By Emily Jaycox
For the Independent
The Wm. E. Hay Secondary Campus Wildcats football team won their season home opener against the West Central Rebels from Rocky Mountain House 47-2 on Sept. 6.
“It was a good way to start the year, obviously, with a win,” said Norbert Baharally, head coach and principal at the high school.
Wildcat No. 21 Gavin McQuay ran in a touchdown in the first five minutes of the game.
Things heated up in the second quarter, with Wildcat No. 9 Liam Fitzgerald passing in a touchdown at 11:90, followed by two touchdown runs by No. 10 Noah McKay.
“The first half of the game was very different than the second.”
The Wildcats put up a tight defence in the first half, and the Rebels weren’t doing much on offence, said Baharally.
The Wildcats racked up 28 points on the scoreboard by the end of the first half.
It wasn’t until the start of the third quarter that the Rebels were able to reach the Wildcats’ end zone.
McKay scored his third touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Wildcat No. 65 Colton Ansolger brought in six points on a fumble recovery.
Place Kicker No. 11 Steele Nichols successfully scored all six converts during the game.
In the last half of the game the Wildcats “stalled off and weren’t moving the ball,” said Baharally.
The Wildcats were struggling to move up the field in the last two quarters, only gaining 50 or 60 yards, says Baharally.
“It’s the first game of the year and we’re going to make mistake, we accept that.”
Baharally says he’s happy with the win but moving forward, the team needs to have more discipline and not take as many penalties.
The Wildcats had four interceptions during the game and good takeaways.
The Wildcats started its three-week fall camp Aug. 20.
Attendance was sporadic until school started, as some players worked or were on vacation, but overall it went well, said Baharally.
“I think we have the potential to have a really strong year.”
The Wildcats have a solid core of Grade 12 players and a good set of Grade 10’s who have come up through the Bantam football program.
The team also has a group of committed coaches, said Baharally.
Assistant Coach Bob Sanders is returning to the team after a few years off, and the team has two new assistant coaches, Dwight Myshaniuk and Curtis McCord.
The Wildcats play an exhibition game at home against Fort McMurray on Sept. 14, starting at 4:15 p.m.
The next league game is an away game in Sylvan Lake on Sept. 20.
The Wildcat’s next home game is Sept. 28 against Ponoka, starting at 7 p.m.