Football season begins

The high school football season is underway in Meadow Lake. Members of the Carpenter High School Spartans began practising at Lions Park last week as they prepare for their first game of the season Sept. 3 in Warman. Here, new head coach Sam Dawson attempts to block player Ethan Prete during a footwork drill Aug. 24.

The high school football season is underway in Meadow Lake. Members of the Carpenter High School Spartans began practising at Lions Park last week as they prepare for their first game of the season Sept. 3 in Warman. Here, new head coach Sam Dawson attempts to block player Ethan Prete during a footwork drill Aug. 24.

by Phil Ambroziak

School hasn’t even started and the Spartans are already preparing for battle.

Practices began for the Carpenter High School football team Aug. 24 and, along with a number of new faces on the field, also comes a new face on the bench. Sam Dawson takes over the duties of head coach this year, a role he inherited from Craig Paylor who remains on the coaching staff, but more so in a managerial role.

“Craig was the head coach for the Spartans for a number of years while I coached the football team in Beauval before coming to CHS last year,” Dawson explained. “He asked if I’d be willing to take on the role, and I was more than happy to accept. His family is growing and he has a boy playing football in Alberta now, so this frees up more time for him.”

As for this year’s team, Dawson said it’s still early to tell how things will shape up, but he’s certain he has a number of talented players to work with.

“We had a spring camp back in June where we were able to get a number of players from both CHS and from Jonas Samson Junior High to come out,” he said. “Yeah, we lost quite a lot of key players from last season, but there’s a lot of new talent and the coaching staff is already excited to see how the season will unfold.”

Last fall, the Spartans were eliminated from the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association (SHSAA) 3A Nine-Man provincial playoffs following a 61-19 loss to the Melfort High School Mustangs. This season’s action kicks off Sept. 3 with an away game in Warman. Meadow Lake’s home-opener is Sept. 18 against John Paul II Collegiate from North Battleford.

“We’ll be busy during this next week preparing for our game in Warman,” Dawson said. “It’s going to be tough for our guys playing their first game on the road against a team as strong as Warman is.”

Other members of the CHS coaching staff include strength and conditioning coach Derek Eftoda, defensive coach Michael Connelly and Vanier Cup winner Dean Kabaroff, who will help the CHS linemen on both sides of the ball.

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