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Red Deer Titans senior men to play for Southern Alberta Championship

With a win they’ll advance to provincials
The Red Deer Titans Rugby Club began their season with two out of three senior teams winning their home opener. (Photo by Red Deer Titans Rugby Club)

After a successful season in the Calgary Rugby Union, the Red Deer Titans senior men’s team will play for the Southern Alberta Championship.

On Sept. 16 at Calgary Rugby Park the Titans will take on the Bow Valley Grizzlies (Cochrane) for the league title and a berth into the provincial championship game.

The Titans earned a spot in the Southern Alberta Championship after clinching second place with a 41-7 win over Banff last weekend. With one more regular season game remaining against the Foothills Lions on Sept. 9, the senior men’s squad is 9-2 this season.

Titans men’s team representative Aaron Sewards said this season was a growing year.

“We have 37 registered players and at least 80 per cent make it to practice every week. That just builds our strength,” he said.

“We had a core group of young guys with 17 rookies this year. They’re new to Titans and played in high school so that really added youth, fitness, and skill.”

The Titans’ only two losses this year came against the Grizzlies. On June 3, the Grizzlies blew out the Titans 36-5, and again on Aug. 19 losing 52-12.

“It’s a toss-up,” he said. “We have the talent, we have the depth, and we just have to want it more. We can beat Bow Valley.”

If the Titans win they’ll play the Northern Alberta champion in the provincial final. Sewards said a winner from the northern side hasn’t been determined yet but explained the standings are quite tight.

The last time the Titans made it to provincials in 2015 they beat Edmonton and he’s hoping history will repeat itself.

The plan for next year is to expand to two teams including a recreational squad. Since the COVID-19 pandemic they’ve been rebuilding the program and Sewards said rugby as a whole has come back.

“Our youth program the numbers are up and in our high school league the teams are up,” Sewards said. “Those all feed into the senior programs and I think people are just coming back to rugby.

“On the team now there are 11 Hunting Hills players. They went off to university, finished, and came back to Red Deer.”

The senior men’s team numbers have nearly doubled from last season and this year the women’s program fielded two teams.

The women’s programs missed the playoffs but overall the Titans organizations are in a good place.

“They’re in a strong position, especially for next year. We’ll hopefully retain most of our players and pick up some new ones. I know for the men our goal is to try to get to 60 registered players next year,” he said.

“We’re at 37 so 60 is the goal but 50 would be great.”

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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