The Ponoka Bantam Broncs football team is heading into their final week of their June mini season.
“It’s been interesting preparing for a two-game season,” said head coach Todd Lewis.
“The Broncs have been practicing since February. They’ve worked their tails off and they deserved a season, even if it’s only two games.”
The team has two weeks of practice before their first game, which was on June 19 in Springbank against the Springbank Phoenix.
“We practiced almost every weekday so that we could play effectively and safely,” said Lewis.
“It’s been an intense volume of practice, but the Broncs are flourishing. It’s obvious they missed football.”
Lewis says their game against Springbank was an amazing success.
“Our passing game was the best I’ve ever seen in bantam football,” said Lewis.
Both teams played using jamboree rules, meaning there were no special teams.
“Our Broncs started off tentative. We were in the right spots and were executing plays — the issue was intensity.”
By halftime, the Broncs were down 4-1, but they managed to snap out of it and started playing with pure determination, says Lewis.
They scored four times in ten plays and were “tenacious on defense.”
Jared Jensen lead the defense with numerous “shattering tackles” in the backfield.
Offensively, quarterback Carter Karwandy looked like a high school player, says Lewis.
“He was poised, patient, and found his receivers way down field numerous times. The future looks bright for the quarterback position in Ponoka.”
The Broncs play Springbank at home again on Sunday, June 27, at the Ponoka Secondary Campus field.
They will be playing with all special teams, so the team is working hard putting those systems in.
“The coaching staffs for Ponoka and Springbank decided that their players needed to have one last hurrah before summer,” said Lewis.
“Not only is our mini season serving as a spring camp — preparing our new players for the fall season — it gave our athletes an opportunity to apply their skills and football knowledge in a competitive setting.”
Kickoff against Springbank is at 12 p.m. on June 27. The Broncs are hosting a 50/50 draw and are accepting non-perishable food donations for the food bank as well as clothing donations for the United Church.