The world of sport at any level is full of different challenges even for a successful team such as the Hunting Hills Lightning football squad.
The defending zone champs are always going to get the other team’s best game and Head Coach Kyle Sedgewick said the players and staff need to not get complacent or overconfident.
“It’s a challenge every year. It’s a challenge every week. We battled that a little earlier this season,” he said. “It’s natural for the coaches to relax a little, myself included. It’s natural for the players, especially those coming in who know a little bit abut our history.”
Sedgewick said the veteran players are relied upon to impress on the newcomers about how important it is to prepare for each game and to not think just showing up and putting in the work is going to be enough.
Part of the Lightning success can be found in the motto the team lives by and that is every player needs to make a mark on the program.
“So how are you going to do that? Are you going to be the guy who kind of floats around or are you going to be the guy who becomes one of those leaders in the second and third year and carries on this tradition?”
He has a somewhat balanced lineup of players from all grades which has been a trend at Hunting Hills and Sedgewick said the effort is to try to keep that going through the Bantam program because he doesn’t want to see the senior team top heavy with Grade 12 players who are starters then they all graduate and the team is in a rebuild year.
The Lightning have been consistently near the top for the last four or five seasons and Sedgewick said it’s a great honour to be recognized and have the school put on the map but there’s more to just seeing a number on a sheet of paper.
“What I’m proud of is that it brings attention to our players, those who would like to play post secondary. University and junior teams look at those rankings and think maybe we should check these teams out.”
The Lightning suffered their first regular season loss in a few years losing last week to cross-town rival Lindsay Thurber.