With the excitement of the Grey Cup wrapped up, it’s time to recap on Quesnel’s own football victories.
Kicking off the season with a bit of a rocky start it turned out to be a successful season for the Correlieu Clansmen.
With the recent school dispute that took place near the end of last school year until September some of the regularly training unfortunately suffered. Coach Jeff Morris admitted he thought they had lost the season.
But through the tireless efforts of local volunteers and several football players from previous years, spring training continued.
“Credit has to be given to our guest coaches Cst. Josh Nutley, his wife Angel, who is aptly named, handled all our medical issues and Sgt. Andrew Burton,” Morris explained.
“During the dispute they kept the guys on the field and trained up because I officially was not allowed to be with them.”
With the team training still on the go thanks to community volunteers the team was kept in shape for the fall football season.
The first game scheduled for the Clansmen was in Vanderhoof but without school support
due to the dispute Morris was having troubles acquiring a bus and it was only by a generous local donation that the team made it to the event at all.
“That game was played because Integris got us a coach bus as part of our ‘Cops for Cancer’ participation,” Morris explained.
Morris couldn’t say enough about the community support given to get the season up and going and a good thing it happen too, for the Clansmen preformed triumphantly given the setbacks.
In the first game against Vanderhoof the Clansmen took home a win with a score of 28-12.
In the game against College Heights, Quesnel brought in a triumphant win of 54-7.
Morris excitedly explained that this was the biggest score he had ever had while coaching.
“It’s unusual for us to run up the score,” Morris said.
“But everything was just going flawlessly.”
After the game against College Heights the Clansmen took on Kelly Road but with two games close together the Clansmen suffered a defeat.
“We played College Heights on the Friday and then we played Kelly Road on Monday with no practice,” Morris said.
“Some of the guys were banged up and it showed, where as Kelly Road had a week off.”
Next season Morris hopes to triumph Kelly Road, admitting that the game against Kelly Road is the where they drop the ball and suffer a loss.
The game against Duchess Park, although they suffered a defeat proved one of the most exciting games of the season for the Clansmen.
“They thought they had an easy win on their hands,” Morris laughed.
“And we gave them the hardest game of the season.”
It was a loss of 26-13 but the performance of several individual players as well as team performance was one for the books.
For their final game of the season the Clansmen faced Vanderhoof once again and once again they defeat the team quiet handily with a score of 25-6, proving Quesnel’s skill and strength for the north is not to be dismissed.
Despite this final win, only two teams could advance and the Clansmen fell short, coming in third place. Moving on to play the winners from the Okanagan division were Duchess Park and PGSS.
With six games played and three games won and stunning individual performance, the Clansmen ended the season on a positive note, hopeful to return next year for another successful season.
“The season was a success,” Morris said.
“When we won we won handily and I have a solid core of returning players for next year. I have a great quarterback named Damon Giesbrecht who is our quiet leader. I am looking forward to him actually taking control of things next year.”
Morris expressed high praise for the entire team, seeing real potential for several of his players to continue to Canadian junior or college football.
Some of the Clansmen high performers included Levi Robertson, who ran in for five touchdowns in the game against College Heights. Garth Kennedy held a high touchdown count of 13 throughout the season.
This proved to be a step-up season for Dayton Toews, Morris explained, with brilliant performances in his last three games.
It was an outstanding offensive season for Krauzby Rea-Templeton and Jeremy Mullin.
Grade 9 quarterback Dan MacDougal held his own against the older competition and will be returning for another season.
The Clansmen had an outstanding centre in Trent Burton and a great offensive lineman in Bruce Schonke.
The list goes on and on for this proud coach, singing praises for his entire team of dedicated athletes.
Though the snow is on the ground and the season is over, the work never stops for Morris or his team.
Come January, the Clansmen will work with young aspiring athletes at the soccer facilities.