It was a roller coaster season, but also the best the team has seen since playing 12-man football.
The Ponoka Secondary Campus Broncs club held their annual awards night on Dec. 19 at the school, recognizing several players for their accomplishments while also thanking the graduating players for their commitment to the program the past three years.
The team opened the season in September by doing something they had not done in a while, they won a game — defeating Rocky Mountain House on the road.
Unfortunately, the Broncs had just 23 players on the roster and the injury bug hit in that first game, which began a season long problem for the coaching staff led by head coach Cody Baird that never again had everyone available to play.
“With such a small roster, we ran into some serious injuries and just couldn’t play a full game at 100 per cent against teams of 30-plus players,” said assistant coach Jamieson Blinkhorn.
“It’s very tough to compete that way, when guys are playing nearly the entire time. However, the boys persevered and played as hard as they could.”
While that first game win would be the only one the Broncs would see, they kept many games close during the season.
The club handed out seven awards — Jared Bussiere won the Tom Hamilton rookie of the year and the offensive player of the year; Josh Parent named most valuable player; Clayton Raugust named defensive player of the year; Lewis McDowell named special teams player of the year; Cole MacDallum as lineman of the year; and, Matt Hager handed the Feschuck passion award.
Bussiere was the biggest highlight of the season for the club, excelling on both sides of the ball and leading the team in scoring while also being named a team captain, a first for a rookie on the club.
“Having Jared nominated for the league rookie of the year was a huge team highlight, to go along with McCallum and Parent named league all-stars,” added Blinkhorn.
“We are very proud of the boys for their commitment and look forward to next year. The crop of bantam players coming up look promising and our returning players are more experienced than ever.”
The team also said goodbye to graduating players — Parent, Hager, Joshua Nobles and Jengiz Eric.
“These four have been the foundation, the building blocks, for the last three years. Their presence, skill and leadership have helped the team grow and we can’t say enough about these young men and their value. They will be greatly missed,” added Blinkhorn.