Friday , 23 April 2021

Voyageurs Season Ends with Tough Loss in Lloyd

Bonnyville short a touchdown in 21-15 loss to Lloyd Comp

“They prepared really well,” Head Coach of the Bonnyville Voyageurs says the Friday afternoon match was a fairly even-played game, that “at the end of the day we just didn’t execute out plays very well.” It was a tough, 21-15, loss for the Voyageurs, who have been having one of their best seasons in many years, to suffer to the Lloydminister Composite High School Barons.

“Ultimately, we made too many mistakes to win the game. When you’re playing against the better teams in the league, you can’t make those mistakes,” the mistakes added up to a season ending loss against Lloyd Comp, says the coach. “The guys played hard, there was never any question about effort; the guys are always working hard. Nobodies lazy out there.” Coach says it was just a matter of two tough teams battle each other and Lloyd prevailed.

“One of the most noticeable players on the field was Matthew Nahirniak. He had an interception and a couple key knock downs,” Coach Godzuik says there were a number of players who stood out in the game. “Cameron Zelisko had another good game. Reid Skrypichayko played hard and our two Grade 12 offensive linemen, Kole Malishewski and Arrien Gerlach, had really strong games.”

Voyageurs Quarterback Silas Fagnan holds the Wheatland Football League record for passing yards (855). The 16 year old still has some years at high school football to develop says the coach, “his inexperience at the high school level showed a little bit. On the other hand, he did an excellent job carrying the ball. He scored both our touchdowns. He had some running plays that he was involved in that gained some yards on.” Coach Godzuik says next year Fagnan will have some more experience at the high school level and he’s looking forward to helping develop the young QB’s football career.

Only losing eight guys to Grade 12 graduation is a blessing in some ways, says the coach. In other years 15 or more players will move on and with the strong foundation of the Bonnyville Amateur Football Association Coach Godzuik is expecting some really strong players coming up from Bantams. “It is a benefit, we have a good group of Bantams coming up,” at the same time, there will be some adjusting and development needed. “We have a large core of young players coming up and they’ll have to adjust their game to a harder game. It’s a challenge every year to bring them up; but I’m looking forward to it.”

“We had a fairly young team, with only eight Grade 12s,” as the coach explains it was a difficulty for the squad facing teams with more veterans, “we’d be facing fresh guys all the time, where we have seven or eight guys on offense and defense. So every time they switch off to defense, they’re putting eleven new guys on, coming off the bench, fresh and ready to go. It’s tougher – not impossible – to compete when you have to deal with fresh bodies.”

“They should be proud of themselves. It’s been a long time since we’ve made it to the league semi-final. We had a pretty successful year,” the coach says he’s proud of what the squad accomplished this season. “I’d rather it not have ended, but there were a lot of personal successes.” The Voyageurs were on one of their best seasons yet, having lost only one game in the regular season to the other Lloydminister team, the Holy Rosary Raiders. The Raiders defeated the St. Paul Lions on Friday and will be meeting the Barons in the finals next weekend. The winner will move onto Provincials.

“We talked for the last couple of years about changing the culture of the team and getting more guys who are committed to working the off-season; because that’s what starts right now. Their training for football has to happen in the off-season. That’s when they’ll get stronger and faster, so they can come into the season better than they were last year.”

Coach Godzuik says the community support, the parents and fans have been tremendous throughout the season. “It’s been a fantastic year, again. We had volunteers that helped run the concession and volunteers the host the post-game meal. We’ve had several sponsors step up, not just for the Voyageurs, but for the whole program. That’s what make the little things run around the field. We thank them for their support.”

Coach Godzuik will be leading the Bonnyville Yellow Jackets Track Club which gets started next week. He encourages any athletes looking to advance in their sport to join. Or any kid/teen looking to participate in track to contact him at 780-812-8925.



About Jena Colbourne