Host Moncton Panthers on Sunday afternoon
SUMMERSIDE – After three straight road games to begin the season in the Moncton Minor Football Association Atom Division, the Summerside Cox and Palmer Spartans are glad to return home.
© Dave Mathieson/TC Media
Summerside Cox and Palmer Spartans quarterback Charlie DesRoches looks to pitch the ball for a running play during a recent atom football game in Amherst, N.S.
The Spartans will host the Moncton Panthers in their home opener at Eric Johnston Field on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Summerside is a perfect 3-0 (won-lost) on the season, and will look to extend this early-season streak with a win over the Panthers.
“Traditionally, the next three opponents we play are the strongest teams in the atom league, so this will be a good test and a measuring stick to see if our team is up there with the best teams in the league,” commented Spartans head coach John Turner. “If we continue to block and execute on offence like we have been doing the last three games, we will score some points.
“If the defence continues to be aggressive and attacks the ball carrier like we have been doing, we like our chances.”
Summerside has scored 76 points in its three games, and only have given up a mere six points on defence.
“You have to pinch yourself now and then as we are only a second year program, and these other communities have had these established football programs for some 20 years,” said Turner. “But our players have pleasantly surprised us with their play and commitment.”
The Spartans are excited to showcase their team on Sunday, and are hoping for a big crowd.
“We told the first-year players this is an opportunity playing at home to get your grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins out to watch football,” said Turner. “Many of them probably have not seen a game live, and show them how entertaining and exciting a football game really is.
“I would never guarantee anything result-wise in a football game, but I guarantee you that if you come out and watch these kids play, you will be back the following Sunday.”
The Spartans have a nice mix of speed and size along with seven first-year players and 13 second-year players. Turner believes part of the early success this season has been the players’ parents.
“First of all, there is a big commitment on the part of the parents as we have to travel off-Island at least five times during the season, which is a huge time and financial burden,” continued Turner. “Secondly, we thank them for giving their child an opportunity to try football.
“Traditionally, the next three opponents we play are the strongest teams in the atom league, so this will be a good test and a measuring stick to see if our team is up there with the best teams in the league. If we continue to block and execute on offence like we have been doing the last three games, we will score some points. If the defence continues to be aggressive and attacks the ball carrier like we have been doing, we like our chances.” Spartans head coach John Turner
“What really makes it worthwhile for myself and the coaching staff is when a number of hockey moms mentioned after our first game in Amherst they never really thought they would enjoy watching football, but after that game they couldn’t believe how exciting it was to watch.”
Meet The Team
The 2013 Cox and Palmer Atom Spartans:
10. Charlie DesRoches, second-year quarterback
20. Connor Keough, first-year running back
44. Parker Williams, first-year running back
65. Nathaniel Mueller, second-year offensive lineman
66. Cameron Murray, second-year offensive lineman
80. Charlie Turner, second-year wide receiver
81. Aiden Casford, first-year wide receiver
82. Connor Gallant, second-year wide receiver
88. Sahib Singh, second-year wide receiver
89. Alex Campbell, second-year centre
27. Nick Gunning, second-year defensive back
30. Max Chisholm, first-year defensive back
34. Zander Farquason, second-year defensive back
39. Kaeden McInnis, first-year linebacker
55. Cole Carr, second-year nose tackle
56. Finn Turner, second-year linebacker
58. Parker Gallant, first-year linebacker
72. Paul Wamboldt, second-year defensive end
75. Landon Gallant, first-year linebacker
92. John Quinlan, second-year defensive end
Head coach – John Turner.
Assistant coach and defensive co-ordinator – Paul Walsh.
Offensive co-ordinator – Dave Chisholm.
Offensive and defensive line coach – Todd Williams.
Special teams and assistant offensive co-ordinator – Paul Quinlan.