Back-to-back wins have lifted the Bow Valley Bobcats to their highest position in school divisional standings and provincial rankings in years.
With a 2-1 record, the Bobcats are currently ranked fourth in Tier 3 high school football by Football Alberta after soundly defeating the Bert Church Chargers, 35-10, at the SLS Legacy Sports Field.
A fired-up Bobcats team was spurred on by some Bobcat alumni from the 2003 Tier IV provincial championship team. The day before, alumni Caleb Clark, Zach McDonald and Bryce Capstone met with the players during their walk-through. Others joined them on game day.
"I think it was good for the team to hear from those guys. Those three guys were the leaders on that team and went on to play second level, and that's what most of these guys on my team now want."
Others came out on game day, including Clayton Reiter, who was a tailback for both the 2002 and 2003 championship teams. He says he has many great memories from his time with the Bobcat.
"Funny enough, I'm putting my body back together because I want to go pro again," he chuckles. "I relive those days every day, for sure."
The Chargers chipped a field goal to take an early lead. The Bobcats responded with the first of five touchdowns on the very next play and never relinquished the lead. The Chargers were limited to one major and a rouge.
Early in the second quarter, Bobcats runningback Alex Qualie was seriously injured with a compression fracture of the L1 vertebrae. Head coach Dustin Paul believes he'll be out of the lineup for six to seven weeks.
Paul says the team bounced back and played with plenty of heart to bring home the win for the injured player.
"I think the biggest thing is the guys have been really grinding it out and working that much harder than we ever have," says Paul. "They are completely dialed in, committed, and focused. These guys are living and breathing football right now and you can't ask for anything more out of these kids."
The Bobcats' biggest challenge of the season is this Friday afternoon against the George McDougall Mustangs.
"It's definitely going to be our toughest challenge of the season so far," Paul agrees. "Those guys are ranked #3 in the province in Tier 2 and they're the defending Rocky View champs, and that's where we want to be this year. Our goal is to be the Rocky View champs."
Game time is 4:30 p.m. at the SLS Legacy Sports Field.