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Spartans nearly done rebuilding year
Strathmore Spartans bantam football team set to play final game of season
Thursday October 16, 2003
|Kevin Fearon of the Strathmore Spartans bantam team is tackled by a Stettler defender during the team’s final regular season game on Oct. 11.
Mario Prusina Photo
Strathmore Standard — Despite not making the playoffs, the Strathmore Spartans bantam football team had a successful season according to their head coach.
Ryan Grey, the Spartans bench boss, believes that the team can classify the season as a success because of the number of young players on the roster who never played football prior September.
After Saturday’s 30-0 loss against Stettler, which officially eliminated the team from the post-season, Grey voiced his happiness.
“For sure, this season was a success,” said the coach. “We had a bunch of new players and everyone learned the game, they played hard…they’ve all come so far that I’m more than happy with the season we had.
“There was an interest in football and we had a lot of kids come out and give it a shot.
“I knew coming in that it would be a rebuilding year for us and that it would be really, really hard for us to defend our league championship.
“But I’m happy with what the kids did this year.”
Stettler, who beat the Spartans 42-0 on Sept. 20, took a 23-0 half time lead before Spartans defence shutdown their opponents in the second half.
Grey said that he challenged his team to come up with a better second half, which they responded to, allowing a touchdown with under a minute left.
The Spartans had a couple of chances on the offensive end too, according to Grey.
“We completely shut them out in the second half until the final minute,” said the coach. “I told them at half time that they should and give it their best effort…we didn’t let them score (until the end) and we almost did.
“In my mind, we beat them in the second half…if we played that hard the whole game, we would have had a chance of winning.”
The Spartans, who finished the regular season with a 2-4 record, will play a third-place consolation game this weekend against Drumheller (time and location not available as of presstime), a team they beat twice this season.
The team hopes to build on the final game for next season.
According to the coach, the Spartans have a lot to look forward to next season.
“Our kids play hard and they don’t give up when we’re losing,” said Grey. “Next year, we’ll be better. We’re a young team and next year, we’ll be bigger and we’ll have a chance to win more games. I hope that every one of them comes back.”
Spartans show no emotion in loss
Strathmore Spartans high school football team loses must-win game
Thursday October 16, 2003
|The Strathmore Spartans high school football team was eliminated from postseason contention by losing 35-7 to Hanna on Oct. 11 at the high school. According to Spartans head coach, the team didn’t play with enough effort.
Mario Prusina Photo
Strathmore Standard — A poor effort in the biggest game of the year cost the Strathmore Spartans high school football team a chance at the playoffs according to their head coach.
Spartans bench boss, Paul Dronyk, believes that his team didn’t come out with enough effort or emotion in their 35-7 loss to Hanna Oct. 11 at the high school, eliminating them from the postseason.
“The chances are extremely, extremely slim,” said Dronyk of making the playoffs. “We just weren’t ready to play physically or mentally.
“Blocks were repeatedly missed on the offensive line, defence didn’t start the game…they were basically not there for the first quarter, we had bad snaps on punts, fumbles…everything that could go wrong did.
“Hanna was ready to play and we weren’t and that’s the difference.”
The Spartans, who fell to 2-4 on the season, were very optimistic heading into the big game.
The team just came off a big 14-1 win over Olds the week before and was challenging for a playoff spot.
According to Dronyk, the team had the potential to become a good team in the league and he at least expected a playoff spot.
“I can’t say that this was (a successful season), because we weren’t competitive” said the coach. “I expected a lot more from this group of players and a majority of them aren’t competitive enough.
“There are a handful of guys who are, but eight or nine guys on a team can’t play every position.”
Despite a dreadful season of ups and downs, there were some positive things to take from this season.
“The play of a couple of the newer players was impressive,” said Dronyk. “For example, Scott Smith has done everything that we’ve asked him to do and more.
“On Saturday, he carried the ball 21 time and he had 152 yards possession…he does everything you want him to.
“He gets all those yards with basically marginal offensive line blocking.
“There are some things that we can build on for next year.”
And Dronyk has a simple message to the players who didn’t give 100 per cent.
“They have to realize that this isn’t recreational football,” he said. “This isn’t let’s just go out and have fun…this is competitive.
“This is a competitive league and they have to compete every single down.
“Bantam football is designed to be developmental, so kids can play a variety of positions and learn a lot.
“By the time that they come to high school, they have to be ready to play and compete for jobs…not everyone is supposed to play (if they don’t deserve it).”
Spartans in dogfight for playoff spot
Strathmore high school football team in bitter fight for final playoff spot
Thursday October 09, 2003
|The Strathmore Spartans high school football team had no problems taking down Olds this past weekend at the high school. The Spartans, behind a solid defence, defeated Olds 14-1, giving them a chance to still make the playoffs. The team will now host Hanna on Saturday starting at 2:30 p.m.
Mario Prusina Photo
Strathmore Standard — The Strathmore Spartans high school football team is the front runner for the final playoff spot in the Big Sky Football League after a huge win over the weekend.
Behind a strong defensive game, the Spartans defeated Olds 14-1 at the Strathmore high school on Oct. 4, improving their record to 2-3 on the season.
Out of the eight teams in the league, just four teams make the playoffs, making every game important to the standings.
Heading into the weekend, there were three teams with 4-0 records, four teams (including the Spartans) with 1-3 records and one team with a 0-4 record.
“Basically, it’s a dogfight for the last spot,” said Spartans head coach Paul Dronyk. “We play the other 1-3 teams (before the weekend) in the final two games.
