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Itching to play

SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Clippers are itching to play and hit for real.

Summerside Clippers running back Sebastian Roy-Garand carries the ball during a recent practice drill at Eric Johnston Field. The Clippers host the Charlottetown Privateers in their home opener of the 2015 P.E.I. Varsity Tackle Football League on Friday night.

The Clippers will open the 2015 P.E.I. Varsity Tackle Football League regular season at home on Friday against the Charlottetown Privateers in a rematch of last November’s Potato Bowl championship game.

“It’s going to be exciting,” predicted Clippers head coach Marc Reid during Tuesday night’s practice. “We are hoping for a good crowd like last year, and it should be a good rivalry game with Charlottetown, which beat us in the final (42-28).”

The opening kickoff at Eric Johnston Field is scheduled for 7 p.m., and will follow the P.E.I. Bantam Tackle Football League game between the Summerside Spartans and Charlottetown that’s scheduled to get underway at 5 p.m.

Rescheduled game

The Clippers were originally scheduled to open the regular season against the Cumberland County Wolfpack in Amherst, N.S., on Sunday afternoon, but that game was postponed. That game will now be played in Summerside on Monday at 8 p.m.

“It’s unfortunate Amherst is struggling with numbers right now, but we are going to try and get the game in here on Monday night,” said Reid. “We want to get the game in and they don’t have lights, so that is why they are coming over to play.”

Solid nucleus

After appearing in the Potato Bowl the last three years, Reid admits expectations are high as the Clippers look to win their first championship.

“We have a lot of big, key players back on both offence and defence,” he added.

On offence, quarterback Jayden Reid; Sebastian Roy-Garand, who has moved from slot to running back; wide receiver Cameron Paynter, and Camren Gavin at slot will be counted on.

“Our offensive line is pretty well all new guys, but they are Grade 12 players and that will make a huge difference,” said Reid.

Two of those newcomers on the offensive line are centres Harrison Ramsay and Koby Bridges.

Defensively, Reid says the Clippers will field a veteran unit, with only a couple of new faces on the front line.

“We are definitely going to be looking for Matt Tanton, Tristan Gallant, Parker LeClair, Jon Rose and Jordan Montgomery to lead the way,” offered Reid. “Our veteran guys have to step up and prove themselves again this year.”

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