Players of Central Alberta Buccaneers pictured during their last fall’s blood donation drive.

Buccaneers looking forward to 2015 season

The Central Alberta Buccaneers are well underway in preparation for their upcoming AFL season.

Submitted by Todd Lewis

The Central Alberta Buccaneers are well underway in preparation for their upcoming AFL season. With the signing of Devon Hand as head coach, the Bucs are entering the 2015 season with a new direction and vision. By fostering a football culture of commitment and accountability and recruiting a large and competitive roster, the team will “allow as much fun as possible without compromising the work it takes to win a title,” said Coach Hand. “This will be a program guys want to play in.”

Defensive end Ian Keetch, former Rimbey Spartan, is heading into his sixth season as a Buccaneers and “has loved every second of it.” Keetch has found his stride in the AFL, being named to the All-Star team for 2013 and 2014 as well as crowned the defensive MVP in 2013. While he is one of the league’s premier d-linemen, Keetch admits that his initial transition into the league was daunting. “It was a hell of a transition from playing football with [high school] boys to playing with the men of the AFL.” Keetch credited his recent success to Coach Hand who swapped Keetch to the defensive side of the ball. “Hunting quarterbacks is natural for me and [Hand] saw that.” When asked why others should join the Bucs, Keetch said, “I use it as therapy. It works for me.”

After falling short of the 2014 AFL title, the Bucs are continuing to bolster its roster size and talent pool. With increased depth, the team will be better able to endure injuries as well as avoid over-fatiguing players. To find these additional recruits, the Bucs will operate booths at trade shows during the spring (Ponoka, Lacombe, and Stettler), host its first annual Bucs Recruitment Night, and continue to have a presence in the Central Albertan community via fundraisers and charity events.

The Bucs will continue its partnership with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Ponoka by entering a team into the Bowl for Kids fundraiser. At this event, participants raise pledges, which greatly contribute to BBBS’s yearly operating funds, and bowl for game or two. This will be the Bucs fourth year participating in this event and the team aims at raising $1200 for Big Brothers.

After completing its fourth team-blood-drive on Dec. 13 (which included 17 blood donators), the Buccaneers sent out a friendly challenge to the rest of the AFL to see which club is more willing to bleed for Alberta. On Feb. 7, 2015, the nine teams that comprise the Alberta Football League will collectively roll up their sleeves in their respective blood clinics in order to donate. Fans and interested players are encouraged to participate.

The Bucs Recruitment Night will function as a meet and greet for interested potential players. Coaching staff and veteran players will be more than willing to share information regarding the team, its culture, its history, and, most importantly, its goals for 2015. While an exact location has not yet been decided upon, the Recruitment Night will happen on Jan. 24. For more details, follow the team’s website at www.cabuce.com.

When asked about the 2015 expectations, Coach Hand said: “When we strap up in red and black this upcoming summer, players will be challenged to leave it all on the field for the better of the team. There will be no excuses. There will be no shortcuts. When the summer turns to fall and the dust settles, players will be able to look each other in the eye and say they laid it on the line for the team. That is what 2015 Central Alberta Buccaneers will be all about.”

 

Just Posted

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Ponoka County approves $70,000 to dredge Parkland Beach

Parkland Beach to see some dredging support from Ponoka County

Ponoka sets bylaw on cannabis retail, pushes for quick public consumption regulation

Town passes first reading on retail outlet bylaw, questions staff on need to separate public usage

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Canada to boost support for riskier forms of renewable energy: minister

A $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project hopes to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy

WATCH: Grey Cup was in Red Deer to support military families

Money raised will go towards the Military Family Resource Centre

Most Read