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Sylvan Lake Bears’ coach recipient of Football Alberta award

John Flinn, defensive coordinator, was honoured with the Atom/Peewee Coach of the Year Award
John Flinn coaches members of the Sylvan Lake Peewee Bears at halftime. Photo Submitted.

The defensive coordinator and assistant coach of the Sylvan Lake Peewee Bears is the recipient of a Football Alberta award.

John Flinn, who has been with the Bears since 2013, has been honoured with the Atom/Peewee Coach of the Year Award.

“I was happy and shocked that I got this award,” said Flinn in a phone interview. “It means a lot to me, it shows the hard work I’ve put into this football program and that the parents trust me with teaching their kids the game I love.”

According to a Football Alberta press release the Coach, Official and Volunteer of the Year Awards are usually handed out at the Annual Senior Bowl Awards Banquet. The banquet was set to be held on May 17, but was cancelled alongside the Senior Bowl Game due to COVID-19.

The 2019 season brought the Bears an undefeated season and the B Championship in the 9-man division of the Central Alberta Peewee League, their second championship in a row.

Flinn says last season the team responded to each other well, from the coaches, to the manager, down to the kids, and worked well together as a team.

“That brings the moment to me as I’m a coach of the boys and I was proud of them,” said Flinn in regard to standout moments from the season.

He says he loves working with the peewee age group because the kids give you respect and they want to work hard for you as a coach.

“They don’t have anything hard to say about you they just want to learn the game,” Flinn explained.

“I talk to them and teach them properly and then they’ll go and try to harvest in this age because a lot of kids at this age have that dream to make it to professional sports and they will see the work they have to put into it all the way up to high school and past,” added Flinn.

With the happiness that comes with winning the award, Flinn says it is an honour to be a coach in the Sylvan Lake community and to have coached alongside Garnet Rambaut and Jeremy Martins.

Already Flinn is looking to get back to the championship game again this season, if there is a season.

“If we don’t have a season this year there’s always the one after,” said Flinn. “I’m ready to see how these kids do.”