The season is over for members of Sylvan Lake Bears peewee football team, following defeat by Red Deer Hornets on a snow-covered field in Red Deer Saturday.
Despite holding the lead for the majority of the B-side league final, the Bears lost 13-7. Late points scored by the Hornets meant the Bears found themselves lacking time needed to claw their way back. The Bears were ahead 7-0 with 1:31 left in the final quarter when a Hornet scrambled through the Bear defence and into the end zone on a kick return. The second Hornet touchdown was scored with just three seconds left in the game.
Nonetheless, head coach Garnet Rambaut was proud of the effort put in by his players, as they battled for victory in less-than-ideal playing conditions.
“We had some good performances,” he said. “Everybody played well and played their hearts out, so that’s all I can ask of them.”
Snowfall intensified as the game progressed, and began to have an effect on players in the third quarter, according to Rambaut.
“The weather being the way it was caused a few slips and fumbles, and we had our opportunities we couldn’t take advantage of,” he said. “That’s the way it goes.”
Rambaut described his players as “naturally disappointed” after the game, and spoke of his pride in the way they handled themselves this season.
A heavy defeat by Stettler in the Bears’ first game of the season in September left Rambaut and his coaching staff wondering how remaining games would pan out.
He described making it to the B-side final as “quite an accomplishment” for the Bears — a team made up primarily of first-year players.
“They really worked hard this year and faced a lot of adversity. I’m proud of them for what they accomplished.”
The outlook for next season is positive, he added. Although five or six players aren’t returning, the Bears will be strengthened by those coming up from Sylvan Lake Tigers atom team.
About 13 of this year’s players will also return.
Bears players, coaches and management will celebrate their season with an awards banquet in December, before beginning preparations for next season in spring.