Sabres tackle tough competition



After their first week of action in the Mountain View Football Conference 9-Man Football League, the Prairie Christian Academy Sabres are realizing how challenging it is to be an "expansion" team. After an opening game loss to Didsbury 59-13 last Tuesday, the Sabres were drubbed 80-14 by last year's league champion, the JC Charyk (Hanna) Hawks on Saturday afternoon.
Last Tuesday, Didsbury got out to a 39-0 halftime lead before the Sabres got on the board as Ben Schellenberg ran back a kick early in the second half for a touchdown. Later, Parker Schmidt caught a pass from quarterback Kyle Block for the Sabres other touchdown. Alex Binnie kicked the point after successfully.
On Saturday afternoon, Hanna unusual "return" strategy of punting the ball back down the field gave the Sabres the first play from scrimmage. Again, Ben Schellenberg took the handoff and scampered all the way downfield for the touchdown. Alex Binnie's convert made the score 7-0 for the Sabres before many of the fans settled into their seats. However, from there on it was all Hanna as they ran and passed all over the Sabres. Schellenberg got another touchdown which Binnie again kicked the convert for, but the inexperienced team was no match for the powerful and well-coached Hawks. Along with their great offensive performance, Hanna nabbed a few interception on defense, including two that were returned for touchdowns.
Despite the lopsided scores, local football fans were supportive at both games and the Sabres players continued to improve. Head coach Steve Ibbotson says, "We realize as a new team we are going to be in tough this year. However, our goal is to improve our on-field performance each game. In the first game against Didsbury, our second half play was noticeably better than our first half. In the game against Hanna, we made some improvements in our tackling. Most importantly, even though the scores are one-sided, our young men maintained a positive attitude and are committed to learning and improving. There's certainly lots of room for growth and we're committed as a coaching staff to doing that each game."
The Sabres next game is in Didsbury this Saturday before playing Carstairs at home on Thursday, September 23 at 5:15 pm.