Esterhazy Warriors wrap up another football season

November 15, 2019, 10:05 am
Shayna Zubko

The Esterhazy Warriors during a football practice.

The Esterhazy Warrior football team, consisting of students from Langenburg, Churchbridge, Stockholm and Esterhazy, wrapped up another season with the quarter-final playoff game in Fort Qu’Appelle last week.

“It was a trying season overall,” said Coach Tyler Metz. The team faced obstacles or “distractions” this season, including weather, but mostly the development of the new football field in Esterhazy, which was not useable unfortunately in time for a home game to be played this season. This meant that the Warriors “never had a home-field advantage once” all season.

The football field project has been the largest project for the program ever.

“There was a phenomenal job done by the contractor, Norenda Construction, GSSD, and EHS—thank you for all their efforts,” says Coach Metz.

However, when relying on weather, unfortunately it was an unusual fall. Without the rain the team would have been able to play a home game on their home field. Churchbridge was a gracious host and ended up being the teams’ home away from home. It was thanks to the support from the community, coaches and local businesses (Norenda, Skillz Carpentry, and SaskPro) that helped the team have practice on a temporary practice field and to have lights for their practices and evening games in Churchbridge. As well, the junior program saw an amazing commitment from parents, carpoolers, trainers and first responders and GSSD bus drivers. It meant that the teams were able to keep playing, and “keep kids smiling,” says Coach Thompson.

The senior Warriors completed their season with a 1-5 record and worked to get past the quarter-final, however they were unsuccessful. Although the season was tough, and it ended a little early for the team, it was still a season of growth and learning.

The coaches emphasize to the student athletes the skills they need to succeed, and work to teach them what they need to know to be ready for each game, especially safety. Coach Metz says that their training definitely showed with each game they played, and other coaches complimented their players on their abilities.

For the juniors, the end result of the season was “a team of diverse players that respect their counterpart and many with the ability to play all over the field.” Overall, football is just the sport, but there is so much more to learn, especially how to be good people. There is much evidence of the team teaching the athletes to be good people, as they do various fundraising projects throughout the year that have them complete good works projects in Esterhazy.

The coaching staff work very hard to have a successful program. The coaches will meet before the end of November to discuss next season. Nine-man football is a competitive field and they want to remain competitive.

This year, the senior team had 28 players and the junior team had 40, which is above average for the team. There are 12 Grade 12s leaving the team and leaving some gaps behind.

Sean Thompson, head coach for the junior program in Esterhazy, says, “As coaches we love to watch veteran players become instructors for a minute and hear the echo about how development is the goal.”
Next year, the coaches in both junior and senior programs welcome anyone who is interested in playing. This year they saw a large influx of junior students and are hopeful that there will be an upward turn in students joining from all the schools involved.

As Coach Metz says, “It is an awesome sport, we will take athletes of any size, any gender, you name it. They just have to be willing to put the work in to learn.”