Red Deer Buccaneers come back to earth

After pasting the expansion Lancaster Legion 59-0 on June 19, the Red Deer Buccaneers found themselves on the wrong end of a 26-13 loss to the Calgary Gators in Alberta Football League play from this past Saturday.

“We were in it in the beginning. It was back and forth. Pretty good first half, it was 13-13, and they scored late to make it 20-13, but we were right in it,” said Bucs offensive coordinator Kyle Sedgwick.

“Unfortunately, we started making some more mistakes in the second half that hurt us and we weren’t able to recover from them. It’s something we’ve been preaching to these guys, that we have to learn how to finish games. Especially when you’re in a tight game, you can’t shoot yourself in the foot or else you’re not going to win.”

The Gators, despite the 0-2 record they brought with them into last Saturday’s tilt, are normally one of the better teams in the AFL, and Sedgwick says the Bucs need to look at the Calgary squad as a yardstick.

“We talked the entire week about treating this game like a playoff game because the Gators are a team that is part of the middle to upper half of the league and if we want to get back into the playoffs we have to be able to beat a team like that,” he said.

“Our focus was there, our effort was there, but it was just the mental part that we didn’t have. And the Gators were treating it like a playoff game too. They needed the win and in the end, they got it.”

The Bucs, now 1-2 on the season, will get the chance this week and next to work on correcting some of the mistakes in their game as they don’t return to the gridiron until July 10.

“We just have to keep going back to basics, back to the fundamentals. Making sure we try and improve our football IQ a little bit,” said Sedgwick, who stresses that the mental aspect is the only part of the club’s game that is suffering right now.

“Physically, we can compete with anybody; it’s just the mental side of the sport we’re lacking a bit right now so we’ll work on that during the bye week.”

The extra time off will also give Red Deer an opportunity to get some players back, players who are out right nursing injuries.

Star running back Kenton Poelzer has missed the last two games after suffering a hamstring injury in Red Deer’s season opening 35-21 loss to the Grande Prairie Drillers and Sedgwick hopes to get him back into the lineup as soon as possible.

“Kenton didn’t dress this past Saturday, but I’m fairly optimistic that he’ll dress for the next game,” he said.

“I don’t know if he can step in and take 30 carries, especially with a hamstring. We want to make sure we take our time so we can have him for the rest of the season, but I expect he should be able to dress and get in 15 touches in the next game.”

Even with a healthy Poelzer, the Bucs will be in tough when the Calgary Wolfpack hit Great Chief Park next weekend.

Since Red Deer re-joined the league as the Buccaneers in 2002, the Wolfpack has racked up six AFL championships, and they’re undefeated after four games this season.

“Our schedule doesn’t get any easier from here on out,” admitted Sedgwick.

“But if we can use the bye week to get a little mentally sharper, we should be alright. You have to learn how to win, and that’s changing the cultures a little bit too. It’s not an easy thing to do and it can’t change overnight, but you have to be mentally in a game for all four quarters. Our effort is there, we just have to be better mentally and that’s the only way you can win, especially in close game. You have to be able to have that edge on the other team to finish it off.”

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

Jayda Monilaws is selling cupcakes again for Central Alberta Humane Society

The 10-year-old Red Deerian is selling cupcakes today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Pride Days are Feb. 21st and 28th during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Events will be held at the 52 North Music + Cultural Festival

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read