PACI football athletes playing for Crusaders for 2014 season

Kristen McEwen
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The 2013 football season was a disappointment for the PACI Golden Bears.

The Carlton Crusaders senior team practices at Max Clunie Field after school on Wednesday. PACI students Royce Brittain and Carson Kristensen were allowed to play and tryout for the Carlton team after a co-op agreement was made between the two schools as a result of the PACI team being disassembled last year.

The PACI Grade 10 students Royce Brittain and Carson Kristensen were in Grade 9 at the time when the six-man team fizzled out.

“We just didn’t have enough guys for practice so we didn’t have enough to play games,” Kristensen said.

“There just wasn’t enough showing up for practices,” he added.

Brittain was just starting his high school football career when the team was dissembled but Kristensen was playing on the River Riders bantam team at the time, so his season didn’t go to waste.

Unfortunately for Brittain, he was too old for the River Riders team and missed tryouts for the Carlton junior football team.

“I missed the season,” Brittain said. “There was nothing really to do during that part of the season.

“I mostly just worked on school work and caught up,” he added. “In the meantime, I just worked out I guess.”

Even with a co-op agreement with St. Louis to bring players into town to form a full team, there weren’t enough players to fill the 2013 roster.

The co-op with St. Louis began in 2009, when Graham McGregor was head coach. The agreement was created when only six players from PACI returned from previous year and six players from St. Louis filled the remaining spots.

“We don’t have football at our school anymore, we have a co-op agreement with Carlton, so that kids who choose to go to school at PACI still have the option to play,” former Golden Bears coach Troy Semenchuk said.

With the new co-op agreement with Carlton Comprehensive High School, Kristensen and Brittain were able to tryout for the Crusaders senior team.

Both athletes have enjoyed the transition to the senior team.

“It’s been a really good experience so far,” Kristensen said “It’s a lot better. It’s 12-man and we would have played six-man with PACI.”

Kristensen is now a linebacker and Brittain is a halfback for the Crusaders.

Both said they preferred playing on a 12-man team than a six-man team.

“Six-man -- you have so many positions, you have to cover more field,” Kristensen said. “You don’t just get one spot. It’s offense and defense -- everything.”

Both players preferred being able to play football with the Crusaders.

“I prefer (playing) with these guys,” Brittain said.

Organizations: Carlton Comprehensive High School

Geographic location: St. Louis

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