Less than halfway through the 2019 Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) season, the Bert Church Chargers football team has already secured as many wins as it did last year – and more points, as well.
“I’m so pleased – the kids are performing at a high level and putting in a lot of work,” said Chargers head coach Steve Larsen. “It’s nice to see it pay off for them.”
The Chargers maintained its sizzling start to the season Sept. 21, with a 57-3 victory over the Bow Valley Bobcats at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park. The one-sided win maintained the Chargers’ unbeaten record (3-0) and kept the team in Football Alberta’s top-10 ranking for Tier 2 high-school teams.
“We’re really pleased that we’re getting recognized, and hopefully that can help some of our kids get noticed at the next level and by post-secondary [programs],” Larsen said. “But we’re definitely focusing on one game at a time.”
After three games, Bert Church has scored a whopping 165 points while conceding just nine. That keeps the Chargers apace with the Cochrane Cobras at the top of the RVSA standings.
“All three phases of our team – offence, defence and special teams – are all really well taken care of,” Larsen said. “A lot of our players are returning, and they have had a lot of game time from the past.”
Bert Church wasn’t the only local team to play at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park Sept. 21. Immediately after the Chargers’ game, the W.H. Croxford Cavaliers and the George McDougall Mustangs faced off in the second battle between Airdrie teams this season.
Both sides came into the contest looking for their first wins of the year. In the end, the Cavaliers earned that accomplishment, scoring two late touchdowns to overcome the Mustangs 38-13 and go 1-2 on the season.
According to Cavaliers head coach John Remus-Everitt, the result marked the team's first-ever win against the Mustangs in its five-year history.
“We were very excited and pleased with how the game turned out,” he said. “They dominated us in the third quarter, and at one point, I remember turning to one of my coaches and saying, ‘We can’t lose this and let it all fall apart.’ If it wasn’t for one interception and one of our own touchdowns, it could have gone the other way.”
Remus-Everitt said key performers included Grade-11 quarterback Blake Kleisinger, running back Keshawn Glasgow-Davies and Jaxson MacDonald, who all contributed to the team’s touchdown haul.
“I’ve been pleased with how the kids have come together, and the amount of time and energy they put into being prepared,” he said.
The loss keeps the Mustangs in the basement of the RVSA with a 0-4 record. After George McDougall finished third in the division for the past two years, 2019 has proven to be a season of rebuilding.
“The youth movement has really taken hold at George Mac this year,” said head coach Chris Glass.
While the Mustangs’ main struggle seems to be defence – George McDougall has allowed 207 points in four games – Glass said there needs to be improvement on both sides of the ball, if the team is to earn some wins this season.
“It goes hand in hand – if you don’t have long, sustained drives on offence, the defence ends up staying out there all the time,” he said. “I do believe our defence could be better, but they’re young, as well.
“We have a lot of young guys playing [in defensive] positions, but the offence isn’t doing them any favours by going two-and-out.”
Glass added injuries to key players, such as TD Oullette and Michael Schaan, have contributed to the Mustangs’ woes this year. Oullette suffered a shoulder injury in the first minute of the team’s season opener, which kept him from action for three games, while star running back Schaan tore his ACL and will miss the entire season.
Next up for the Cavaliers will be another all-Airdrie battle in Week 5, as W.H. Croxford gets set to host the Chargers Sept. 26. Kick-off is set for 5 p.m. at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park.
The Mustangs will also play at the Ed Eggerer field Sept. 27, against the still-winless Bobcats. That game is set for a 5 p.m. start.