The Sylvan Lake Lions had an immensely successful season, despite falling in the playoffs to Lacombe 33-8 over the weekend.
Coach Vic Sloboda was proud of his squad, despite the results.
“We had a great season,” he said. “We finished 5-1 and won our first playoff game in Rocky. We saw marked growth – real growth. It was a tough loss for the senior players because we thought we could have contended in the championship game.”
The Lions faced obstacles in the playoffs, including injuries and the fact that they were moved up to Tier 2, despite playing in Tier 3 all year. The Lions were moved up because another team, who they Lions previously lost too, played an ineligible player all year and were forced to forfeit all their games.
“We probably would still be playing football if we played Tier 3 because that’s the tier we built for,” Sloboda said. “We worked hard to be at the Top of Tier 3 and in some ways, I feel we got robbed of a Tier 3 provincial run, but we finished second in the league so how can you complain about that.”
Coach Sloboda is excited for how the Lions are shaping up next season.
“I’m excited for the guys coming back next year because it looks like we have a great group of guys coming up from the Bears,” he said. “Next year is very promising.”
He added that he is proud of the seniors moving on to the Lakers next year.
“They are good players and I’m excited for them to move up,” he said “They will make an impact right away and I look forward to seeing all these guys play next year. You get rings playing with the Lakers so go enjoy yourself.”
Sloboda credits his coaching staff with much of the success the Lions saw this season.
“I’m proud of my coaching staff,” he said. “I love it when the staff compliments each other. The whole Lions organization worked really well together.”
The future of Sylvan Lake football is in good hands, as minor football had over 100 athletes competing at a high level this season.
“It will be strong for years to come and I credit the atom division for that,” Sloboda said. “Sylvan is becoming a powerhouse and Minor Football is doing a great job with these kids.”
If you would like more information about the Lion’s season, you can log on to slmfa.com/lions.