The Bonnyville Bantam Bandits football club will take on the Cardston Junior Cougars Saturday on Walsh, hoping the capture the team’s first provincial title. Head Coach Dan Jubinville believes the club can take on the best in the Province, “we can match up with any team in Alberta and come out ahead.”
Cardston, like Bonnyville, is a small town. The town is located south of Lethbridge and until beating the best of southern Alberta, the club has stayed off the radar in the Bantam football world. Jubinville says it doesn’t matter who the Bandits meet, they’ll use the same intensity, preparation, and determination on the field. “Our guys should be able to play against them, get some points on the board and come away with the win. They’re going to have to play a hard-hitting, fast-paced game,” states Jubinville.
We gotta be stellar, we gotta catch the ball like we can, we gotta run like we’ve been doing, our defense has gotta do what they’ve been doing and we’ll win this game – Dan Jubinville Head Coach Bonnyville Bandits
The weather will play it’s part in the game, says Jubinville, “the weather is definitely going to be a hurdle. The boys haven’t played a cooler game, the field is going to be a little bit harder, so you’re not getting the same footing as you normally do. We trying lots of things to account for that,” one of those being practicing throughout the week. Bonnyville residents probably seen the lights on Walsh field shining bright as the club practiced into the night most evenings this week.
“The boys, after a week of practicing, should be able to figure out what works for them. What’s the best set for them and what’s the best angles of attack, how to cut and how to work this field,” explains Jubinville.
The other biggest hurdle is mental preparation, says the coach, “if the boys put it in their mind that they can play this game and they can go out there and do what they can do well, they’ll play well.” Other the other side, if the squad has a lackluster mentality, it’ll show on the field, “if they come out not hitting from the start, if they’re overconfident, that’s what’ll hurt us.”
They have to come out in the game, ready, willing and able to play – Dan Jubinville Head Coach Bonnyville Bandits
One of the advantages the club has is, the last two games. the League Finals and the Northern Provincial Finals, have given the Bandits exactly what Coach Jubinville had hoped for, competition. “It was an eye opener and the best thing that could’ve happened. Now our boys know there are teams out there that can compete against them and they’ll have to work hard.”
“I tell the boys, everything you played up until now, forget about it. We’re playing a brand-new team to us, we’ve never seen them before. You have to play the game, you have to be focused, you gotta go in and play the game,” Coach Jubinville says if the boys able to to do that, they’ll walk away with the title.
When you’re playing the best of a tier, you’re playing a good team – Dan Jubinville Head Coach Bonnyville Bandits
Should the Bandits be successful tomorrow on Walsh Field it’ll be the first time the club will take a Provincial title on home field. Kick off is 1:00 pm.