Lacombe Composite High School Rams ready for another football seasons charge

Andrei Paunescu, #71, and Ryker Lunn, #64, work together to take down their Holy Rosary Raiders opponent during high school football action at MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe, Alta. last year. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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With back to school right around the corner, the local boys of fall – the Lacombe Composite High School Rams – are officially back on the field.

After falling to the Lindsay Thurber Raiders in semifinals last year, the team is readying to make another charge for the league title – and they’ll have no shortage of manpower to do it with one of the bigger turnouts Head Coach Brian Ross has seen.

“We have the most kids at this point of the season which is great. We have in the ballpark of 55-60ish kids – nearly twice as many as we normally have, which is really nice for us to be dealing with right now,” he said.

“We have two, sometimes even three, players at every skill position which is great because it gives our kids a little more rest, gives the young kids a bit more repetiton and that’s only going to make them better.”

While some league teams kicked off their fall camps last week, the Rams just began this week, taking into consideration what Ross referred to as a “goofy” Central Alberta High School Football League schedule where teams only play each other league team once towards the middle and end of September, filling the rest of their season with exhibition games.

It’s not a bad situation to have, affording the team a chance to develop all those interested in playing – as Ross says he won’t trim down the roster via cuts, wanting to encourage that ongoing development and interest in the sport.

As was the case last year, he says the focus of the team will very much be on their back end.

“We’re still going to play to our defence’s abilities – they’re going to be the strength of the team,” he said. “What we need to work on is our line play – our big offensive line and defensive line guys. That’s going to really tell how successful we’re going to be this year.”

They’ll have the aid of about 24 returning players from last year’s team. Among them is quarterback Mitch Simmons, a Grade 12 student athlete now in his second year as starter.

“He’s really figured out the game,” said Ross. “He was the starting quarterback with the (Battle River) Shock and we won the league…I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

The team will have their first taste of action this Saturday against Sylvan Lake in exhibition at 1 p.m. at MEGlobal Field, which Ross believes will be a decent test of where the team is at.

“Sylvan’s going to be really, really good,” he said, noting he’d coached some of the players with the Shock in the spring. “We’re going to have our hands full with them.”

The regular season begins Sept. 20 at MEGlobal Field as the Rams host the Hunting Hills High School Lightning. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

2019 Rams Schedule:

  • Aug. 31 vs. Sylvan Lake at 1 p.m., MEGlobal Field
  • Sept. 6 vs. J.C. Schubert at 7:30 p.m., MEGlobal Field
  • Week of Sept. 12 – TBA
  • Sept. 20 vs. Hunting Hills High School at 7:30 p.m., MEGlobal Field
  • Sept. 27 vs. Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School at 7:30 p.m., MEGlobal Field
  • Oct. 4 at Lloydminster
  • Oct. 11 @ Notre Dame High School at 4:30 p.m.
  • Playoffs begin Oct. 25

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