Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 Senior Mustangs Awards

Chris Davis - Pincher Creek's Mustangs Football Banquet and Awards were held on Friday November 10 at the Matthew Halton High School's Hawk's Nest.

Senior Mustangs Head Coach Wayne Alexander called it a "strange year for football", with his team starting very small  in numbers and growing to a still small maximum of 19 players during the season.  14 of the 24 members of the 2016 team graduated last year.  "Of those 19, 9 were playing their first year of High School football,"  Earlier in the season Alexander said "We didn't get many Bantams moving up, but I got a couple grade twelves from the Pass, and it's their first year, and a guy from Lundbreck."

The season started on a hot day in August and ending in winter.  The Mustangs won two games, and almost won a third after an impressive second half surge at home against the Chinook Coyotes, which was looking like a blowout at the half but ended 25-22 Coyotes.  According to Coach Alexander, the Mustangs could have fared better against Drumheller and Canmore had they played them later in the season when the Mustangs had a bigger bench.  He also said the Mustangs played well against the #1 and #2 provincially ranked Willow Creek Cobras and W.R. Meyers Rebels.  "As usual, opposing opponents gave us rave reviews for playing Iron Man football and putting a very good team on the field."  Iron Man football is designed for small teams like the Mustangs that require their athletes to play both offence and defence.

Coach Alexander usually hosts information nights for parents who want to learn more about football.  He will also be meeting with graduating players who want to continue in football, and their parents, over the next few weeks to discuss their options.

The comeback of the year was Jordan Hochstein, who received the Coaches Award.  Hochstein broke his leg in grade 9, couldn't play as a result for his grade 10 year, helped coach and inspire in grade 10 and 11, and returned to his rightful place as a team star this season.

Coach Alexander said Mustangs MVP and Top Offensive Player Beau Walter was a natural leader and "the most intelligent and cerebral player I have ever coached... he is a true scholar of the game."  Walter ran 41 yards for a touchdown during his last game as a Mustang.  Football might have to successfully tackle baseball to get this well rounded athlete post-graduation.

The Senior Mustangs will face a numbers crunch again next season, as 13 players graduate/retire this year of the already small team of 19.  The graduating Mustangs were honoured for their contributions to the team at the end of the award ceremonies.  The received a certificate of appreciation, a memory sheet about their time as Mustangs, and a lucky blue horseshoe.

Mustangs Head Coach Wayne Alexander

Senior Mustangs Coaches Travis Liscomber, Chuck Clarke, Brian Murray, Dan Crawford, Wayne Alexander

Senior Player Awards 2017

Special Teams Player - Liam VanEe

Most Improved Player - Jesse Saulnier

Most Dedicated - TJ Metcalfe and Trent Metcalfe

Coaches Award - Jordan Hochstein

Team Spirit award and Lineman of the Year award - Gus Halibert

Rookie of the Year - Conner Ney

Top Defensive Player - Mathew Kirknesss and Devon Clarke

Top Offensive Player and  Most Valuable Player - Beau Walter

SAHSFL League Awards
Mathew Kirkness - Linebacker All-Star
Jesse Saulier - Defensive Back All-Star
Gus Halibert - Lineman All-Star

Graduating Mustangs

Beau Walter, Jessie Saulnier, Jordan Hochstein, Austin Poole, TJ Metcalfe, Tristan Liscombe, Mathew Kirkness, Noah Assoon, River Gregory, Jaeger Hann, Brennen Clarke, Tyran Holloway, Liam VanEe

Moving up from Bantam next season:

2017 senior Bantam Mustangs (Kelly Kinnell Nelson photo)

Some 2017 Game summaries 
from Coach Wayne Alexander

Mustangs vs Medicine Hat McCoy Colts
Saturday September 16, 2017

The Mustangs defeated the Colts 35-12 at the Methanex Bowl in Medicine Hat.

The Mustangs are coming together as a team. Offence is starting to gel and be balanced, including strong rushing with a passing threat. Defence has been stingy up the middle.  Defensive Secondary has stepped it up with three interceptions and a fumble recovery.  Defensive Corners have not allowe big plays.

Devon Clarke was the leading Mustangs Rusher with 76 yards, and scored two touchdowns.  TJ Metcalfe had six carries for a total of 53 yards.  QB Beau Walter scored a 1-yard touchdown and also returned the ball for 82 yards on defence.  Jordan Hochstein had the most reception yards (37) and scored a touchdown.

Mustangs vs W.R. Meyers Rebels
Friday September 22

The #3 provincially ranked in tier 4 (teams from schools with a population of less than 450). Taber's W.R. Rebels, came to Pincher Creek to play the hometown Mustangs and left with a 43-0 win.  It was a frustrating day for the Mustangs, who had difficulty getting their offence rolling.  Conversely, the Rebels mounted a balanced attack and threaded their way through the Mustangs' defence.  On a positive note, the Mustangs are starting to gain a stronger passing game.  They also have two seasoned offensive linemen returning to action for their next game.

Last home game of the season
Mustangs vs Lethbridge Chinook Coyotes
Friday, October 20, 2017

The Mustangs lost a highly contested football game in their last home game of the season, dropping a 25-22 decision to the visiting Chinook Coyotes from Lethbridge.  The Mustangs trailed the Coyotes 15-0 at the half and 22-0 midway through the third quarter.  As a testament to their unwillingness to give up, they staged a determined comeback, outscoring the Coyotes 22-10 in the last stages of the game.  The mustangs scored on two beautiful 35-yard passes from Quarterback Beau Walter to Liam VanEe and Jordan Hochstein, thanks to great pass blocking from the offensive line.  Walter ran in a 40-yard touchdown himself to get the Mustangs to within three points with less than two minutes left in the game.  The Mustangs were unsuccessful in the ensuing short kickoff and the Coyotes were able to cling to a 25-22 victory.  Although the Mustangs lost, they can take solace in the fact that they left it all on the field and simply ran out of time.

SAHSFL Playoff Mustangs vs W.R. Meyers Rebels 
Friday October 27, 2017
The curtain closed on the football season for the Mustangs on Friday in Taber with a 44-3 loss to the powerful WR Rebels. The Rebels, who are ranked #2 in the Province for Tier 4 schools (schools with populations under 450) by Football Alberta, now travel to Claresholm to tangle with the team ranked one place higher, the #1 the Willow Creek Cobras. The SAHSFL (Southern Alberta High School Football League) that the Rebels, Cobras and Mustangs play in has long been considered one of the strongest leagues for Tier 4 teams in Alberta and this year is no exception. The Mustangs have always played hard, physical football against their SAHSFL rivals and Friday’s game in Taber was another example of that. Although they trailed 31-0 at the half, they came out with purpose in the second half and in the second half were very competitive and lost the second half 13-3. Although it was the end of high school football for 13 Mustangs who are graduating this year, it has been a positive year, and a number are planning to pursue playing football at a higher level, in the CJFL (Canadian Junior Football League).

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