After claiming the city title last week, the Father Mercredi High School Trapper’s are set to defend the city in a battle of Alberta gridiron supremacy.
Fresh off Friday’s 22-6 victory over the Holy Trinity Knights for the Wood Buffalo Football League title – the Trappers are headed to a second straight appearance in the Zones Championship – taking on the Holy Rosary Raiders of Lloydminster.
Head Coach Kevin Garbuio tells Mix News getting back to this point was the year’s objective from day one.
“We had the expectation this year to repeat. We had an older team this year than we did last year so while we lost a few players, we knew this year we would have a shot at repeating. So, that was one of the goals, was just to get another shot at Holy Rosary.”
It’s been a long road to get back to the same position they were last season – but Garbuio says it was an all-round team effort all season long for his players to stay in shape and get into a routine to keep them in shape.
“A large number of our guys were working out in the mornings. We had four or five of them actually working out at MacDonald Island at 5 a.m. – three or four times a week. So, that was really good to see, that dedication of the offseason paying off in-season. A lot of players who probably weren’t major impacts last season made a huge impact in 2017.”
Garbuio notes after seeing the Raiders dominate them last season – he knows how intimidating they can be, however, he feels his team will matchup nicely this year and be fired up for vengeance.
“Their quarterback last year was just phenomenal,” he said. “This year they have a younger guy starting so, they’re going more with a run game and they’re big, they’re strong because they are hitting the gym and they’ll pound you. If you’re not willing to fight back, they will overrun you.”
Garbuio says the loss last year is fuel to the fire for the Trappers who’ve got many players returning from that heartbreaking loss last season.
He feels the key to victory will be his defense stopping that powerful Raiders running game and the offense capitalizing on their opportunities.
“The big goal is to have an 80 per cent completion rate, that’s the big thing is that 80 per cent of the throws that are hitting our targets, we’ve gotta catch them. We’ve done that the last two weeks and our offense has been productive. It’s just a matter of players continuing to step up.”
The Trappers will look to defend their home turf on Friday when Holy Rosary visits Shell Place with kickoff at 5 p.m