Raptors sharpen their claws in spring camp
Camp runs until end of June, regular season begins in August
In many parts of North America, football is seen as a sport for late summer and early fall.
But in Barrhead, the football season starts in the spring and before taking the summer off and ramping up again in the fall.
The Barrhead Raptors pee wee and bantam football teams have been hard at work the past few weeks with their spring camp, putting in many hours of drills to polish off their skills in advance of playing in their first regular season action this fall, said team president Marty Yarrow.
Although the team has been practising for close to a month now, Yarrow said they could still use more players to fill out the teams’ rosters.
“We’d like to have at least 20 pee wees and 20 bantams,” he said. “Anyone who’s interested in playing is welcome to get in touch with us.”
Practices during the spring camp run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on the field behind Barrhead Composite High School, and will continue until June 29, he added.
With both teams playing competitive games this year, Yarrow said he’s expecting a lot of fun because of how he views minor ball compared to the professional game.
“This is more exciting than pro football,” he said. “The kids here are playing because they want to play, as opposed to the pros who are getting paid.”
He added that the pros still have the motivation to play they would have if they weren’t getting paid, but the passion is more apparent in the kids he works with.
The team is a total community effort, he said. There are players from not only Barrhead, but also communities as far away as Westlock and Fort Assiniboine.
In addition, Yarrow said parents have been stepping up left, right and centre to volunteer to make the upcoming season a reality. Beyond that, the entire community outside the parents has also found a way to contribute.
The perfect example of that community involvement is the team’s new storage shed and locker room. Donated by the Co-op and Du-al Contracting, the shed was just delivered to the field on May 16. It still needs to be outfitted with benches and hooks inside, he said, but it’s a valuable addition to the team.
Yarrow said he’s proud of how far things have come since the team was founded back in March 2011, and where it looks like things will go from here on out.
“It’s taken a lot of work to get it going and keep it going,” he said. “But it looks like it’s going to keep going.”
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