By Greg Price
Spring camp has come and gone for the W.R. Myers Rebels football team and head coach Adam Hughes is already getting excited for the fall 2016 season to begin.
“It went really well,” said Hughes of the two week camp that also included scrimmages against Medicine Hat High and McCoy.
Against Medicine Hat, both coaching staffs gave a couple of series for the junior varsity players and then phased in the seniors later.
“For our JVs, we have a great group of athletes coming up from Grade 9. Our Grade 9s were able to have a lot of success. Mike Sawatzky was playing quarterback and Brett Andrus scored a touchdown. Ashton Werewka played really well, playing for the seniors as well,” said Hughes. “We are using the same defence as we used last year and we are running an offence that is very similar to last year. It was great to hit the ground running and I was happy to see how quickly we implemented the systems, whether they were Grade 9s or Grade 11s, we all meshed as a team.”
The Rebels were able to score at will against McCoy with 10 majors.
“McCoy is in a bit of a rebuilding year, but I don’t want to take away credit from our kids who played really well. We started off sluggish where they scored on their first series,” said Hughes. “We had a bunch of mistackles, and our first offensive series we had a bunch of penalties with mistakes here and there by a bunch of players. But, then we started clicking.”
Sawatzky was once again under centre and the Rebels discovered another offensive weapon in Ryan Mankow.
“Mankow was our leading rusher and he really opened our eyes. He came up late with the team last year where we played him on defensive line because that’s where we needed him,” said Hughes. “But, he’s quite the little ball of fire (at running back). McCoy players were literally bouncing off of him. He’s a north-south runner and he’s a tough guy to bring down.”
With the spread, aerial offence the Taber bantam Rebels were able to implement last year which made the Rebels the highest scoring team during the regular season, mixed in with a tough ground game, Hughes added it gives the Rebels options on offence it did not possess earlier.
“In the spring, it manifested, where we were able to throw and have just as much success as we did running, which is the first time in a long time that has happened,” said Hughes. “We have the athletes. This is probably the most athletic team in the six or seven years I’ve been here.”
For those who were not able to attend spring camp, but would still be interested in playing for the W.R. Myers Rebels football team come fall, they can call Adam Hughes at 306-620-3761.