Voyageurs take Athabasca with a Big Win

Every player saw time on the field

“It was an unfortunate, lopsided win,” says Head Coach of the Bonnyville Voyageurs, Larry Godzuik of the teams game versus the Athabasca Pacers. Coach Godzuik would not reveal the score, just stating is was a big win. The Wheatland Football League official website did not have the score posted simply stating that the game was “completed”.

As Coach Godzuik explains the Pacers are in a rebuilding stage of their program and were missing many players due to hockey tryouts. Unfortunate perhaps for the Pacers, but fortunate for some of the Voyageur who typically don’t see as much time on the field. Coach Godzuik confirms that he was able to put in all the players throughout the game.

“Number 25 Evan Poole, had his first two High School football touchdowns ever,” Coach Godzuik says Poole has been waiting a long time to get those babies, “he’s in grade 12, so he’s waited a long time. He’s been really patient.” There’s were a few other beauty plays that Coach Godzuik was quite proud of, “Zachary Hesson had an interception return for a touchdown; it’s been quite awhile since we’ve had one of those. That was a big play for him.”

When facing a team that is on the rebuilding stage or isn’t able to dress key players, like the Pacers, the Voyageurs try to remain classy, says Coach Godzuik. “We did our best to try not to score that often. Coach Burton struggles to draw players in Athabasca; it’s a hockey community. He found out on Wednesday that four of his best players were going to hockey tryouts, instead of the game.” Godzuik says he touched base with the Athabasca coach prior to the game and was aware of the situation. Along with absent players, the Pacers were also missing some teammates due to injuries. “They only had 20 players dressed, it makes for a long game.”

“We really hoped to keep the score lower than it was, but it’s just the way that it worked out,” Coach Godzuik explained that some of his top players rode pine to allow other, less experienced players in the game. Two top scorers, Reid Skrypichayko and Evan Fritzler were on the field to help the younger players with game plays, and hardly played any offense, says Coach Godzuik.

“We tried to work on areas of our game, that we need to be better at,” Coach Godzuik says the club took the opportunity to try out kicking plays.

Heading into a rivalry game against the Cold Lake Royals this Friday, the Voyaguers will take the week practice to “clean up our game,” says Coach Godzuik. “We weren’t dirty, or outside the rules in any way; but we have some blocking issues we have to fix and we had some receivers drop the football. We can’t have that happen. So we’re just going to continue to try to clean up our play.” Historically, the Voyageurs haven’t had the best luck against the Royals; however, Bonnyville has taken Cold Lake three of the last four times they’ve met.

Game time in Cold Lake is 4:30 pm on Friday, September 30th.