets can cost upwards of $350 per player at the bantam level and as low as $135 at the atom level. Donations for the Put a Lid on a Kid program goes towards covering the cost of keeping these helmets current and of high quality.”
The SMFA will be present at the Stettler Trade Show and will be hosting their gala to fundraise for all three teams on Saturday evening, April 29.