The Bonnyville Peewee Renegades are headed to Lloydminster on Sunday for League Championships to take on the Colts. The Renegades go into the match-up with a 6-1 record, the Colts being the only team that beat the Renegades all season. In fact, it was the first game of the season that the Colts won and the Renegades haven’t lost a match since; including the rematch against the Colts in late October.
“We beat them too, but they had the higher points for and against,” Head Coach Kevin Sartain explains why the Bonnyville boys are on the road for the Championships. “It’s going to be a tough one, a hard-fought game,” says Sartain. The team is somewhat used to playing the second and third lines, while recording blow-out scores, Sartain suspects this’ll be a closer match-up, “there’s no way it’ll be a blow-out game.”
“If we want the Championship, the first string is going to have to play it,” says Coach Sartain, “unless we get some kind of miraculous lead, then we’ll put the other line in. But really, if we want to win the Championship, we have to play the first line. 20-24 kids will start the game and we have a couple of kids, our extreme athletes, that’ll go both way [offense and defense]. The rest will have to cheer on their teammates, that’s what happens when you’re in Championships.”
“The kids that are 12, who have been with us for three years, they’re the better players. The 9-10 year olds, they’re get there, in a couple of years,” Sartain explains watching the kids turn into athletes and grow with the game is one of the reasons he coaches. “That’s one thing that’s beautiful about football, it’s a progression sport. I’ve seen kids not play their first year, not touch the field, not at all. Then their second year, not even half the time they’d sub in and out. Now, this year they don’t even come off the field, they play offense and defense.”
“That’s the best part about coaching,” Sartain explains.
The Renegades won the Championship on the visitor’s turf last year, Sartain says playing on someone else’s field doesn’t worry him, however his goal is to bring the Championships to Bonnyville next year, “that’s my unicorn.”
The Renegades have been in the Championship game since they formed three years ago. The first year they placed second, the second year first in the league and second at provincials, and this year if they are successful on Sunday, the Provincials Championships will be held in Bonnyville the following weekend.
Sartain says his squad has the ability to win Leagues and even Provincials, “if we play the way that we have, we’ll take it home.” Sunday’s game is 1:30 pm at the Holy Rosary High School in Lloydminster.