Things are gearing up for the Ponoka Bantam Broncs football team with a busy month ahead.
The Broncs will be at Legacy Ford on Aug. 10 for their fundraising barbecue from 11 to 2 p.m, flipping burgers and cooking hot dogs.
The players will be setting up chairs and refilling condiments.
For every customer that comes in and test drives a vehicle, a donation will be made to the team.
Proceeds from the barbecue itself will go to the team’s “very, very long list of expenses” says head coach Todd Lewis, and people can make direct donations as well.
“Last year we made a good chunk of change,” said Lewis.
The team is fortunate to be in Ponoka, where it receives a huge amount of sponsorship support from 40 different businesses, says Lewis.
There are still costs though, and the team does its best to keep fees low.
The Broncs actually recently reduced its fees, mainly due to sponsorship, and now the cost is $220 per player, for fall and spring.
The players will also be coaching kids at clinics at the Ponoka Youth Centre during its sports summer camp week.
The team will run clinics on Aug. 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. for the two different age groups.
The players will do five-minute stations where the children get to practice basic skills such as throwing and catching, and rotate through all the stations, before having a big game at the end to finish it off.
The Broncs’ fall camp will held on Aug. 21, 22, 26, 28,29 and Sept. 3, 4 and 5.
Lewis hopes to get at least eight practices in, though one or two may be added as needed.
Lewis plans to go over the basics again with the players during fall camp, giving them a refresher, before going into learning about special teams. There are about five separate systems the kids will need to learn before the season begins, he says.
Cardio work will also be a priority, getting the players into fighting shape after a summer of relaxation.
If the same numbers come out to the fall camp Lewis says they will be “sitting pretty” for the season.
The spring camp was hugely successful, with 49 kids coming out. Lewis said if the spring camp was any indication, that the team is looking good for this year.
Most other teams in their league only have about 2o to 30 players, but if the same numbers come out for the fall camp, the team will have a fairly deep bench.
Lewis credits the enthusiasm at spring camp with the recent success of the team, which made it to the B-division championship last season. The team is also a few years old know.
“Our large roster is a reflection of that.”
Although a lot of the players this year will be new, there is a core of veterans players that have been on the team for three years that will help with the younger players.
“Those veterans will help teach them and show them the in’s and out’s of football.”
The team is still looking for more players and can either register ahead of time by emailing Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just show up, he says.
Players from Lacombe and other surrounding communities are also welcome.
All practices and games will be held at the football field behind Ponoka Secondary Campus.
The Broncs’ first game of the season will be at home against Lacombe on Sept. 7, starting at 11 a.m.
The team will then be making a trip up to Edmonton to watch an Eskimos game.