Spartans blanked 32-0 in season opener
by Phil Ambroziak
After a devastating 32-0 loss to the Kindersley High School Kobras in their first game of the 2015 season Sept. 11, the Carpenter High School Spartans football team is headed back to the drawing board to figure out how to improve on where things went wrong.
“We did get to the game much later than we should have due to complications with the bus,” remarked Spartans head coach Sam Dawson.
According to players, the bus took a wrong turn toward Warman – the sight of CHS’ original season opener which the team forfeited a week earlier – before turning around and eventually arriving in Kindersley.
“As a result, our offensive line was unable to get any touches on the ball before the game,” Dawson continued. “We usually like to run a few plays, but this time only had about 10 minutes to warm up by the time we got there. We came out a little cold.”
In spite of this, Dawson said it’s no excuse for their overall performance, adding the team can only blame itself for what happened on the field.
“We also need to know which personnel are going for what plays – there was some confusion out there,” he said. “But, we did take in a lot of positives from the game in terms of areas where we can improve. Our defensive line was really strong, only giving up two touchdowns to the other team. Coach (Michael) Connolly should get a fair amount of recognition for having those guys ready to play.”
Touchdowns scored by Kindersley’s special teams or as a result of an interception do not count against CHS’ defensive line.
Meanwhile, Friday’s game was also a first for many of the players on the Spartans squad, something Dawson said was likely the reason for a handful of athletes being injured during the outing.
“Some of our guys got banged up – the first time they get their bell rung can do a number on some of the younger athletes,” he said.
In what proved to be a more frightening moment, however, CHS player Dylan Murray was taken down part way through the game and, after being treated by paramedics on the sidelines, was taken away via ambulance to a nearby medical facility. A spectator who assisted Murray before the ambulance arrived said he was having difficulty both breathing and speaking.
“He was later sent to Saskatoon as a precaution, but he was OK in the end,” Dawson said. “He got hit, but the details are a bit foggy to him and to us. Even by reviewing the game tape it’s difficult to see exactly what happened. He underwent a CT scan, but everything came back clear and he was back at school this week.”
Murray was also back practising with the team this week in a non-contact role, but Dawson said he’s eager to be back in action.
The Spartans’ next foray on the field is this Friday (Sept. 18) when they host John Paul II Collegiate from North Battleford in their home opener at Lions Park.
“We’re going to have a bit of a new look on offence come that game,” Dawson said. “Coach (Craig) Paylor and I spent some time on the weekend going over the areas that need improvement, and we’ll have a few things up our sleeves this week. Hopefully our defence can keep things up while we bring it to them on the offensive side of the ball.”