Monday, November 13, 2017

A building year for Pincher Creek's Mustangs

Chris Davis - Numbers are a factor almost every year for local sports teams, and "Pincher Creek Mustangs" has become synonymous with "fortitude and perseverance".  The same can be said of the support and coaching staff: every year a small group makes it happen, from Mustangs maven and President Faith Zachar (23 years and counting! to every volunteer flipping hot dogs and hamburgers.  The former players who come back to coach make a huge difference.  It's also a natural evolution, going from child to adult as members of the football family and sharing the on and off the field skills they've learned along the way.  Coaching is an almost year-round endeavour for those who step up into the role.

I spoke to Coach Alexander early in the season, and he explained some of his philosophy to me.  "Football comes from the heart.  You hope the boys can play with that feeling, and love of the game, but the skill level has to rise also.  Something as simple as a stance can be the difference between losing by 50, or not losing by 50."

"There is more to it than the sport of football.  Without football, I wouldn't have finished school."

Coach Alexender holds periodic Football 101 sessions for parents, players, siblings, and spectators who want to have a better understanding of the game.

I also spoke with former Mustangs coach Dennis Sokownin early in the season, as he was taking a break from refereeing between halfs at a PeeWee game.  Watching the raw talent of the PeeWees I was reminded of the growth cycle the Mustangs teams were going through six or seven years ago on their way to the top.  "It's going through that cycle, and every year, it's just going to get better," said Sokownin.  "Take Wayne, with all his years of coaching.  He actually made the Medicine Hat League, that man, right there.  When you get a coach with that much magnitude..."  According to Sokowning, children have to chose, and dedicate themselves to their personal priorities.  "Are video games more important, is partying more important, or is building a town more important? That's why Claresholm succeds.  They look at their town and say'We love our town'."

The Mustangs fundraised all season for the Jack Ady Cancer Centre-Lethbridge.

The Mustangs held their annual Banquet and Awards evening on Friday November 10 at the Matthew Halton High School's Hawk's Nest.  Families of Seniors brought meat dishes, Bantams brought side dishes, and PeeWees brought desserts. Coach Travis Liscombe gave the blessing.

The awards began with announcements from Mustangs President Faith Zachar, who has been the club's head booster for 23 years now, being instrumental in its founding.  Zachar thanked all those who made the season possible, including sponsors, coaches, and volunteers.  She gave special thanks and a bouquet of flowers to the Ladies of the Mustangs.  She also noted the achievements of league award winners Jesse Saulnier, Matthew Kirkness, and Gus Halibert,

2017 Ladies of the Mustangs

Kim Lissel, Erin VanEe, Melissa Saulnier, Kelly Nelson, Michelle Stauffer, Colleen Hann, Carrah Walter,  Nancy Leveque, Shannon Schoening, Natasha McCollister, and Sam Pollock.

After that it was time for the awards, covered by us in three separate articles to allow for more photographs.

Senior MustangsTop Offensive Player and  MVP Beau Walter

Bantam Mustangs MVPs Justin Schoening and Tanner Wallace

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

2017 Stamps Camp:

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