Renegades’ optimism remains high

The 2018 High Prairie Renegades high school football team. In front, left-right, are Tyrus Willier, Angel Chalifoux, Nolan Machado, Kaylib Willier-Ominayak, Dyllan Harris, Kaleb Willier, Owen Gauchier. Middle row, left-right, coach Ryan Green, Brandin Bissell, Sherman Chalifoux, Tanner Cunningham, Chance Supernault, Lezane Okimaw, Alex Mearon, Paul Leonardis, Michael Tomkins, P.R. Auger and head coach Troy Johnston. Back row, left-right, are Jonas Smith, Kadin Kit, Deklan Kit, Sebastien Lamoureux, Mathew Dumont and Evan Anderson. Missing are players Steven Turner, Skylar Chalifoux, Nathan Straner, and assistant coaches Judson Mayes and Trevor Johnson.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The High Prairie Renegades high school football team is eager to hit the win column in its fourth season in the Mighty Peace Football Conference.

“The goals and expectations we have for the team this year are to unlock the players’ full potential as competitors,” head coach Troy Johnston says.

“This group is very talented and through hard work, there is no reason they can’t win their first game as a team.”

A few key leaders coaches feel will make a huge difference are Chance Supernault, Evan Anderson, Tanner Cunningham, Deklan Kit and Skylar Chalifoux.

“Our strengths on the team I feel are our veterans coming back with more confidence and helping push the younger players to believe in themselves,” Johnston says.

“We have quite a few seniors in their third year and they are taking their last season very seriously.

“They really want to lead the Renegades to their first win.”

The coach says the players can only grow.

“I think in order to have our team improve from past seasons, we need to increase our expectations for our players and keep them working hard,” Johnston says.

“This group of young athletes has so much potential and there is no reason why they can’t beat other teams in the league.

“They just need to have the drive and put in the work to do so.”

Then, he believes, the wins will come.

“The Renegades should match up well against other teams in the league,” Johnston says.

“As long as the players are putting in a true 110 per cent every play and try hard every practice, things will come together.”

High Prairie includes players from E.W. Pratt High School and St. Andrew’s schools.

“Since the first season, we have seen a huge improvement,” Johnston says.

“The team’s defence has always been stronger than the offence, but we are starting to see that gap close drastically.”

That showed in the Renegades’ first game, he says.

“The ball control of the offence was great,” Johnston says.

“Rather than our defencse playing 75 per cent of a game, it was very close to each side being out 50 per cent.”

The Renegades have about 28 players with a lot of them being new.

High Prairie coaching staff includes: former Canadian Football League player Judson Mayes, who is working with the defensive backs and linebackers; Ryan Green coaching the offence; and Trevor Johnson, who is working with the offensive and defensive lines.

The Mighty Peace Football Conference has been reduced to seven teams after the Charles Spencer Mavericks of Grande Prairie and the Peace River Pioneers suspended play for the rest of the season.

As a result, a revised schedule was drawn. The Renegades have just one more home game when they host the St. Joseph’s Celtics of Grande Prairie on Oct. 4 at 4:30 p.m.


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