2015 Bantam Broncs team with their head coach Todd Lewis.

2015 Bantam Broncs team with their head coach Todd Lewis.

New Bantam Broncs coach looks much further ahead than season

New bantam Broncs' football coach looks forward to new season.

Todd Lewis may be a familiar name to readers of the sports pages as he is the chairman, sometimes the captain, linebacker, and publicist of the central Alberta’s amateur adult football team, the Buccaneers.

Now in his new role as the head coach of the Broncs’ junior team, he is aiming to take the football program to new heights and breadth, including a vision of a Peewee football program in a few short years.

Speaking in an interview before the onset of the new football season, Lewis, who has recently received his teaching degree and has been hired as Grade 8 teacher at the Ponoka Secondary Campus, said he would remain loyal to the philosophy of Scott McGregor, the founder and former head coach of the Broncs football program to “use football as a tool to turn kids to men as good citizens.”

“I am not looking to having a winning season, although it would be good to have 10-0 record,” Lewis said.

“It is important setting up kids for success, have them acquire the skills that will make them successful, those skills will help them later in life, too.”

As part of their approach to coaching, he said they would be practicing in a new way as they prepare for their games: Linesmen, receivers and backers will be formed into three groups and each group will be instructed to have both offensive and defensive skills. This methodology contrasts with widely used practice of having special teams, defense and offense teams do drills separately.

Lewis is being assisted by Alain Bussiere and Murray Wedin in his new role and he welcomes the presence of non-teachers among the coaching staff.

Both Cody Baird and Jamie Blinkhorn, co-head coaches of varsity Broncs team are full time teachers and they are assisted by only a few former Broncs players.

Leiws agreed that it was desirable for more community involvement to beef up the coaching of the town’s football teams.

He expressed gratitude to local businesses and community organizations, including the Ponoka County, which donated generously for new equipment when it turned out that more than 10 kids who turned up for tryouts last spring would have no equipment to go on the field without the donations.

He called for more involvement and support from the community, for fans to fill the bleachers during games and interested residents to join the coaching effort.

“Broncs football program could be good source of community pride,”  Lewis said.

As for the future, Lewis would like to be able the give younger Ponoka kids an opportunity he didn’t have.

“I could play football only in my senior year,” he said. “If I had the chance to play when I was in Grade 5, I could have played university football.”

He said a Peewee football program would be a good ground to prepare kids at an earlier phase to be both good players and good citizens.

 

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