This Saturday, for the first time in 15 years, Weyburn Comprehensive School will be hosting the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association provincial football championship game. For the Eagles, they will be looking to make history by winning the title at home for the first time, after coming up short in 2006 and 2008, both times against Peacock Collegiate from Moose Jaw.
WCS has gone undefeated this season and has outscored their opponents 305 to 64 up to this point.
“I think one of the biggest ones is consistency,” said head coach Jody Kerr when asked about what some of the keys to success for the team have been this season. “These guys have been good every single game that we played. They’ve shown that they’re improving every week, and their skill level has been above all of our opponents up to this point, but that’s from their working hard in practice and the camps they go to in the off-season. Every minute they put into football really shows when it comes down to the season.”
The game will be the third straight appearance in the provincial championship game for Weyburn. They won it all in 2021 but came up just short last year against Bishop Mahoney out of Saskatoon. That game has been a motivating factor all season.
“One of our messages right after that game, and coming into spring camp and eventually into our fall camp was a little bit of redemption – trying to get back to that space so that we could prove it to ourselves,” Kerr added.
The Eagles will be taking on a dominant Saskatoon team again this year – the Aden Bowman Bears. The Bears came into the week of the regionals ranked fourth in the country by Canadian Football Chat, right behind the third-ranked Eagles.
The Bears took the Saskatoon league by storm this year, rattling off a perfect record and running up scores along the way. Over the course of eight games, including the playoffs, Aden Bowman scored 312 points, while allowing just 69. That is an average of 39 points for per game and 8.6 points against per game.
The two teams look very evenly stacked on paper, but there are a few advantages to the game for the Eagles. The biggest is home-field advantage. When the people of Weyburn come out to cheer on a team, they can create an outright oppressive atmosphere for the visitors. One only needs to look at how loud Crescent Point Place can get during a Weyburn Red Wings playoff run, how the crowds came out to support the U18 AAA Gold Wings in 2014 when they went on to win the national championship, or most recently, whenever the home games of the McLeod Series have been played, to see just how raucous it can be, and how loud the crowds can get.
“We love running out of space in the bleachers,” Kerr explained of the home crowd. “We had lots of people here last weekend on Saturday. The weather was pretty nice, and it’s supposed to be pretty decent for a November weekend this Saturday. All the atmosphere that’s there, the energy that they can provide, it helps the players and keeps them pumped up.”
While a big crowd is expected for the game, the conditions won’t allow for additional bleachers to be brought in. Fans are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and anything they need to keep warm while watching the game.
“Standing room only would be lovely,” Kerr continued. “Goal line to goal line is what I’d love to see.”
The weather will also be a factor, and how that will influence the field. Cooler temperatures generally mean more of an emphasis on the running game, and with the players in Weyburn used to the conditions when things are wet and cold at Darold Kot Field, they should be able to capitalize on the playing conditions.
The game on Saturday kicks off at 1:00 p.m. at Darold Kot Field at Weyburn Comprehensive School.
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