SUMMERSIDE – The road to a second straight provincial championship begins on the road for the Summerside Waterwise Spartans.
The Spartans will take on the Cornwall Timberwolves at the Terry Fox Complex on Friday. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Papa John’s P.E.I. Bantam Tackle Football League has increased to eight-man football for the 2014 season, and the age has been moved back one year and now features players in Grades 7, 8 and 9.
The age change has resulted in the Spartans having only four returning players on their 33-man roster.
“This was the largest turnout in our five-year history, and we are delighted with how our minor programs are feeding our team and the Varsity Clippers,” commented Spartans head coach John Turner. “We have a young team with only eight players in Grade 9, and the rest of our roster are Grade 7s and 8s.
“The players have been practising hard, and we think by the end of the season we will have a good team regardless of how young and inexperienced we are.”
The Spartans hope the offence will be able to move the chains against the Timberwolves, and look for their fast swarming defence to shut down Cornwall.
“The first game of the season is always exciting to see how your team stacks up with the other teams in the league, but it’s very exciting for our players to play a game after all their hard work in training camp,” added Turner.
Summerside will count on its big offensive line of Luke Trainor, Braeden Rogerson and Andrew Gunning to set the tone in the season opener, and their athletic linebacking core of Dexter Stewart, Dakota Fear, Colton Perry and Ben Tanton to lead the defensive charge.
“Our coaches, Paul Power, Cody MacKay, Brian Doucet and Jeff MacDonald, have our team as ready as one can expect for the first week of the season, and we just can’t wait for the opening kickoff on Friday,” said Turner.