The Central Cyclones made it to the league championship last season and were dealt a heartbreaking 25-0 loss by the Vanier Vikings.
The team has had almost a year to move on and swallow that shutout and with many returning players, the Cyclones feel this is their year.
“We have a lot of returning Grade 12s. A lot of returning quality kids coming back and some new kids that will see some significant playing time,” stated Colin Belsher, head coach of the Cyclones. “I don’t want to say I was satisfied with finishing second last year. Vanier was an extremely talented team and they deserved everything that they achieved. To get back to that city championship is obviously our main focus and main goal.”
With 18 returning Grade 12 athletes, the Cyclones are excited to get back on the gridiron this Saturday (1 p.m., Gutheridge Field) against Swift Current.
“Having those kids with that experience of being there...a lot of these kids were on that city championship team last year and they know what it is like to have that opportunity pulled out from underneath them, that crippling feeling of defeat and watching the other team get those medals put around their necks has left them hungry,” he said. “They have been there and saw what needs to be done to win that championship, so I think that experience they gained last year will be big for us.”
Despite three starters beginning the season with injury, Belsher knows how hard the players have worked throughout the summer and knows the team will be able to overcome this early bump.
“We are battling the injury bug already, unfortunately. We haven’t even played yet and already three starters are hurt,” he said.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.