CHARLES TWEED/Black Press
The Rimbey Spartans football team travelled to Ponoka to take part in an eight-team football jamboree on May 28.
The Spartans finished the tournament with a record of one win, two ties and one loss but coach Bill Bramfield felt the jamboree was about a lot more than just results.
“All in all I think that we played very well,” said Bramfield.
“The jamboree is about getting your players more experience. The veterans usually take on a bigger role which is a learning experience, and the younger guys are getting to play for the first time against other teams.”
Rimbey will be young athletic team in 2011 and Bramfield said they would rely heavily on the team’s more experienced players.
“Our veterans will lead the way on and off the field and in a lot of ways will determine the strength of the team, standing on the shoulders of the leaders that have come before them,” said Bramfield.
The Spartans’ program has continued to grow during their five years in the Western Alberta 6-Man Football League with their crowning moment coming two years ago when they hoisted the Ruby Cup. Winning has become part of the tradition at the high school and there’s no reason this year’s crop of kids shouldn’t continue to pave the path of success.
“If we practice hard and dedicate ourselves to improving each week we will definitely be in the conversation at the end of the year,” said Bramfield.
The exhibition jamboree in Ponoka was the first taste of action for first year players, using the tournament as a tune up for the upcoming season that begins in the fall.
“Many of our guys were seeing their first game action and they really impressed me with how quickly they are picking up the game. I see a lot of stars in the future,” said Bramfield.
The league consists of 16 teams with the Spartans playing in the Hunter South Division against rivals Buck Mountain Central Mustangs, Breton Cougars and Frank Maddock Warriors from Drayton Valley.
“We expect to win every game that we play, anything less is unacceptable but I also know the other teams are thinking the same way,” said Bramfield. “Our guys are really into football, even the guys who are just starting, and desire and dedication go a long way in the development of an athlete.”
The 6-man league has effectively neutralized the advantage big schools had over smaller schools compared to traditional football. Depth within schools with smaller enrolment was tough to come by and Bramfield recognized the contributions everyone on the team has made.
“Football is really a team game. When our front two D-men make a sack, it’s a result of good coverage from the linebackers and a big block from the O-line give our QBs a chance to find a receiver downfield.”