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Spartans have skill
Strathmore Spartans bantam football team looks to harvest skilled players
Thursday September 11, 2003
|Jayden Poirer of the Strathmore Spartans bantam football team looks to get away from a Hanna defender Sept. 6 at the high school during the team’s first game of the season. The Spartans lost the contest 31-1.
Mario Prusina Photo
Strathmore Standard — The Strathmore Spartans bantam football team began the defense of its Prairie Thunder Football League Championship with a 31-1 loss to Hanna Sept. 20 at the Strathmore high school.
The Spartans, who only have four players from last year’s championship team, kept the game close in the first half with solid defence before Hanna took control in the second half.
According to Spartans head coach Ryan Grey, most of the players took part in their first ever controlled football game, which was important to get off their back.
“They did very good,” said Grey of his team.
“A lot of them don’t know what they’re doing yet but there is a lot of skill there and we just have to work on it - we’ve only been together as a full team for three or four days.
“The first half was great…we all played hard and we almost had a chance to score when we were in the red zone.
“Everyone looked good in the first half then we started to get a little tired…we were burnt out and we cooled down in the second half.”
According to Grey, the Spartans lost the game because the young football players were not conditioned well enough quite yet.
However, once that aspect of the game is done, the team will be more qualified to defend its title.
“We’ve been trying to condition them a lot, but we don’t have enough time because we have to coach them on how to play football,” said Grey. “We’re going to have to work on that a lot…getting in shape.
“It was a big eye opener because they weren’t ready for it today.”
Despite losing, Grey was happy to get a game of football under the players belts.
“I’m proud of all the players, they all did really good,” said the coach. “They all tried really hard…everyone of them gave it their all
“A lot of the players love the sport…some are not sure what they are doing, but they love it and they want to get out there and play. The guys are really excited to play the game.”
The Spartans are now gearing up to face their arch-rival Drumheller this coming Monday (Sept. 15) 8 p.m. at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
“I’m sure that they will be down for a few days because we lost, but we talked to them about it and how we just have to work hard in practise,” said the coach. “They’ll be excited and ready to go…they just want to play.
“They’re slowly picking up the game.”
Strathmore Spartans want you!
Prairie Thunder Football League Champions need more players in order to defend title
Thursday August 28, 2003
|The Strathmore Spartans bantam football team wants you to join them in defending their league championship for the upcoming season. If you are 13-15 years old, you can join the Spartans. Currently, the team only has 18 registered players for the new season, which starts on Sept. 6.
Mario Prusina Photo
Strathmore Standard — Small numbers on their field could cost the Strathmore Spartans on the scoreboard this coming football season.
Both the bantam (13-15 year olds) and high school Spartan teams are in dire need of bodies to fill the two rosters for the season, set to start on Sept. 6.
Last week, both teams opened their training camp with low numbers, which concerned members of the Strathmore Minor Football Association (SMFA).
“Both teams basically need extra bodies,” said SMFA member Brett Bastable. “We’re looking for anyone in town who hasn’t come out yet and wants to play football.
“Our bantam team is the defending champions, but they’re not going to get very far with only 18 kids on the roster.
“The high school team has a more respectable registration right now, but it’s the same story there…we have a lot of young kids on that team and a lot of our senior kids haven’t came back and we need them to come out if we’re planning to do anything.
“Honestly, our first games are on Sept. 6 and we need to try to bring a team together, teach them everything they need, like all the plays, in order to play a game.
“We are in a dire need.”
According to Bastable, it is ideal to have about 35-40 players on a roster because, as it stands now, most players will play both on the offence and the defence, increasing the chance for injuries to occur.
Currently the bantam team could use 20 more players while the high school team needs just half a dozen more players.
Despite having just 18 registered players, the Strathmore Spartans bantam team is excited and ready to defend its league championship according to head coach Ryan Grey.
“Most of these kids here have never played before, so they’re pretty pumped,” said Grey.
“I’m looking forward to getting the season started…I know that it is going to be hard to defend our championship (with just three returning players), but my biggest goal is to help these guys become good football players.
“However, I want the other teams to know that we will still be a threat.”
High school Spartans
One word can describe the Strathmore Spartans high school team this season - youthful.
The team is comprised of about 24 former bantam players while the remaining spots are filled by veteran players from last year.
According to head coach Paul Dronyk, he was impressed with the way the new kids picked things up at the opening of camp last week.
“Things went really good at the camp,” said the coach.
“The kids are learning our plays really quick and I’m kind of surprised because everything is new - all the plays, all the defences and they’re grasping it really well.”
However, according to Dronyk, despite the quick learning by the former bantam players, they still have a long way to go.
