In preparation for the 2015 season, the Central Alberta Buccaneers have been busy practicing indoors as well as participating in numerous community events.
Over February and March, the team has gathered for indoor skills and drill sessions in preparation for the approaching season. The Bucs coaching staff has been pleased with the strong turnout of new and returning players.
“It’s great to get together with the guys and shake off the rust before season begins” explained a veteran Buc in between drills. While the team is practicing without full-contact equipment (pads and helmets), time spent on the gym floor is essential for regular season preparation.
“It takes a while for the legs to come back so I’m glad we’re starting this early.”
In addition to indoor practice, the team has organized group workouts at their sponsor gym, Body Basics, in Red Deer. Each Saturday, players exercise according to football-specific weight programs. While 2014-rookie defensive back Riley Raines from Breton is new to weight lifting and training, he is “slowly getting into it more and more every day.”
Veteran players organize the workouts and help guide the young-Bucs through each exercise. In comparison to last season, the 18-year-old has put on a considerable amount of mass. When asked by teammates how he’s gained so much size (besides Buc workouts), Raines responded with a shrug. “I’m eating more, too, I guess.”
The Bucs have continued to strive for involvement within the community during the off-season. For February, the Buccaneers spearheaded the first annual AFL Blood Drive – a league-wide blood donation that included the involvement of four other rival teams. Twenty members of the Bucs Family donated on Feb. 7.
The ladies at Red Deer Blood Services were professional and, to the relief of some of the first-time donators, were gentle while taking the Buc-blood. The team’s next donation is scheduled for early April. Any who are interested in donating with the Bucs are encouraged to contact the team via its website, www.cabucs.com, or through social media.
On Feb. 27, the Buccaneers entered a team into the Ponoka Big Brothers Big Sisters “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” fundraiser. It was the team’s fourth year in row entering the fundraiser and, to no one’s surprise; neither the Bucs’ bowling skills nor their costume-making skills had improved. However, despite demonstrating some questionable bowling skills and medieval-themed costumes, they were still able to raise over $600 for BBBS.
The Bucs hosted their AGM on March 21. Any interested players and volunteers were encouraged to come to the Red Deer Lodge at 7pm in order to find out all info pertinent to the Buccaneers 2015 season. The team’s executive discussed logistics – schedule, fees, locations, etc. – and the coaching staff explained team philosophy, values, and goals.