Dylan Keller (7) of the HJ Cody Lakers breaks away from a group of Wetaskiwin Sabres players in Sylvan Lake last Friday. The Lakers defeated the Sabres 37-7.

Dylan Keller (7) of the HJ Cody Lakers breaks away from a group of Wetaskiwin Sabres players in Sylvan Lake last Friday. The Lakers defeated the Sabres 37-7.

Victory sends Lakers to semifinals

The HJ Cody Lakers football team claimed a 37-7 victory against Wetaskiwin last Friday to secure its place in semifinals.

The HJ Cody Lakers football team claimed a 37-7 victory against Wetaskiwin last Friday to secure its place in semifinals.

“Our team is hitting their stride at exactly the right time,” said line coach Jas Payne. ”We have healthy players, we’re happy with our rookies’ progress and our veterans are leading well. What we thought may be a rebuild turned out to be very successful with the players we had.”

Payne said the team works well together to score touchdowns.

“We keep the ball on the ground, we run often and we get the opposing team to adjust their defence,” he said. “Every time they adjusted, we had something else for them. We have players hitting their stride.”

The team practices every day, and even though coaches don’t expect perfect play, players still play whistle to whistle.

“We make sure our timing is good and that our plays are well put together,” said Payne. “I think the reason why we’re winning our games over and over is because of our defence.”

Payne said he’s proud of how the team’s newest members are stepping into action and playing at advanced game levels.

“We have a lot of new players that are playing like seniors,” he said. “A lot of Grade 10 players have stepped in and made a difference on our team, and that is pride for us.”

Despite last week’s win, head coach Jeremy Braitenback said his players weren’t yet overly enthusiastic, and know they still have work to do.

“We expected to win because we worked hard and we should win and that’s our attitude,” he said. “If you’re prepared and have worked hard, why shouldn’t you win? But the players know they have to be better to win future games.”

Up-to-date information on the Lakers is available on the Sylvan Lake Minor Football website at www.slmfa.com.