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Peewee football comes to Strathmore

Posted by Carl Seafoot at May 19, 2009 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

Peewee football comes to Strathmore

Strathmore Standard, Bill Duke, Editor

As has been the case for the last many Mays, Strathmore’s football teams have taken to the field for spring camp. This year, however, there are three teams running drills, not two.

For the first time ever, Strathmore will be home to a peewee football team, and new coach Doug Klauck couldn’t be happier.

“I think football is the best team sport out there,” explained the coach. “From my own personal experience, the best friendships I’ve ever had through life were all because of football. The bonds kids make at this age are just incredible. In other sports, you just don’t seem to stay together over the years like you do with football. The kids know it takes 12 players every single play to do something positive or negative.”  

Klauck, who has five years coaching experience from his time in Ontario and Chestermere, was part of a group of parents that pushed for the addition of a peewee team to the bantam and senior programs. Klauck and his group worked tirelessly in determining just how much interest there was from the community for such a team. Their findings indicated that there would be more than enough families to make it work.

“We’ve got 23 peewees already pre-registered for the season. It’s better than I thought it was going to be,” said Klauck.

As for the spring camp itself, Klauck said basics are the name of the game.

“We’re getting kids introduced to the game and showing them proper technique so they don’t get scared or hurt. We teach them there are going to be some bumps and bruises along the way. We make it fun for them.  A successful season for us would be getting the kids to come back next year. We want to make it fun for them, teach them the game, and get them to come back. I gauge my success on how many kids we get to come back.”

The peewee team will consist of 10, 11 and 12-year-olds. They will play in a league similar to the one the bantam team has been a part of for the past several seasons.

On the senior’ side of the field, the spring turnout is smaller than head coach Carl Seafoot would like to see, but that’s not unusual given the busy schedules of his players.

“Our spring camp suffers a lot because of other sports, which is fine. Guys are playing lacrosse and whatnot,” said Seafoot. “It looks like we’ve got some good guys moving up. We’ve got a couple new bodies in camp that are looking promising. We’ve got some holes to fill from the graduating class, but it’s like that every year. We’re trying to fit the pieces together.”

Seafoot said that with the peewee team heading into their first season the biggest challenge of the spring has been finding enough gear for all the expected bodies. But that minor hassle will be worth the benefits of having a Peewee team in the community.

“We’ll be seeing the benefits of this at the senior level in five years,” said Seafoot.

Local athlete chosen to play on All Star team

Robert Massey , Special to the Standard

A local football player received a huge honour when he was told he was part of the Southern Alberta All Star team.  

Christopher Reed, a Strathmore Bantam footballer, made the cut for the South Bantam Bowl Squad in the April 18 and 19 tryouts at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium. The team is a South Provincial Grade 9 (graduating Bantam level) All Star team. It is comprised of Bantam players from across southern Alberta who play one game against their Northern counterparts.

“It was really exciting,” said Reed. “I trained for three weeks before the tryouts. It’s quite an honour.”

Reed, 14, is a defensive end who played with the Strathmore Spartans this past season.

Carl Seafoot, SCFA President and Senior Head Coach, didn’t have the chance to coach Reed in his three years in Bantam, however he did get to watch games and practices. He’s impressed with Reed and his past coaches who have helped him learn the game.

“His effort showed in practices and games,” said Seafoot through an e-mail interview. “He was a team leader, and one you could count on to make (offensively) or break (defensively) the big play.  He played hard all year and has been a top performer throughout his time in Bantam football.”

The tryout is by special invitation only with approximately 175 players being asked to come out.

Reed beat out 40 other hopefuls for his position on the team. To even be considered for the team a player must first be nominated by their head coach.

The tryouts are gruelling on the body, with four full practices over the course of two days.

“It was fun,” said Reed.

All their work will climax in their game against the North team later this month. Reed said the game was amazing and he tried not to get over-excited.

“I went out there and just played my game,” he said.

Reed will be moving up to high school next year, and would like to keep playing football.

“I’d like to play as long as I can.”

