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Scott Smith's Wolverines Rough up Rams

Scott Smith's Wolverines Rough up Rams

Now the fun begins. It’s pretty safe to say the last three weeks didn’t exactly qualify as a blast for the Sherwood Park Wolverines, and certainly wouldn’t be described as even remotely fun for their opponents. The Bantam Wolverines had a walk through the final three weeks of the regular season as they finished a perfect 7-0. The Sherwood squad ate its opponents alive, defeating the Edmonton Raiders 52-0 and then the Spruce Grove Cougars 67-0 before recording yet another crushing defeat last Sunday at Strathcona Athletic Park when they destroyed the rival Sherwood Park Rams 77-0, dropping the defending league champs to just 1-6 on the year. Wolverines head coach Scott Smith said there is very little to be gained by either side in such a lopsided contest. “These games aren’t fun for either side,” he said. “You never know how the competition stacks up until you play them. Our leading scorer, Jake Withrow, we kept him to four carries the whole game. We were doing our best and were subbing in starting in the second quarter. They just aren’t fun games at all.” Smith said the result made him question the wisdom of allowing teams to opt up to the Tier I level even though pre-season tournament play should have indicated a team like the Rams may have been better served in Tier III/IV this season. “I’m a little confused in the fact that maybe that should have been a Tier III/IV team, I don’t know,” he said. “I look at the standings and you have St. Albert averaging 50 points a game at Tier III and undefeated and think a team like that should have been up and one of the Tier I teams down. You should play at the level you are at.” The Wolverines were led by a three-touchdown performance from Noah Perkins, as well as two-TD afternoons from Dawson Smadis and receiver Thomas Hojka. Also crossing the goal line for the Wolverines were Justin Mah, Jake Withrow and Ian McCullough. “Every year there is an award for the top offensive and defensive team, and this year they decided to automatically give it to the team that had the fewest points scored against them,” Smith said. “I looked at the Calgary teams and they weren’t close, and we had a 10-point cushion over the Edmonton Chargers here. My challenge before the start of the game was to be the top team in the province in that regard if we allowed less than 10 points and the kids really grasped on to that. That was an incentive and they really buckled down to do it.” The Wolverines will now face the Leduc Ticats (4-3) in the Capital District Minor Football Association’s Tier I semifinals, a team they defeated 48-6 in the second week of the regular season. “They are a younger team and don’t throw a lot,” Smith said. “They are going to run at you. We’ve seen it before and we know we have to contain one really good running back that they have. Other than that, we just have to execute.” Smith said his entire team is eager to get the post-season underway as it is the culmination of a six-year process for the core group that has seen them previously capture provincial titles in their second years at the Atom and PeeWee levels. “This is it for that group and they want to make the most of it,” he said. “Unfortunately, my son Ty broke his collarbone and won’t be involved in it, which isn’t the exact finale I would like, but that’s life. These kids have been together for six years and they know the Wolverines have never won a provincial title. That will be their goal moving forward, but we have to take it one game at a time right now and focus on the present and the systems rather than any ultimate prize.” The Wolverines-Ticats tilt goes on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Fuhr Sports Park in Spruce Grove. shane.jones@sunmedia.ca twitter.com/Realshanejones

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