The coveted Ruby Cup is now safely back in Rimbey High School after the Spartans defeated Breton High Cougars in a thrilling, nail biting provincial game to win the title.
The game, held at MEGlobal Athletic Park Nov. 24, ended with a 48-44 win for the Cougars, but during the final seconds of play the scoreboard could have gone either way.
The Spartans head coach Bill Bramfield said the Spartans were enjoying a comfortable lead with less than three minutes left on the time clock.
“With less than three minutes to play we were ahead by 10, but each team turned the ball over two times and then the ball started to get a little bit slippery. It had turned from a fairly nice day to below zero temperatures.”
The play took a decided shift towards Breton when a turnover in the Spartan’s own zone on the one yard line led to a Cougar touchdown bringing the score to 48-44.
“Breton recovered an onside kick and they had two tries from the 30-yard line in the dying seconds to win the game,” said Bramfield.
As the time expired a Breton player caught the ball in the end zone, but he was about a foot and a half out of bounds giving the Spartans the victory.
“My heart was beating pretty hard,” said Bramfield, as he recalled the game while chatting on the phone, Thursday. “It was quite a finish.”
Bramfield stresses that the Spartans are all about total team effort, but he added the highlights of the game belonged to Wyatt Argent, a Grade 12 player, who scored three touchdowns.
“Those were definite highlights, but, again, our team is always about total team effort. Our team concept has always been our strength.
Bramfield has been the head coach of the Rimbey Spartans six-man football team for 11 years, nine of which the team has made it to the finals, winning four gold and five silver medals.
When Bramfield took over the position of head coach from Riley Quance, who had left the high school, there was a 12-man football team, though the six-man concept was getting off the ground.
The six-man football league began in 2007 with Rimbey, Breton, Drayton Valley and Ponoka schools participating.
“I see us as ambassadors, helping to build six-man football in the province of Alberta,” said Bramfield. “I think of the team and the training involved as a program. Players know what’s in store, are committed and practice hard. Our strength lies in our consistency.
In the years we have played we made it to final finals nine times, winning four golf and five silver. We’re pretty proud of that.”
Bramfield noted that the Spartans receive a great deal of support from school administration and the community.
“We feel very well supported in the community,” he said.
The Ruby Cup was named after Scott MacGreggor’s grandmother. MacGreggor was the coach of the Ponoka Broncs, one of the founding teams of the league. He wanted the Cup to represent hard work, commitment and strength, the same qualities he attributed to his grandmother.