An HJ Cody Lakers player runs the ball into the end zone during Thursday’s game against the Notre Dame Cougars. (Photo by Michaela Ludwig)

An HJ Cody Lakers player runs the ball into the end zone during Thursday’s game against the Notre Dame Cougars. (Photo by Michaela Ludwig)

Sylvan Lake Minor Football celebrates 25 years

This year marks a quarter of a century that youth football has been played in Sylvan Lake and so far the season is off to a strong start.

Sylvan Lake Minor Football consists of four teams: the HJ Cody Lakers; the Sylvan Lake Lions, a bantam team; the Sylvan Lake Bears, a peewee team; and the Sylvan Lake Tigers, an atom team. Geoff Rambaut, head coach for the Lions, explained that the high school team at HJ Cody came first, 25 years ago, and the program has grown over time to include more age groups.

The bantam, peewee and high school teams all play on the high school field, while the atom team usually plays in Red Deer. Rambaut explained the atoms and peewees play nine-man football, so the younger players don’t become too tired, while the bantam and high school teams play 12-man football.

The teams play six games each, running from the beginning of September to the end of October, and then playoffs start, and then provincials will come after that for the teams that make it through.

The Lakers played at home against Red Deer’s Notre Dame Cougars on Thursday, Sept. 22, winning 33 to 24.

“The Lakers did pretty well,” Rambaut said, adding that the Lakers are so far undefeated.

“We’re trending in the right direction,” he said. “All the teams are looking good.”

While the goal is always to win, Rambaut said this is not a win-at-all-costs program.

“We want our kids to be the best athletes they can be,” said Rambaut. “Usually winning goes along with that – if you’re developing properly, you’re usually having success on the field.”

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of minor football in town, Rambaut said the association is planning to host a gala in December.

Central Alberta FootballLocal Sports

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