Wednesday , 3 March 2021

Voyageurs boast roster of 31 heading into season opener Friday

It is officially football season.

The Bonnyville Voyageurs regular season is about to begin with the home opener tomorrow against the Wainwright Commandos.

The Voyageurs got back on the field last Saturday against Grande Prairie in an exhibition game to shake off some rust and get a new crop of kids into their first high school football game.

Bonnyville won the exhibition contest 23-7.

“We managed to get everybody rotated through the game,” said Voyageurs coach Larry Godziuk.

“We started off the first and third quarters with our starters, but then started rotating kids through and it went really well. Some bright spots, we had some kids maybe in the wrong position this week. On Friday, they’ll be in a slightly different position. Duncan [Critch] showed he can play high school football, he had an amazing running game for the few touches that he did have.”

Duncan Critch is one of the graduating players from bantam this year. He is coming off a tremendous showing representing Team Alberta at the U16 Western Canada Challenge.

The Voyageurs have worked through five practices since Aug. 16 and have bumped their roster size up to 31 players heading into the season opener with some key additions as the schoolyear nears.

“We got another week practice underneath us. And we went into the weekend with a pretty limited playbook. Just because we only had five practices and we added into the running game a bit this week and adding to the passing game a bit this week and focusing on cleaning up some errors and some execution issues we had during Saturday’s game,” said Godziuk.

“I don’t really know what to expect from Wainwright. They have a new head coach. So I don’t know what kind of offense he’s going to run. We’re going to go out there with our gameplan.

“We did have a lot of defensive questions still because we’ve moved some guys around to different positions, so they’re wondering what their responsibilities are. So we’ll see on Friday we’ve learned anything this past week.”

Godziuk is hoping that with 30 players, less will be relied upon to play both offense and defense.

The season opener kicks off at 6pm at Scott Park/Walsh Field.

In other local football action, the Cold Lake Royals will travel to St. Paul to take on the Lions in both team’s first game of the regular season.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.