The Strathmore Spartans have gotten off to a flying start to their football season, playing under the coaching of Danny Warrack and having won their first game 57-0 on Aug. 23 against Monsignor McCoy High.
Warrack said the visiting team from Medicine Hat was expectedly weaker and inexperienced compared to the Spartans, though he is pleased his team played well overall.
“We’ve definitely got some things to pick up on if we want to compete with the historically good teams,” said Warrack. “Cardston (for example) has a really good team, so we are going to need a pretty good effort to be able to compete with that.”
Among the team’s skill and teamwork, Warrack said he would like to see more commitment and dedication to both the team and to the sport, from his players.
This year’s team is capable of putting in the effort and is “fairly physical,” which if applied correctly will bode well for them throughout the season.
“Our defense looks really good; our pass game is coming along not too bad. We threw three touchdown passes last game, which is a good start,” said Warrack. “Our kicking game needs a little work, but it’s definitely improved since last year, so that’s a positive.”
Existing players’ teamwork and attributes aside, Warrack said he hopes to see more players joining the team before the window to do so closes, so that some gaping holes can be filled in his roster.
“We’re a little short on numbers, we need some more (defence), we could probably use another five or ten kids on the roster to fill in various spots we need,” said Warrack. “We need some work on our pass blocking on our line. We definitely have some things to shore up there … also, defensively, we probably need a little work going against the run.”
Warrack stepped up to coach the team this year after holding a position as offensive coordinator for the Spartans last season. He has been involved in the sport for 23 years, either as a player or coach.
“I’ve got a good idea of what it takes and I’m always going to reiterate that towards the kids. This is what you’ve got to do to be great (and) there are things you shouldn’t do either,” explained Warrack. “In my football life, I’ve succeeded and failed lots, so I think that’s given me some pretty good experience to be able to coach these kids.”
Warrack’s goal for the Spartans is to take them to the provincial playoffs this season, a goal that ultimately will come down to how boys on the field.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times