With one season already on the books for the Prairie Fire Midget football team, a year where the team finished with a .500 record and a loss in the b-side final, the focus is on getting better for year two.
“There’s lots of room for improvement coming off a five hundred record,” said head coach Chris Hall. “Although everybody in Calgary thought we did extremely well considering that was our first year.”
Hall said the team learned where the bar is set in the tough Calgary league and if you want to be a top half team you don’t just have to be good, you have to be very good to compete.
Some key injuries on what was a very strong defense contributed in part to the even season, he added.
The decision was made to play in Calgary as opposed to the Edmonton league because the feeling was the competition was a lot stiffer down south and Hall says it was right decision in his mind.
“I think that’s where you want to be if you want your kids challenged and to be better.”
The Fire have wrapped up an evaluation camp with 48 players on the roster and another dozen players who may be some of the best Grade 9 players around but were not ready just yet for the full roster, he said.
“It’s just part of our overall commitment to help develop Central Alberta players, get more kids into the program and exposed to the level of play and the level of coaching and the level of commitment.”
Hall says the team was somewhat Grade 11 heavy in its first year but that was sort of the way the talent pool fell, he said.
“So we only have 15 kids on the team who were with us last year so it’s overall a younger team,” he said. “We’ve got more Grade nines, more Grade tens and fewer Grade elevens than we had last year.”
Hall expects the offensive line to be a strong aspect of the team this season with the running backs a close second and the receivers right there as well.
“We’re installing a completely new offense so I think it’s going to be a different look,” said Hall. “I think defensively we are going to be young so we’re going to have to focus on the fundamentals.”
An exhibition game in Lacombe in late March will kick off the season which begins for real in early April.