Diving into the A pool has yielded mixed results for Elmira District Secondary School’s football teams.
Both teams moved from the B pool up to A this season on the strength of the junior team’s performance. The juniors made it all the way to the A championship last fall.
The move has worked out better for the juniors than the seniors; the senior team was 1-4 after an Oct. 30 loss to Bluevale Collegiate, and a spot in the quarterfinals rests on the results of Thursday’s matchup against Sir John A. MacDonald.
The juniors, meanwhile, have three wins and two losses to their credit, and those losses have both been by a single point. On Oct. 30 they lost 14-13 to undefeated Bluevale after missing the convert on a touchdown.
Regardless of the result of Thursday’s game, the juniors are guaranteed a spot in the A playoffs; the game will determine the ranking and who they face in the quarterfinals.
Coach John Swatridge said he’s impressed with his whole defensive line.
“We have the top defence in the whole league,” he said, pointing out that the Lancers have the fewest points scored against them.
Swatridge was hard-pressed to single out any outstanding players, saying he’s impressed with the way all of them have handled playing at the A level.
“Every game we have different guys rise to the top,” he said. “It’s really been a whole team approach.”
Senior coach Steve Karn said his team had a breakthrough Oct. 23, downing Forest Heights 44-0 for their first win in the A pool.
“It was the best game we played all season, that’s for sure. Everything worked that day: the defence, offence, special teams – everything clicked. And we had a good week of practice as well.”
Practice is the key to winning games, Karn said, but it’s hard to get a full team out for two hours a night, three to four nights a week.
“We make more mistakes because we don’t practice as hard,” he said, adding that mistakes were behind the team’s 28-7 loss to Bluevale.
“It was 14-7 at halftime and we fumbled the ball three times on their 20-yard line. … They were beatable, but we made the most mistakes, and in football, the team that makes the most mistakes loses.”
A win Thursday wouldn’t guarantee the seniors a spot in the A final, but a loss will drop them to the B championship. Results of Thursday’s game weren’t available at press time.