By Lethbridge Herald on October 31, 2023.
By Justin Seward
The Catholic Central Cougars senior football team are on the field this week prepping for their playoff tilt with the Medicine Hat High School Hawks on the road on Friday.
“It’s exciting,” said Jordan Dyck, Cougars head coach.
“Anytime you play in the zone final, it’s exciting, and yeah we get to represent our area down here and we’re going to bring a game to Med Hat. We haven’t played them in a couple of years now, so it’s going to be a good time. We’re ready to rock ‘n roll with them.”
Dyck was confident in that the Cougars are going to play playoff football on Friday night.
“And that’s just one game at a time,” he said.
“So come playoff time , we got to go 1-0, 1-0, 1-0. And that’s our goal, to play some smashmouth football.”
The Cougars know the Hawks are a good team.
“We know that they’re a tough team,” said Dyck.
“Medicine Hat has a great culture and they come down hill. They hit hard as a team and we have to match that. We have to come down hill and hit harder than they do.”
Dyck thinks there is an advantage playing on the road.
“Not as much pressure on you and yeah we get to travel to a new environment,” he said.
“We get to travel and yeah we get to take the fight to them. So we’ll see. We played a lot more home games this year than we did away games.”
The Cougars will look to rely on Grade 12s Noah Kinniburgh and Ben Amantea in this contest.
“Honestly the energy level’s been really high,” said Amantea.
“Ever since we found out that we were going to zones, everyone kind of just felt that they needed to answer a call. So the practices the last couple of weeks have just been super high energy, super fun.”
Amantea wants to keep the team energy up and the players mentally good.
“So if I can keep everyone coordinated and keep everyone in a good mood, then we’ll play better,” he said.
Kinniburgh wants the Cougars to match the Hawks’ energy.
“We got to come out there basically guns blazing,” said Kinniburgh.
“ We have to hit them hard; we have hit them first. We got to run. Everything we do, we got to run at full speed because they’re not going to lay over and just give us this game obviously.”
Kinniburgh thinks this is a great opportunity in front of them.
“We have a lot of people to prove wrong,” said Kinniburgh.
“We’ve come over a lot of adversity this year. So I think we’re just going to go out there, play our game, and you know what happens, happens. But I think ultimately we’re just going to prove it ourselves that this isn’t a fluke why we’re here.”
The Tier II South Zone final goes Friday night at the Methanex Bowl in Medicine Hat at 7 p.m.
The winner will advance to an Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association quarter-final next weekend.
Cardston booked their rip to a ASAA quarterfinal after beating Winston Churchill 44-0 on Friday in the Tier III South Zone final.
Willow Creek plays WR Myers will play in the Tier IV final on Friday to determine who the South 1 and 2 quarterfinal representatives will be. The winner will host a quarterfinal while loser will hit the road on Nov. 11.