Football season begins for Carlton Crusaders

Kristen
Kristen McEwen
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The Carlton Comprehensive High School Crusaders senior football team will be practicing all week in preparation for their controlled scrimmage games in Saskatoon on Friday.

The Carlton Crusaders began their second day of practice with hurdles and tackling at the Max Clunie Field at Prime Ministers Park on Tuesday afternoon.

According to coach Rylan Michalchuk, the about 90 per cent of the team are returning players.

“We were able to run a scrimmage at the end of practice, we have a lot of veteran guys on our team,” Michalchuk said. “We’re getting the reps in early which is going to help us out.”

The Crusaders are in a tough league, facing teams such as Saskatoon’s Tommy Douglas Collegiate and the Moose Jaw Peacocks. Carlton will be facing both of these teams this Friday in Saskatoon.

The Crusaders will be playing three controlled scrimmage games. Only the offensive and defensive lines will be on the field, where they will make about 20 to 30 plays against each team.

Approximately 30 out of the 40 kids on the team are veterans.

“There’s a couple of kids that are going to play some big roles on both offense and defense for us,” Michalchuk said.

Ryland Gibb and Tanner Pedersen both played with Saskatchewan White at the 2014 U18 Canada Cup in Saskatoon this past July.

“They’re polished and they’re in great shape and they’re ready to go,” Michalchuk said.

Both athletes got their start in football with the River Riders program, which gave them an edge in high school.

In addition to some veteran players, the Crusaders acquired a new quarterback this year.

“We’ve got a new quarterback this year that we’re really excited about,” Michalchuk said. “He’s a really athletic kid. His name’s Peyton Cyr. We’re excited to have him under the centre.”

The coach added that there are some third year starters on the team’s o-line, including Kyle Deibert and Matthew Lavallee.

“They’re big and they’re athletic so hopefully they’re going to be able to control the line of scrimmage,” he said.

The Crusaders are hoping the scrimmages on Friday will help the team to get this season off to a good start and build some team confidence.

The Crusaders are set to play their first game of the season on Sept. 4 in North Battleford at 6:30 p.m.

Their first home game will be the Canadian Bowl Classic against the St. Mary Marauders at Max Clunie Field at 6:30 p.m.

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Canada, North Battleford

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