Wildcats learn lessons in losing football season

William E. Hay Wildcats of Stettler completed a winless record after getting blanked 33-0 in Stettler by Sylvan Lake Lakers on Oct. 16 to close out the 2009 season in the Central Alberta High School Football League.

The driving force - Josh Meyer carrying the ball in yet another effort to score in the last game of the season. Meyer was the strongest offensive player of the Wildcat line-up throughout the season.

William E. Hay Wildcats of Stettler completed a winless record after getting blanked 33-0 in Stettler by Sylvan Lake Lakers on Oct. 16 to close out the 2009 season in the Central Alberta High School Football League.

Ranked No. 3 in Tier 3 in the province, Sylvan Lake logged five touchdowns in the game and led 20-0 at halftime.

This season the Wildcats finished with no wins, seven losses and one tie.

“It was disappointing that we couldn’t give Sylvan Lake a tougher game,” said head coach Norbert Baharally, completing his 22nd year of coaching.

“Over the last four or five seasons, we’ve had a good rivalry with Sylvan Lake and each one of us has won the league championship.“

With 22 committed players dressed for the game, the coach was impressed with their determination, despite the dismal record.

“I thought we played a good game,” said Baharally.

“Our guys didn’t quit and they put in a great effort.”

“I admire them for not giving up on themselves and the team,” said Baharally.

Josh Meyer again was the offensive spark, rushing 25 times for 144 yards.

Offensively, the Wildcats were outplayed as 300 yards with Sylvan Lake registered 460 yards.

Wildcat quarterback Dustin Dayman threw for 91 yards, while the Lakers tossed the ball for 201 yards.

On the ground, the Lakers outran the Wildcats 259 to 209.

Despite the losing record, the players learned many skills about life, said the coach.

“It’s not about winning and losing,” said coach Baharally.

“We’re trying to teach the young men other things like lifeskills.”

With just seven Grade-12 players on the team this year, the Wildcats appear to have a brighter future.

“It looks promising for next year with a quarterback with one year’s experience, a good core of Grade-9s coming up and we’ll be good for the next two years,” said Baharally.

He and the rest of the coaching staff will be gunning to return to the provincial playoffs to add to the school’s illustrious history and reputation.

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