“A lot of them were in for a big shock during the camp because this isn’t bantam football anymore,” said the coach.
“A lot of them got hit hard and they weren’t getting up very quick…they are learning fast that high school players hit a heck of a lot harder than bantam players.”
Football head coach Brett Bastable fades back – others take the ball
Mount Royal Practicum Student
Thursday June 12, 2003
|Brett Bastable gives team players a hand for good run through the tires.
Sharon McLeay photo
Strathmore Standard — Brett Bastable has been coaching High School Bantam football for the past three years.
This year he is moving down to assistant coach and Tony Tigh moves into the Head coach position.
“It’s hard, but I have stopped working in Strathmore and I have to focus on personal matters,” said Bastable.
He has played football since he was 15 and played with the Edmonton Huskies in University football.
“Football teaches life skills that you can use off the field. It teaches how to work with others on a common goal and achieve success.”
He said he finds working with the kids fulfilling.
“Some wonderful people took time out of their lives to teach me to play. I wanted to do that for other kids.
“When the grads were getting their pictures taken, I had a half dozen kids from this year’s grad class come over and voice their appreciation for the program. My greatest satisfaction, with the program, is to look at the Bantam staff who were former players. It is this type of commitment that builds community and enhances life.”
He knows of three former players who went on to play University football, six have gone to the Calgary Colts and six that play in a senior men’s league.
His advice to the new coach?
“Focus on what matters and enjoy watching young people develop new skills and grow into good football players.”
Bastable will still work with the team on a part time basis.
‘Wicked’ Bantam football camp closes on positive note
Sharon McLeay Mount Royal practicum student
Thursday June 05, 2003Strathmore Standard — The players and new coach Ryan Grey were very pleased with the results of this football camp.
“It taught us how to tackle and run,” said Dylan Randall, 11, who played as an Outside lineman.
Participants described the camp as “Fly”, “Wicked” and “Fun.”
Last year PeeWee, Joel Grossi, 13, played quarterback in Chestermere and at the Strathmore camp as well.
“It was good to learn some plays and get in shape.”
Curtis Silbernagel, 15, is a veteran Bantam player in community football.
“The camp is set up to show anyone who hasn’t played what it is like. If they enjoy it they can sign up,” said Silbernagel.
Silbernagel has played other sports but says this is the one he loves most.
“I just connected on it,” he said. He plans to join the high school team this fall.
Ryan Grey, who was assistant coach for this camp is moving into the position of Head coach for the Bantam team in the fall.
“The camp is designed so anyone can come and try it out. We are lucky to have some veterans who come out and help. I enjoy it because I get to see what talent we might have for the fall,” said Grey.
The sign-up for the new season will begin at the end of August.
There will be a notice in August and interested players can call Grey at 901-1051.
The cost is $150, which includes equipment.
For parents who worry that the kids will get hurt, Grey reassures them that they are as careful as possible and try to teach them proper technique so they won’t get hurt.
The players are given careful instruction about play technique.
“They taught us if you tackle wrong, you could get hurt,” said Kyle Weiss, age 12, playing halfback defence.
“And, if you don’t catch the ball right, you could fumble,” said 12-year-old Brock Niven.
Spartan's Spring Bantam Football camp impressive
Thursday May 29, 2003
"It's pretty good. A couple of the (attendees) played in Chestermere (Peewee). Hopefully we'll get more in the fall. After all, we have to defend our championship title." Grey said during the practice May 24 at the high school. More than 30 players attended the Bantam Football Spring Camp that started May 20.
Grey and his coaching staff taught the basic skills during the first week of the camp including running, catching, throwing and kicking. In the second week, they hope to get in some plays.
The Bantams are looking to have about four or five returning players seeking spots on the line-up. The rest will be new.
The onus will be on the players themselves to stay in shape during the summer months. Practices will start up at the end of August for the season that starts in September.
Brett Bastable, Director of Football Operations with the Strathmore Community Football Association, said the association will be looking for more kids in August and September and will also be holding something for the high school football team (also called the Spartans).
A big boost to the Midget program was the Fourth annual Armour-All National Car Wash (it was the third year the Strathmore Spartans to participate) May 24 at the Hi-Ho Gas Station on Park Lane Drive.
All those attending the camp showed up to help wash cars during the fundraising event that raised $500 towards equipment and traveling expenses for away games.
"We would like to thank the people who supported us for our fundraiser," Grey said. "It was the most we every made."
Bastable also had praise for the Midgets who participated, the sponsors (such as Armour-All who donates the cleaning materials) and the supporters. Vehicle owners showed up in a continuous stream for the car wash.