After a 4-2 finish this season, the EDSS senior boys’ football squad were eliminated in the quarterfinal game against Grand River Collegiate Institute.
Head coach Steve Karn says some of the team’s best players were out with injuries and couldn’t play in the game that ended in a painful 23-0 loss.
“These were all fifth-year guys. It is sad for them to end their high school career like that. Being without our quarterback, Connor Bauman, was a big thing, and Cory Cressman, our middle linebacker, and Luke Decorte, our number one corner,” he said. “He had also run back five touchdowns on punt returns this return. He was key. Those three guys were a big piece of the puzzle that was missing.”
Coaches made the decision to play a Grade 11 quarterback in their quarterfinal game, and Karn says he, along with the rest of the team, left it all on the field last Thursday night.
“They gave it all they had. They knew they were going to be in tough missing those three guys, but you know, they played their hearts out. It is nothing against them,” said Karn.“We put in a Grade 11 quarterback, and there you are, saying, ‘get in there, buddy’ and you know, throwing him into the fire. He did very well for a Grade 11 kid being put in that position. He did his best.”
Throughout the season, the players improved with a finish the guys can be proud of, winning four of six games in the regular season.
“It was a great season. We did 4-2 on the year, tied for first place in their pool, and you know, a lot of positives and a lot of good commitment this year, especially at practices. We had some great games. One game we put up 56 points, and I think that is the most we have ever had. That was against KCI who was a good team. They did some things that we hadn’t done before. Lots of positives came out of it,” said Karn.
With 13 fifth-year players, the guys on the team next year had valuable mentors on the roster.
“It is nice to see that there is a core group of guys that are coming out next year.
“We had five Grade 11 guys as starters. The younger guys got a lot of good valuable experience and lessons from the fifth-years, too,” said Karn. “It is really encouraging for next year. I told them, ‘guys, you were committed and at the end of the day, 4-2, we have to hold our heads high. That is pretty phenomenal.’”
Karn says the team played hard, and did their best, and without those valuable players on the injured list, who knows what could have happened in the finals.
“With a little luck here and there and not being injured, who knows how much farther we could have gone,” reflected Karn. “They gave everything they had and worked as a team and at the end of the day that is all you can ask for.”