“Pretty much, if we win our next two games, we could be in the playoffs.
“We have a slight advantage with another team for that final spot.”
According to Dronyk, the Spartans defense created havoc for the Olds offence throughout the pivotal contest.
“Our defence just played really well,” said the coach. “We were really, really good…we had a lot of pressure on the quarterback.
“They lost their starting quarterback halfway through the second half with an injury, so basically they were playing with their backup quarterback and, from what I seen, he was a young kid.
“We put a lot of pressure on him and we stopped him.”
The Spartans, who lost their first two games of the season to the top teams in the league, have really improved in the last couple of weeks.
According to Dronyk, the veteran players are leading the way and the new players (former bantam players) are stepping up.
“The former bantam players have improved,” said the coach. “A few guys have really improved a lot and that is important because we don’t have that many Grade 12’s.
“The bantam players were forced to pick it up and they’re getting better all the time…they’ve had to battle their own self confidence a bit.
“Losing big the first two games was a big deal for them and this last win has help them out a lot.”
Spartans shoot themselves in foot
Strathmore Spartans high school football team makes too many errors in second game
Thursday September 18, 2003
|Canmore quarterback Cary Bohnet tries to avoid a hit from Strathmore Spartans defensive end Jaiman Chin during the big high school football game Sept. 13. Canmore handed the Spartans their second loss of the season.
Mario Prusina Photo
Strathmore Standard — Despite playing a much-improved game, the Strathmore Spartans high school football team couldn’t find the win column in week two of their regular season.
After losing their season opener because of a lack of intensity, the Spartans came back this past weekend with a better all-round effort in their 41-6 loss to Canmore Sept. 13 at the high school.
According to head coach Paul Dronyk, the Spartans played a much better game against one of the better teams in the Big Sky Football League.
“We were much better (than the first game),” said the coach. “We had much better intensity…basically it was five big plays that killed us, that’s it.
“And of course, three or four fumbles on our part didn’t help.
“We dropped the ball…on offence you can’t drop the ball. On defence, when you have a chance for an interception, you have to catch the ball and not just knock it down.
“It was the big plays that killed us…they had five or six big plays that went for over 60 yards.
“However, we’re here to get better every week and everyday - we’re happy with the improvement, especially since we just played the top two teams.”
After the team’s first game, Dronyk challenged his former bantam players to elevate their games against Canmore.
He said that the new players were not ready for the high level of play in the season opener.
However, the former bantam players came through in the second game.
“There was no problems,” said the coach.
“They were all good and they’re getting better.”
The Spartans will now face Drumheller this Saturday before traveling to Black Diamond the following weekend.
According to Dronyk, the team needs to work on preventing the pass before those games kick-off.
“Passing is something that the defence has to work on,” said Dronyk.
“When they get tired, they can’t just grab at the other guy’s shirt.”
The Strathmore Spartans high school football team had a great chance to emulate the stars of the CFL as they played their second home game at McMahon Stadium on Sept. 15.
The Spartans, who were looking for their first win of the season, hosted Drumheller in the highly-anticipated game. Unfortunately, the final score was not available as of press time.
The Spartans will now head out on a three game road trip, beginning in Stettler on Sept. 20 (1 p.m.). The team will then travel to Hanna on Sept. 27 and Drumheller on Oct. 4.
The Bantam Spartans opened their season on Sept. 6 with a loss to Hanna at the Strathmore high school.
Strathmore Spartans high school football team taught early lesson
Thursday September 11, 2003
|Chad Seitz of the Strathmore Spartans high school football team looks for some room to run down field against Okotoks on Sept. 6 at the high school. Despite this nice carry, the Spartans were defeated 42-6 in their first game of the season.
Mario Prusina Photo
Strathmore Standard — Despite being beaten by a large margin in their first game of the season, the Strathmore Spartans high school football team has a lot to look forward to this campaign, says their head coach Paul Dronyk.
The Spartans, who lost 42-6 to Okotoks on Sept. 6 at Strathmore high school, featured over 20 former bantam players who got their first taste of high school action.
According to Dronyk, it was good for the younger players to take part in a high school game because it is different from the bantam game.
“It was definitely a learning experience for the guys, that’s for sure,” said Dronyk. “The former bantams learned quickly what high school football is…it is not walking through the plays like they were.
“They’ve got to learn that high school football is full speed…our kids weren’t ready for the level of play.
“There were some good things out there, but the players need to crank it up a notch. They have to be ready to play - that’s the bottom line.”
According to Dronyk, the former bantam players have the skills and the tools to be solid players.
The only thing is they need to raise their level of intensity.
“Their skills are okay,” said the coach. “They just have to be ready to play…their size is not an issue. They can play here and it’s up to them to prove it.
“We can only teach them how to play…they just have to be ready.
“They need to go full speed once the ball is snapped.
“They can’t be jogging - there was a lot of jogging on Saturday.”
According to Dronyk, there was also a lot of positive in the game against Okotoks.
For example, tail-back Scott Smith had 17 carries for 111 yards and two catches for 29 yards.
“He was a big bright sort for us,” said Dronyk. “He had good blocking from his fullback.”
The Spartans are now gearing up for their next game, which is this Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. at the high school, against Canmore. According to the coach, Canmore will be a good test for the Spartans to see if they’ve progressed in one week.
“I believe that they’ve lost a lot of older players, so they are in the same boat as we are with a lot of younger players,” said Dronyk of his opposition. “Canmore still has a good football team though.”