Home opener is Friday night
SUMMERSIDE – It can best be described as a year of transition for the Summerside Waterwise Spartans of the P.E.I. Bantam Tackle Football League.
The Spartans’ roster has undergone a huge turnover, and there are a number of new faces at training camp.
“We have some good numbers out, and it looks like some good talent on both offence and defence,” said Spartans defensive co-ordinator Brian Doucet. “We have some good young guys who aren’t afraid to hit, get their nose dirty and aren’t afraid of a few bumps and bruises. Given the spirit that they seem to have, we should be OK.”
The Spartans’ regular-season home opener in the P.E.I. Bantam Tackle Football League will take place on Friday. The Amherst Wolfpack will provide the opposition in the 7 p.m. start at Eric Johnston Field.
The Spartans were originally scheduled to play in Cornwall on Friday night, but with Souris pulling out of the bantam league and Amherst joining a revised schedule was drawn up.
Summerside and Amherst join the Charlottetown Privateers and Cornwall Timberwolves in the four-team league.
The Spartans have only one returnee on defence, noted Doucet. However, he quickly added he and defensive assistant coach Jeff MacDonald have been pleased with what they have seen so far.
Doucet said the Spartans had been focusing on fundamentals such as tackling, blocking and pass defence early in camp.
“Now we are going to start getting into some of our defensive schemes, some of the ways we are going to try to prevent the opposing offences from scoring on us,” said Doucet.
While there are five returnees on offence, Doucet isn’t worried about the inexperience on the defensive side of the ball.
“Defence is more of a reactionary skill,” Doucet said. “You don’t really need to know specific plays, you just have to be able to react to what the other team’s offence is doing and get to the ball-carrier as quick as possible and make the tackle.”
Type of team?
Doucet said the Spartans are certainly going to compete in every game.
“That’s always been a Hallmark of the Spartans,” Doucet said. “Win, lose or draw, we want to compete at the highest level we can. If that’s what the players do, we, as coaches, can’t be disappointed in that.
“We have some good numbers out, and it looks like some good talent on both offence and defence. We have some good young guys who aren’t afraid to hit, get their nose dirty and aren’t afraid of a few bumps and bruises. Given the spirit that they seem to have, we should be OK.” Spartans defensive co-ordinator Brian Doucet
“With the offence having a lot of veterans we should be able to put some points on the board. Given the enthusiasm the defence has shown, and some of the hitting they have done in practice so far, we should be able to keep the oppositions to hopefully two or three touchdowns a game.
“In this type of football, two, three or even four touchdowns a game may sound like a lot, but when you are playing 6-on-6 with a big field it’s pretty much a given you are going to give up some points. Hopefully, you can keep those to a minimum. We will compete and I think come playoff time we will be in a good position to make another run for a championship.”