CANMORE – The Canmore Wolverines' strategy for season home opener was simple: “hit ‘em hard and hit ‘em fast.”
“But clearly it didn’t work out as planned,” said Wolverines captain, Colby Thompson, after the high school football team was trampled by the imposing Ardrossan Bisons, 38-2, at Millennium Field last Thursday (Aug. 29).
“It’s a learning experience for all of us,” said Thompson. “Obviously we’re going to take it hard and I’m sure the coaches are going to push us harder, which is a great thing.”
The “disappointing” loss was a tough pill to swallow for the 2018 provincial champs, but they will seek redemption in Sunday’s (Sept. 8) game at 1 p.m. at Millennium Field when they take on archrivals the Drumheller Titans.
“We found ourselves in the exact same spot as last year,” said Spencer Rose, Wolverines head coach. “We came out and got embarrassed by another top flight program last year, so the message is to keep our heads up, get in the playbooks, get in the film and stay in the film and keep grinding and we’re going to come back stronger next week.”
Similar to last season’s home opener, where the Wolverines were blanked 21-0 against the Taber Rebels, the local club failed to score any points on their own accord against the hulking Bisons. The two points up on the board were from a Bisons safety touch in the end zone.
“We know we got embarrassed out here today, so we gotta put in the work – we got a lot of work ahead of us,” said Rose, which was also his first game as head coach.
Grade 11 player Ian Chartrand got his first start as the Wolverines undisputed quarterback and ran the Wolverine's offence team, but he was unable to find a groove until the second half.
For a chunk of the game, the Wolverines offence mainly surrounded the running attack of Albert Reed, but the big and tough Bisons defence gave the running back fits all game.
The Bisons, hailing about 30 kilometres east of Edmonton, were unrelenting on both sides of the field, but there were positives for Canmore in a loss such as this.
“This is the kind of game we want at the start of the season,” said Rose. “We know, this is the type of calibre of team we’re going to have to beat, so we know we have to be sharper … Nobody is coming back to our locker room going, ‘We don’t need to work because we’re the best in team in Alberta.' Everyone’s going back to the locker room and saying, ‘We know we can be the best team in Alberta.’ ”
Up next, the Wolverines welcome the Titans to Canmore. The last time to two squads met on the field last November, where the visiting Wolverines defeated the badland boys to become back-to-back Big Sky League champions. It was the first Big Sky repeat in Wolverines franchise history.