Photo Credit: Bonnyville Voyageurs Fan Page on Facebook.
The Bonnyville Voyageurs had a tough end to the season, with a 49-7 loss in Lloydminster against the Holy Rosary Raiders. The loss knocked them out of the playoffs and put an end to their season. Head Coach Larry Godzuik says he was proud of the team’s accomplishments overall and wishes the best of luck to the graduating players.
“It was an up and down season. We had lots of early success and struggled late in the season,” some of the struggle came from injuries that saw four players sat out the last game of the year, explains Godzuik. “We had improvements in all positions in the year. We struggled with consistency. We have to prepare the team better for close game and when things don’t go our way, right away.”
That was the story in Lloyd against the Raiders, says Godzuik, “we were two and out and they punted. We dropped the punt in our seven yard line, they scored. Two plays later and that really turned things upside down for the guys. The guys started doing things they don’t normally do and it just went from bad to worse.” Godzuik says the coaching staff will find better ways of preparing the team for adversity and powering through the game.
Nine players will be graduating from high school this year, Godzuik wishes them luck. “They worked hard. We had some wins, we built character and helped in the community. Some of our guys are helping coach with the Renegades. We have more wins than what happens on the scoreboard.” Godzuik says the goal of the Bonnyville Amateur Football Association is to produce well-rounded citizens, who are able to move on from high school football with the foundations necessary to lead a good life. “Hopefully, the grade 12s can take some of the [lessons] we taught throughout the year and use that to be helpful in life.”
Coach Godzuik’s daughter Miriam, or Murm as the team calls her, worked as the team’s trainer, will also be moving on. “She really did a good job. She took [her position] quite personally. She had been to the city and took a sports trainer and taping course twice. She really cared about the guys,” Miriam plans to continue her education in nursing, following high school. “When the guys were injured, she’d come straight to me and tell me that she didn’t think they should play anymore. I trusted her advice and most times it was absolutely correct.” Godzuik says the whole team is going to miss her on the sidelines, “over the years we’ve had people come and help out. We’ve had her for a solid three years. She does a few things behind the scenes that help make our jobs easier.”
The Voyageurs thank the fans for their continued support, “we had really good support, considering we’re just a high school football program. We want to thank our fans and the community.” Walsh Field underwent a major renovation, “we want to thank the many businesses and financial sponsors that helped make that possible.”
“I really hope [Walsh Field] becomes a centerpiece for the whole community; for lacrosse, soccer, track & field. That everybody can use. Certainly, it’s there for us to use for football, but I hope it becomes a gathering place for the whole community.” Coach Godzuik thanks the community for their support throughout the 2017 season.