Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Thunderbirds WFL run ends versus Royals

Locals drop Oct. 22 WFL consolation semifinal 42-20
#westlock #WFL #t-birds

For the Westlock News.

Thunderbird Mathew LeBeau blasts past Cold Lake Royals Anthony Francis and Thomas Kell during the Wheatland Football League consolation semifinal held at Westlock Elementary School Oct. 22. The T-Birds fought hard, but ended up on the wrong side of a 42-20 decision.
Eric Bowling/WN

The Westlock T-Birds left everything on the field, but we unable to topple the Cold Lake Royals in the Wheatland Football League consolation semifinal played at Westlock Elementary School Oct. 22
The T-Birds opened the game with a touchdown, but were quickly answered back by the Royals, who ultimately went on to post a 42-20 victory.

“We prepared hard throughout the week, and felt pretty confident. But they’re a well coached team and they were really mentally tough — they weren’t phased by us,” said head coach John Kramer.
“We just made a few coaching errors along the way and it caught up to us early on in the third quarter.”

The team was able to capitalize on a series of roughing penalties committed the Royals midway through the fourth quarter, scoring a touchdown but were unable to complete a two-point conversion and finished with 20 points on the board.

Kramer said that regardless of the final score, he was proud of how his team played.

“We’re just really proud of the boys and the effort that they put in this far in and we rallied too. When the game was clearly out of reach we still put in one more touchdown.”

Kramer noted that while the loss was tough to take, the fact it was likely the last game for a few of his graduating players is the real downer.

“We had six players graduate this year, so that was kind of their last quarter of football,” said Kramer.
The T-Birds future looks bright, however. The team’s rebuilding will continue over the winter and Kramer noted he has a solid veteran core heading into next season.

“We try to make football a year round thing — we do a lot of volunteering and getting together in the off-season,” added Kramer.

“We’ve got a crew of 35 returning. Our vets are excited; they know what it’s all about now. They’ve had a year under their belts so it’ll be exciting to push forward with this bunch.”

Kramer expressed his gratitude to the community for its support over the season.

“We felt a lot of support from everybody in the community. It takes a lot of funds to make this work and make it affordable for the players,” he said.

“We had 52 players come out in the spring and we didn’t have enough equipment, so we put out a call to the community and the money was there.

“So I want to give a big thanks to the community for their support, whether it’s financial or just coming to the game. It’s an honour for the boys to play in front of people who care about it.”

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