Estevan Comprehensive School (ECS) Elecs football head coach Mark Schott has high hopes entering the 2014 season.
This year's team has a nice blend of experience, athleticism and size, traits that Schott said are important in high school football. More than 30 players are back from last year's team, which means that the vast majority of the 2014 squad has at least one year of high school experience.
They also have a lot of size on the offensive and defensive lines, he said.
“We have some big bodies there, which is nice for a change,” said Schott. “In previous seasons, that has been an area of concern for our team.”
At the skill positions, they have some impressive speed, Schott said, which should hopefully lead to increased production in both the running and passing games.
The club's training camp was held from August 25 to 29, and Schott said he was impressed with the talent.
“The coaches are really excited with the personnel we have in place, and what we've been seeing on the field,” Schott said. “With the number of players returning, it's really easy to transition from last year to this year, and it makes our practices run a lot smoother, because we have that returning core back on the field.”
The players who are in Grade 12 have also enjoyed success at the minor football level. Many of them were part of Estevan's peewee team that made the playoffs in Regina Minor Football in 2010, and a bantam team that won a bowl game in 2012. That has added to the expectations facing the team, Schott said.
“We're definitely hoping to have more success on the field, with some of the systems that we've tweaked, and the overall athleticism that our team has,” said Schott.
Schott said they'll be working on basic fundamentals – such as tackling, ball security and positional play – in the days leading up to the start of the season. They'll also continue to familiarize the players with the team's systems.
Estevan opens the season on Saturday, September 6 in Yorkton. Their home opener is against Weyburn at the Woodlawn Athletic Park on the 13th.
Then they visit Moose Jaw Peacock on the 19th and Moose Jaw Central on the 27th, and they'll finish the regular season with home games against Swift Current on October 4 and Moose Jaw Vanier on October 14.