FCC2017 PREVIEW: Saskatchewan
For Team Saskatchewan Head Coach Sheldon Gray, the 2017 Football Canada Cup will mark a homecoming of sorts.
The last time that Wolfville hosted this tournament in 2010, Gray began his coaching tenure with Football Saskatchewan.
While it may be a different year, the team’s philosophy remains the same.
“We will approach the 2017 U18 Football Canada Cup in Wolfville, Nova Scotia like we did in 2010 as an opportunity for our coaches, players and support staff to compete,” commented Gray, who is also the Defensive Coordinator of the Regina Rams. “You can expect this team to bring that Saskatchewan toughness and grit.”
Overall, Saskatchewan has a depth of experience with eight offensive and four defensive players returning back from the 2016 silver medal winning team.
Dwayne Masson returns as Offensive Coordinator. He plans to install a balanced pass and run attack. Quarterback Josh Donnelly guide the unit in effectively executing the offensive game
plan and his main targets are expected to be Semba Mbasela, Adam Probe, Bennett Stusek and Adam Labrash.
Meanwhile, retuning Defensive Coordinator Kyle Stroeder will implement a scheme designed to stop both the pass and run game. Linebacker Josh White as well as linemen Daniel Okpoko and rookie Michael Clow are expected to provide leadership. Saskatchewan’s secondary is anchored by Jaxon Ford and Josh Girodat.
Jeff Stusek comes back as Special Teams Coordinator hoping to achieve success by using depth and athleticism on this unit.
Saskathchewan will battle New Brunswick on Saturday July 8th at 1:00pm AT.
“New Brunswick will be very well coached and have some talented players,” Gray assessed of their opponent. “We know that their fan base will travel well and it will be very much like a home game for them.”
“They have had to opportunity to scrimmage the U18 Nova Scotia team twice so we know that they will be well prepared and rust free in our first game.”
Gray said that while Saskatchewan has set their sights on top spot, there are other things he hopes the players will take away from the 2017 Football Canada Cup.
“We have always come to this tournament with one goal, a gold medal,” he expressed. “Aside from that, we encourage our players to goal set personal goals and we have team goals for all three phases of the game.”
“We encourage our players to use this tournament as an opportunity to get better as both players and people by exposing them to both the cultural and scenic history of this unique province, Nova Scotia.”
2016 RESULT: lost to Quebec 25-8 to earn silver medal and second place
HEAD COACH: Sheldon Gray – eighth year coaching in tournament
NUMBER OF RETURNING PLAYERS: 12
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
|Josh Donnelly||QB||Dr. Martin Leboldus|
|Semba Mbasela||RB||Dr. Martin Leboldus|
|Adam Probe||RB||Dr. Martin Leboldus|
|Bennett Stusek||REC||Campbell Collegiate|
|Adam Labrash||REC||Walter Murray|
|Josh White||LB||Campbell Collegiate|
|Daniel Okpoko||DL||St. Joseph|
|Michael Clow||DL||Miller Comprehensive|
|Jaxon Ford||DB||Campbell Collegiate|
|Josh Girodat||DB||Michael A. Riffel|
This post is also available in: French