The Central Alberta Bantam football team

The Central Alberta Bantam football team

Stacked Central bantam football team ready for battle at Alberta Summer Games

Confident in his squad, head coach Duane Brown called the all-star team of Central Alberta’s bantam football players heading to Leduc in the Alberta Summer Games scary good.

Confident in his squad, head coach Duane Brown called the all-star team of Central Alberta’s bantam football players heading to Leduc in the Alberta Summer Games scary good.

Brown was overseeing goalline offensive drills on Monday as the team prepares for three games in three days, a daunting task.

“It’s incredibly tough on the body,” said Brown. “Typically we give kids five to seven days off between games. To do three games in three days, and have each game be more difficult than the last, is an incredible challenge for the kids.

“That said, our expectation is coming home with a medal.”

Comprised of the best football players from the Central zone, the team features players from Stettler, Ponoka, Lacombe, Sylvan Lake, Innisfail and Red Deer.

Going in some form of preparation since December, the team is now in its second week of preparing for the Alberta Summer Games.

They will compete in three games from July 15 to 17 in Leduc during the games. They open against the Edmonton team and their subsequent opponents will be determined based on the other games outcomes.

The medal games take place on July 17 and Brown said his squad has a chance at one of them, which would be a first for the Central zone in this event.

At the core of the offence are two talented running backs, Logan Clarkson and Noah McKay. Clarkson, described by Brown as a power runner, was the most valuable player of the Central Football League.

To complement Clarkson’s power, McKay is speedster who can run around defenders.

“We’re a power team with some great running backs. Anyone who saw bantam football last year knew we would have some great running backs,” said Brown.

“Our offence is going to be a true power this year. As a defensive coach, to have an offensive team is a phenomenal little treat to have.”

Both of the team’s slotbacks have a height advantage with Richard Jans standing at six-foot-four and Nathan Fuerbringer at six-foot-one.

Supplementing the high-powered offence is a new look defence that Brown hopes will help keep opponents off balance.

“We’re trying out a new style that I find exciting,” said Brown. “Coach Cody Baird from Ponoka High School has put this in and it’s been amazing to watch it come together.

“It’s something no one in Central Alberta runs right now. I think it will be a really nice challenge for some of the teams we play in this tournament when you have one night to prepare and you have something you’re not used to seeing.”

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com