By James Tubb on November 25, 2021.
It was nearly a perfect season for the Medicine Hat High Jr. Hawks.
The Jr. Hawks beat the Lloydminster Red Dogs 35-21 Saturday to capture the tier II provincial championship and remain undefeated on the season. Head coach Scott Howes said the win was a perfect way to cap off the kids’ season.
“I think for the kids it’s a great way to end for how hard they worked over the course of the year and a great way to finish,” Howes said.
After tying their first game of the season against Brooks, the Jr. Hawks did not lose all season long and finished with an 11-0-1 record after regular season, playoffs and provincial playoffs.
Howes says one of his coaches, Anthony Anderson who played football at the university level, shared his experiences to motive the team ahead of the championship game.
“He said, ‘I’ve played five years of CIS football with the Dinos, I played high school football, I played junior high football, I’ve never won a championship game. I’ve never won the last game of the year,’” Howes said. “He(Anderson) went to the national championships, he scored a touchdown in the national championship but he had never won the last game of his season.”
When asked if the Jr. Hawks could run it back next season and double down on being undefeated, Howes said it’s hard to repeat anything but said they have a lot to build with.
“I know we have lots to build from, it’s just what those kids are committed to, improving themselves in the off-season … I think this year we came with a lot more football smarts than you do some years and at the bantam level, football smarts can overtake lots of things that you might lack in skill or something that you’re missing,” Howes said.
He says he is proud of his team for having a season as successful as theirs with an inexperienced roster and hopes his team carries the win with them.
“We had 42 kids this year that had never played football before,” Howes said. “I’m proud of the boys that they could support each other and get each other through that point of time, but just knowing they are a cohesive group and maybe they’ll walk the hallways with a little bit more confidence or that they know they are a part of something that’s pretty cool.
“For these kids, I just think it is a pretty cool experience to be able to write it on a wall and say they were a part of it.”