Heading into their first playoff game, École H. J. Cody Lakers football squad is the “healthiest we’ve been all year”, according to head coach Jeremy Braitenback.
And they’ve had some insight into their competitors, the Stettler Wildcats, although they were blanked 11-0 last Wednesday. They played in Stettler knowing they’d likely be back on the ‘Cats home territory for the first round of playoffs.
“It was a good opportunity for everyone to get in to play,” Braitenback said. “This week will probably be different. We’ll put our very best on the field. We expect to come out with a W for sure.”
Because the Lakers have had a lot of close games, some of the younger players haven’t played in all the earlier games, he said.
Injuries won’t plague the team either. “This is the healthiest we’ve been all year. A few little bumps and bruises, but almost everybody is going to dress this week. It’s the right time of year for that.”
With two quarterbacks, the team has a little added depth. Weather shouldn’t be a factor, added Braitenback. “It should never be an excuse either.”
“There’s a lot on the line. The winner goes to the Central Alberta High School Football League semi-final and probably the first round of provincials in three weeks.”
The Lakers and Wildcats meet on the gridiron at 4 p.m. Saturday in Stettler.