The 2016 Bantam Broncs football team strapped on their pads to kickoff against an opposing team for the first time on June 4. Held at Lacombe’s MEGlobal Athletic Park, an eight-team jamboree allowed teams to get some pre-season action and experience for new players. For Ponoka, this was crucial as they have approximately 25 new players with zero football experience.
Going into the jamboree, the coaching staff and players agreed that success in the jamboree was not on the scoreboard, but rather found in improvement as a team.
The Broncs coaching staff were extremely pleased with not only the composure and hustle in which their athletes played on-field, they were also impressed with the team’s behaviour off-field. The players conducted themselves with respect and maturity greater than their years. While winning games at the jamboree was a secondary goal, the Bantam Broncs were able to take home one victory and three very close losses. Those included both the Lindsay Thurber Raiders and Hunting Hills Thunder out of Red Deer. The scores were 0-6 and 7-21, respectively. These margins are a huge improvement over the 2015 season. “The difference comes down to experience,” said a member of the Broncs coaching staff. “We have excellent returning players from last season. Not only do they bring their talents to the team, but they are leaders and examples for the new guys. Routines, rules, etc are learned much quicker when half the team already know the little stuff.”
The team is holding an inter-squad scrimmage next Thursday at 4 p.m. After that, the team takes the summer off and will resume practice in late August. Interested players are more than welcome to tryout in the fall. Boasting an already large roster at 35, the Broncs have some space for more. Anyone interested should contact head coach Todd Lewis at Ponoka Secondary Campus.