South Peace News
Bantam football for ages 12-15 made its official debut in High Prairie as the Outlaws hosted the Peace River Prospectors on Aug. 26.
Jayden Rothwell ran for a 58-yard touchdown early in the second half for the first points for the Outlaws, who lost 53-6 at E.W. Pratt school field.
“They greatly improved in the second half because they knew their positions better and how to play them,” says head coach Tom Duchesneau.
“Their confidence increased as the game progressed and they never gave up.”
After trailing 46-0 at halftime, the Outlaws held their visitors to only seven points the rest of the way.
With just six games in the season, the Outlaws host two more games. The Sexsmith Shamrocks visit on Sept. 17 and the Grande Prairie Broncos on Oct. 22.
“I’d like to introduce them to the sport, let them learn their roles in the game and let them have fun,” Duchesneau says.
“For players who play other sports, it helps them become a more-rounded athlete by developing their footwork, hand-eye co-ordination, intensity and speed and agility.”
He says football creates an opportunity for younger players to learn a new sport when they are at an age when they are closer to the same skill level.
“I see great potential in the players and a lot a good athletes out there.”
Opening the season at home seemed to inspire the players.
“It sparked an interest in other piers and since that game, another four players have registered,” Duches- neau says.
Most of the 31 players on the roster are from the High Prairie area, with two from Slave Lake.
All the Grade 9 players showed a lot of leadership, he says.
A younger level of football will only help develop the Renegades at the high school level.
“I wanted to start this bantam program so we could have a feeder system for the Renegades,” says Duchesneau.
“It’s tough for the Renegades to play in Grade 10 when they’ve never played before.”
Many of the senior Renegades are assistant coaches with the adult coaches.
“Our coaching staff is positive on the sidelines to encourage the players and focusing on what they do well on the field,” Duchesneau says.