Spartans defeat Martensville 73-13
by Phil Ambroziak
They’re officially the Northwest 9-Man Football League champions, but – according to Carpenter High School (CHS Spartans head coach Craig Paylor – that doesn’t mean it’s time for his team to start taking things easy.
In spite of a big 73-13 win at Lions Park Oct. 10 against the Martensville Royals in CHS’ final regular game of the 2013 season, Paylor said things didn’t flow as well as he’d anticipated at the get-go.
“We came out a little slower than we wanted to in the beginning,” he explained. “It wasn’t really a must-win game as we’d already clinched first place, but I told the team I wanted them to go out there with the understanding every game counts. As it turned out, we were a little flat in the beginning – both offensively and defensively.”
Calling a time out, Paylor reinforced his desire to see the home team try harder. And, it worked.
“They started to respond to a little scenario play and the end result was a good one – it was just a sloppy first quarter,” Paylor said.
At the half, Meadow Lake was leading 43-13.
“In the second half, we didn’t give up any points,” Paylor continued.
Veteran Spartans player Blaik Esau was pleased with last week’s victory and also said the season as a whole was one of the best the team’s had since he’s been a member.
“We worked hard, practised all year and got the results we wanted,” Esau said. “I’m looking forward to provincials.”
Because of the team’s first-place finish, the Spartans now receive a bye heading into the opening week of playoffs. Their next game is set for Lions Park Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. against Nipawin.
“The bye-week is going to be both good and bad,” Paylor said. “It’s good in the sense players will have a chance to rest up, allow their bruises to heal and the team, overall, will be much healthier. The downfall is it’s going to be a long time between games.”
The coach remains optimistic, however, the Spartans will continue to bring everything they learn and do at practice to the upcoming playoffs.
“We understand we can’t take time off,” Paylor added. “The league championship is a huge accomplishment, but it’s not our goal. We still have work to do and, with three rounds of playoffs possibly coming up, we have a long way to go.”
Esau echoed these sentiments.
“We have a goal in mind and we’re going to do whatever it takes to achieve it,” he said. “I just hope the town can come out and give us their support on game day.”