CANMORE – Sprinting around a dark blue swarm just steps behind, Canmore Wolverines Bryton Kapitza left the Carstairs Kodiaks in his dust more than often at Millennium Field.
The athletic Grade 12 receiver, one of the fastest wheels of the local high school football team, had his way in the first quarter, scoring three touchdowns, and was one of six Wolverines finding the end zone in the 57-0 blowout victory last Saturday (Oct. 1) in Canmore.
The outburst of points has been a welcomed, refreshing sigh of relief for the 2-1 Wolverines after a lacklustre and lost offence in previous seasons.
In the past two games, the Wolverines have lit up the scoreboard for 97 points, more than all of last year’s regular six-game season and one playoff game – 75 points – combined.
“We have explosive athletes,” said head coach Spencer Rose, naming off a list of offensive weapons in his arsenal.
“If we have the time and space and we get the football out to any of those guys, they’re going to make great things happen.”
It wasn’t pretty getting to the feel-good moment on Saturday. After being shut out in the season opener, offence became the team’s priority – which the coaching staff knew started at the top.
The upstart Kodiaks, a new program in 2022, were very much outmatched against the Wolverines, but it wasn’t too long ago the hometown team was in a similar, developing position.
Rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wolverines football program shuffled the deck last year with a young, inexperienced team.
It was necessary growing pains that helped rejig the Wolverines software. Now, just a short time later, the team is showing beaming confidence for the first time since pre-pandemic.
“We had a tough first game against Drumheller, but we’re starting to build together; we weren’t very organized, but it’s all starting to come together,” said Kapitza. “I can see us in Calgary in November, winning the championship.”
Kapitza scored the Wolverines' first three touchdowns last Saturday – a 40-yard pass and two punt returns – opening up a big 21-point lead after one quarter of action.
Jackson Summerhays, Kai Perron, Nico Hornyansky, Dawson Rodney, and Prince Biado each scored a touchdown.
Quarterback Hornyansky threw three touchdowns, and Kicker Olivier Brooks booted six conversions.
At the start of the second half and up big at 43-0, backup quarterback Yoshi Dreger entered the game. He threw a 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth.
“A lot of the back-ups got in and showed what they got going on and that was nice,” said Perron, the team’s all-star running back.
The Grade 12 scorer rushed a 60-yard touchdown, zigzagging from one side of the field to the other while avoiding tackles and making it look easy.
After only starting football last year, Perron was one of the bright spots in the 2021 rebuild season. His dominant play and natural athleticism got him an invitation to a provincial football camp where he was under the hawk-eye of some of Alberta's top coaches.
They obviously saw something in the athlete and Perron was selected for the Western Showcase, a mini-tournament between teams from Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
“That was a crazy opportunity for me and it really helped me coming into this year,” said Perron. “I can help teach a lot of these kids on the team things I learned too.”
To date, the local team has been getting things done at home and they look to secure a three-game winning streak Saturday (Oct. 8) at Millennium Field when an “evenly-matched” Bow Valley Bobcats from Cochrane visit town. Kick-off is at 1 p.m.