(Photo by David Dominic)

Buccaneers lose AFL Final to Calgary Wolf Pack 30-24

Central Alberta hoping to return strong core in 2020

The Central Alberta Buccaneers came home in heartbreak after a few plays at the end of the Alberta Football League (AFL) Championship game went the wrong way, leading to a 30-24 win for the Calgary Wolf Pack.

Team Chairman and Offensive Lineman Vince Roth said the outcome wasn’t what they expected, although the game was likely entertaining for the fans present at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

“It came down to the last 30 seconds and I think we had a good shot but we just couldn’t make that connection. It is disappointing but at the same time, we were in it, we played a good game and ultimately came up a little short,” he said.

Despite the loss, the game marked the end of a season that saw the Bucs’ face a tonne of adversity, only to turn it around near the end of the season to put together a championship run.

“I think we really gelled as a group on our road trip to Cold Lake. We started playing for each other a bit more rather than playing for the sake of playing.,” Roth said.

The game was nearly a double-dose of disappointment when AFL leading receiver Ben Hnatiuk went down on a play that required him to be taken to hospital.

“He gave us all a scare. Myself and couple other guys went down to pick him up at the hospital. He is tender but he shouldn’t have any long-term issues out of it,” Roth said.

Hnatiuk has been a key difference maker for the Bucs’ all season long.

“After the Gators folded, he was looking for a home. We were lucky to land him here in central Alberta,” Roth said. “He is a big body that is extremely athletic and anyone who comes to our games knows he is going to make a couple plays. He has ridiculous hands.”

Roth and the Bucs’ are already looking ahead to the 2020 season, where he expects a strong returning core.

“Much like last year, we lost in the Championship game but unlike last year — there doesn’t seem to be a lot of guys questioning whether they are coming back. We gelled during the season and I hope to maintain that during the offseason,” he said.

Roth also expects a defence that turned on the jets in the second half of the defence to improve.

“I think our defence the last half of the year did great. We made some adjustments after a questionable start. The core of those guys are coming back, so I am excited to have them and add a few more athletes. I think we can have a pretty solid defensive team,” Roth said.

The offseason will, however, be busy for the Bucs’ with their usual blend of charity and community support.

“We do a lot of blood drives throughout the offseason and we will do some of our fundraising. Through the Christmas season, we will find something to do for the community and we will carry that right into the spring camp when we do our annual food drive,” Roth said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Lacombe author Fran Kimmel to attend Blindman Wordfest

Rimbey to celebrate Cultural Days with renowned writers, photographers, musicians

Rimbey Christian School welcomes new teacher

New faces at Rimbey Christian School

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate armed robbery

Wetaskiwin police seek identification of suspects

Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision with cyclist on Highway 2

32-year-old male cyclist from Red Deer was pronounced dead at the scene

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Outspoken Imperial Oil CEO Rich Kruger stepping down later this year

Imperial Oil is about 70 per cent owned by Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., since 2013

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Most Read