By Greg Price
As spring makes its way into summer, the W.R. Myers Rebels football team is feeling the fever of a promising fall on the gridiron if a recent spring jamboree in Medicine Hat is any indication.
The Rebels played four games, earning a 2-1-1 record, playing games against Brooks, Medicine Hat, McCoy and Strathmore. With a controlled scrimmage format, it was less the final scores that were concentrated on, but rather getting a look at the skill sets each player had while coaches crafted their playbook execution.
“We gave lots of time for the younger kids to play with set JV times. With these spring games, the defence always has the advantage because it takes longer to install an offence,” said Adam Hughes, head coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels football team.
“But, towards the end of the day we were able to move the ball quite consistently. There were lots of shining stars that got us excited as coaches.”
Interest in the football program looks strong as the Rebels had 33 kids sign up, with a number of players missing that will be playing in the fall that had other commitments.
“The numbers were very encouraging. The main goal in spring camp is to get new kids involved, whether it’s Grade 9 kids moving to the high school team or kids that are trying out football for the first time,” said Hughes. “We had a number of players in Grade 11 and Grade 10 that were trying football since playing in atom and peewee.”
The team will be light on seniors, but there will still be plenty of leadership to go around with Logan McKay an all-star last year, quarterback Blake Bullock and Colton Terry.
“We have some Grade 11s coming up that will be making an impact off and on the field as well. What we saw in the spring was very encouraging,” said Hughes.
A new offence will be installed this year given the personnel that the Rebels coaching staff has seen as the team looks to not put square pegs into round holes for maximum offensive efficiency.
“We have a different style of play and skill set as a group. Last year, we had some real power runners, and so our offence was centred around running between the tackles and overpowering teams,” said Hughes. “This year, we don’t have power runners per se, but we have a number of kids (with a high football IQ), cerebral-type players. We are incorporating the read option stuff. The focus of a read offence is you leave certain defenders unblocked and you leave the quarterback, and running backs make the decision of where the ball should go so on any given play there are three or four different ways the ball could go, and we will let the players determine which way the ball will go.”
The defence was very vanilla for the Rebels during spring as there is usually a gentlemen’s agreement in not being too aggressive for fear of suffering injuries before the fall season even begins.
“You don’t want to throw too much at the teams with multiple blitzes. It’s a process for all teams where coaches want to work things out, where there’s a coach’s agreement that you don’t throw too many blitzes into the mix,” said Hughes.
Hughes noted, the W.R. Myers Rebels football team is always looking for more players, and if you would be interested in suiting up for the team, you can contact Hughes at 1-306-620-3761.