The Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School Raiders football team can’t wait to get back on the gridiron this Friday and they will do so against the defending champions.
The Raiders will return to the field for another season and will put their talent to a test after practicing as a team since August. The boys will head to Lacombe to play in their first game on Friday, Sept. 16 after a few exhibition games to knock off the rust.
Lindsay Thurber will take on the year with a new but very experienced head coach who has over two decades of knowledge
Head coach of the Raiders Ole Stearns said his team is young but capable.
“It’s looking good. We got a lot of buy-in in the program it’s all brand new to them and we’re doing well,” he said.
They will field seven Grade 12 players with a wide variety of Grade 10s and 11s to complete the roster but Stearns added they have players who have stepped up as leaders.
His expectations for his team this season are simple – to compete at the highest level in every game they play, and do as well as they can to the best of their ability.
“They’re very good athletes so everything’s new to them this year. We have a new coaching staff and new systems so everybody’s learning together and no matter what the age is everybody’s doing what they need to do,” he said.
Stearns became the new head coach of the Raiders senior football team after coaching the sport at Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School for over 20 years. He made the switch to take the opportunity to coach the team he played for as a young man.
“The position as head coach was one I was excited, I was motivated to do to come back to my old school,” he explained. “But it’s not about me it’s about the 40-something kids that want to play football.”
It also excites him what the rest of his coaching staff has to offer. Stearns spoke about them being great leaders and role models for the team.
“That was pleasing to find out when I came here is what we have to offer as coaches. And it’s not just one guy it’s a whole group of us that have a lot to offer the kids,” he said.
His team has learned the new systems and Stearns said the culture they’ve created already has been phenomenal. He hopes to create a team culture that believes in what kids have to offer and tries to get the most out of them.
“They’ve really bought into it and I’m quite excited about it because they’re great athletes and a great bunch of kids,” he said.