The Sylvan Lake Bears are the b-side champions after a close match with the Settler Panthers.
The Bears had a slow start to the season, losing the first three games, but they came back for an exciting and close match versus the Panther for the championship on Nov. 3.
Garnet Rambaut, the head coach for the Bears, said the team went through a lot of conditioning to get them to the championship game.
“That first win of the season is very important. After that first win everyone started to realize we could do it, and they could play the game,” said Rambaut.
“We are probably one of the best fifth place teams you’ve ever seen play.”
Making it to the championship was a challenge, but Rambaut said the team never gave up and always worked hard to improve each and every week.
The team “steadily improved” through out the season, and Rambaut added even with the three early loses the final scores were always close.
“Our biggest improvement this season was on our offence, and the credit goes to my offensive and defensive coordinators John Flinn and Jeremy Martins,” he said.
Where the team improved on the offence, Rambaut said the team’s biggest drawback was on special teams. This is because it wasn’t an area the coaching staff focused on this year, according to Rambaut.
When it came to the actual game day, Rambaut said it was a bit difficult to get the game set up and going.
On Saturday morning the football field was covered in snow and ice which caused a bit a difficulty off the bat, and once that was settled the Bears were a little slow to start.
Stettler had the first touchdown of the game and it took the Bears nearly an entire quarter to catch up.
“We controlled the ball really well during the game, I’m really proud of how they handled it,” Rabat said.
The Bears managed to keep their head above water throughout the rest of the game, and match the Panthers yard for yard all while keeping a one-point lead.
With just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter Bears rolled over the goal line for a touchdown.
The Bears won the b-side championship game with a sore of 13-6.
“It was a really close game,” said Rambaut.
“I give Settler a lot of credit, they were a much better team than what we faced in October.”
The Bears were grateful to all those who came out to the game despite the cold and snow, and who have cheered them on throughout the season, including coaches, parents and sponsors.
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