The EMCS Wolverines football program experienced some necessary growing pains with two lopsided losses to start their 2012 season.
The senior varsity squad travelled to Surrey to battle the Frank Hurt Hornets on Saturday, Sept. 22. The Wolverines only brought 15 players, including some that had attended just the minimum eight practices required to be eligible. This showed on the field, where the team was getting their first live action in new offensive and defensive schemes.
The Hornets, playing their third game of the season with a roster of 37 players, stormed to a 35-0 halftime lead. EMCS settled down in the second half, for a 42-0 final.
Team captain Morgan D’Ganigian provided an offensive spark with 71 hard rushing yards on nine carries, while fullback Harley Ring added 42 yards on six carries. Landon Pollock, despite constant pressure, connected on 5 of 8 passes for 25 yards in his first game as quarterback . On defense, James Lazzar had a sack and Connor Gray led the team in tackles.
The senior Wolverines next game is Oct. 5 in Courtney versus Mark Isfeld Secondary.
The junior varsity team hosted their rivals from Langford, the Belmont Bulldogs, on Sept. 19. The Bulldogs were too much for the young and inexperienced Wolverines.
Of the 16 EMCS players, seven—including the only two Grade 10s dressed—played their first ever football game. They were Riley Boake, Aidan Ollenberger, Matt Hancock, Jamie Blakeborough, Gavin Cowper-Dawdy, Clay Vowles and Fernando Lara.
Lara, an international student from Spain, led the team in tackles and did a great job punting. Blakeborough had some long runs, and Boake had a great block and a nice punt return. Grade 8 Andy Abell played quarterback for the second half, and ran over a Bulldog on a punt return for the hit of the game.
The team played hard right to the final whistle, and the youth and enthusiasm of this group bodes well for the future of the program.
They take the next step in their development Wed. Sept. 26 when they host Nanaimo District Secondary School in their final home game of the season. Kick-off is 3:30 p.m. at EMCS.
By Nathan Lowther