Trojans shake rust with football jamboree
The Camrose Composite High School Trojans battle the Drumheller Titans during the CCHS football jamboree in Camrose on Saturday. Josh Aldrich/Camrose Canadian
With 111 teams in Camrose for the Night Classic and the traditional form of football, there was still space for a bit of the Canadian version of the game.
The Camrose Composite High School Trojans held their annual spring football jamboree on Saturday as they capped three weeks of camp and got their first live action look at what the team may look like in the fall.
The Trojans brought in the Drumheller Titans and the Wainwright Commandos, and while the score were not important, head coach Adam Belanger was much more interested in individual performances.
"Of course everyone is competitive, we want to win every time we step on the field, but the big thing that we're looking at is trying guys in different positions, seeing our new guys and seeing where they're at, and where they need to develop," said Belanger.
The Trojans are coming off a year where they were intent on growing the next generation of players and they fought to a fifth place finish in the Central Alberta High School Football League. They will, however, have a few holes to fill with the graduation of Nick Ioanidis, Dorian Gibbs, Trey Gerhardt, Scott Gilroy, Kieran Batke, Edward Hudec and Tynan McCarthy. Ioanidis is the biggest loss as he was the team's MVP at running back.
"We've got a good mix of ages, we've got solid (Grade) 12s and a good group of 11s and 10s as well," said Belanger. "They've come together really quickly, there's some good, talented young guys that just need a little more development and they'll be able to definitely fill a role once we get going."
Key to the jamboree is that they were playing two teams from out of the league – Wainwright plays in the Wheatland Football League and Drumheller in the Big Sky High School Football League – on a controlled 40-yard field. Each team's offence got 10 plays in a row. If an offence fails to get a first down they move back to the 40-yard line.
"It's always nice because now you get a look at different things other teams are doing plus you can be a little freer when you are talking to coaches afterwards, you don't have to keep things close to your chest," said Belanger. "You're helping each other out and not worrying about giving away any secrets for the regular season."
Trojans players do not have to look too far for inspiration. Former CCHS Trojans wide receiver Tylor Henry suited up in his first professional football game on Friday night, making one catch for 12 yards and one tackle on special teams for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers against the Edmonton Eskimos in CFL preseason action.
"We're really proud and happy for his success and wish him the best," said Belanger. "It's huge, all of our coaches have had success at some level … Tylor showing up for open football all the time and bringing that pro experience makes a big difference and shows our guys that you can make it."
Over the summer the players will be working on training programs an then come back together on Aug. 20 for the start of the fall training camp.