Rookie Reid & Waterchief Bring Size to Offensive Line
Larry Fisher-Kelowna Daily Courier - 5/5/2009
Size matters.  That is, on the offensive and defensive lines in football.  Albeit thankless roles at times, anyone who has played the game knows the value of those who do the dirty work in the trenches.
Okanagan Sun general manager Derrick Malinchuk was a receiver in his playing days, and understood a sturdy offensive line was crucial in allowing the quarterback enough time to find him or another open man.  Armed with that knowledge, Malinchuk and head coach Pete McCall focused their recruiting efforts on beefing up the line positions. The fruits of their labour were on full display at this past weekend‘s spring camp, as 17 offensive linemen auditioned for jobs, along with some big-bodied athletes on the defensive side.
Cam Reid, a 17-year-old from Vanderhoof, made his presence felt at defensive tackle and turned a lot of heads throughout the two-day camp, despite injuring his rotator cuff and sitting out Sunday‘s scrimmage.
“He stood out, we like him a lot,” McCall said of Reid, who weighs in at 6-foot-3, 275 pounds. “Cam‘s only 17, but, from what we saw this weekend, he‘s ready to start for us.”
Reid was also playing out of position at Sun camp, having lined up at fullback in helping the Nechako Valley Vikings to the Tier 2 provincial title last season. Making a seamless transition, Reid felt right at home at defensive tackle.
“I like it a lot more actually, it‘s a lot of hitting, more contact,” said Reid, who turns 18 in October. “I definitely performed my best here, better than I ever have throughout my years of football.”
Reid was at home in more ways than one. He actually grew up in Kelowna and attended South Rutland Elementary School until Grade 6 when his family moved. And while the Sun liked what they saw in Reid, he liked what he saw in the organization and the city.
“This was a great experience, it was really well organized with great coaching,” Reid said of spring camp. “I‘ve always wanted to move back, so that‘s the plan.  I‘ll be here even if they decide to cut me through main camp. But hopefully, if everything goes well, I‘ll be playing here.”
Judging by McCall‘s compliments, Reid‘s roster spot is likely safe.
As one of the youngest players in camp, he more than held his own against the many imposing offensive linemen, including 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive tackle Kai Waterchief.
Entering only his second season of football, Waterchief is a work in progress, but an intriguing prospect nevertheless. The 18-year-old from Siksika, Alta., played last season for the Strathmore Spartans and possesses the one thing that can‘t be taught size.
“He‘s a raw talent, but he was pushing kids around,” Malinchuk said of Waterchief. “You could not tell that this kid has played football for only a year; he picked it up quickly, he had no problems whatsoever.
“If we can get Kai out here, he could end up helping anchor our offensive line in the next couple years. But he has a chance to start right now, because he proved himself this weekend. He was a nice pleasant surprise.”
Although new to football, Waterchief is no stranger to sports. A hockey player by trade, Waterchief took up that sport at age seven and went as far as playing Junior A with the OCN Blizzard in Manitoba before trading in his skates for cleats.
“I just recently switched to football,” he said. “But I love it. There‘s a lot more collision.”
As for pursuing a football career, Waterchief plans to take it one step at a time and learn the ropes with the Sun this season.
“I‘m here now, so I‘m just going to stick it out and see how far this takes me,” he said. “It‘s a big jump (from high school), and I have to adjust quickly. But they have good coaches here and I learned a lot from them already.”
Both Waterchief and Reid are expected back for main camp, which begins July 10, and they may have more company as the Sun aren‘t done recruiting and said they wouldn‘t close the door to additional linemen.
“That‘s the toughest thing to find at any level, so the more, the merrier,” said Malinchuk, adding he‘d welcome 20 offensive linemen to main camp. “But this is a great start, a good group to build on. (Saturday) our returning running backs came up to me and said ’Mali it was sure nice to go into that huddle and have offensive linemen that were bigger than us.‘ That speaks volumes right there.”

Strathmore Bantam footballer Chris Reed made the cut in the April 18 & 19 tryouts at McMahon Stadium for the South Bantam Bowl Squad.  Chris showed his skills well and put forward a strong effort to earn 1 of the available 40 spots at the tryouts which were attended by ~175 Bantam Players from Southern Alberta.  Chris will attend the North vs South Bantam Bowl, Monday, May 18 12:00 p.m. at Foote Field, Edmonton.  Nine Bantam Spartans were registered for the tryouts.

The Under 17 Southern Alberta tryouts were also held  on April 18 & 19, five players from this age group attended, but no Spartans were selected to go forward on the Provincial Team.  Aproximately 170 players were trying out for the 40 spots on the team.

The South Senior Bowl tryouts took place April 24 - 26 at McMahon Stadium. Six graduating Senior Spartans attended this camp, but the Spartans left without gaining representation on the Southern High School All-Star Team.  Around 200 graduating High Schoolers from across Southern Alberta attended the camp.

All players made a good showing at the camps, unfortunately everyone cannot be selected, congratulations to all players who represented their Spartan squads at the tryouts.

 Attendees:

U17 Strathmore Spartans Registrants: Brandon Doig, Kyron Lloyd, Denton Osborn, Curtis Reid, Jake Yochim

South Bantam Bowl Registrants: Chris Reed, Brady Christensen, Tyson Damen, Anil Karmali, Mitchel Lund, James Nakamura, Nicholas Travis, Andrew Vooys, Cody Betterton

South Senior Bowl Registrants: Russel Warrack, Justin Sinclair, Joshua Atiem, Robby Seabrook, Iain Neely, Erik Peterson

 

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