Bucs take to gridiron

It’s that time of year again and the Central Alberta Buccaneers are strapping up for another season

It’s that time of year again and the Central Alberta Buccaneers are strapping up for another season in the Alberta Football League (AFL).

Following their 2012 loss to the Grande Prairie Drillers in the quarter-finals, the Bucs have high hopes for their 2013 season.

The Buccaneers play in the AFL, a senior league that gives men the opportunity to continue playing football or for some, to begin playing. Most of the players in the AFL have previous high school, junior, or university experience — some even have professional experience. However, guys with little to no football experience are still welcome.

Buccaneers fullback Corey Pusey joined the team in 2003 with no football experience. “The veterans harped on me a lot” he said with a grin, “but were very welcoming and were willing to give advice.”

Bucs veteran defensive back Joe Brooks says the team has greatly improved itself in key areas.

In particular, he noted the Bucs have depth this year. “We have multiple players at positions in both the defense and the offense. That was something we lacked last year.”

The Bucs enjoyed a large turnout of rookies in the preseason, many of whom are from Ponoka.

Rookie running back Josh Simons played his last snap of football with the Ponoka Broncs high school team. He is now adjusting to playing men’s league.

“There’s definitely not as much room to run,” he noted, “but I’m getting used to playing with the big guys.

The Bucs kickoff their season with an exhibition game against the St. Albert Stars, May 25 at Lacombe’s MeGlobal Athletic Park.