With high hopes of making it to the provincial final for six-man football, the Caronport Cougars dreams were dashed in a close battle over the weekend.
The Cougars lost 52-40 to Wynyard in the semifinal in Caronport on Saturday.
“It as a very close game. We actually outplayed them on offence and defence, but they beat us up on special teams and turnovers,” said Cougars coach Ken Guenter. “We made a lot of progress this year.”
Caronport finished second in the league, behind Watrous. They defeated Spiritwood 49-16 in the quarter-final to make it to the semifinal.
“Watrous is playing this weekend in the provincial final,” said Guenter. “Two teams from our league went on to play the two best teams from the northwest.”
It has been a season of growth for the Cougars that saw their starting quarterback be replaced midway through their first game. Johnny Toews ended up being the team’s new quarterback and saw a lot of success at the position he normally doesn’t play.
“Last year, in Grade 10, he was our best receiver and scored a bunch of touchdowns,” explained Guenter. “This year, in Grade 11, he was very reluctant to be a quarterback. He would rather be a receiver, but he did a great job. He ended throwing well and was able to get out of the pocket and avoid tackles.”
Despite the Cougars having hopes of going further than just the semifinal, the team and coaching staff were happy with the season overall. To finish in the top four teams in the province for six-man football wasn’t a bad finish.
“We were hoping to go further than this, but Watrous is a terrific team and we’ve never beaten them. We came closer this year, but we knew we would have to meet them in the final,” he stated. “We are really quite pleased with the progress and the quality of football that was played.
“We passed really well and our running game got better, but we are a passing team. Most of our touchdowns were from passing. We made a lot of progress and had some really good receivers this year.”
The team will look to continue the success they had this season into next year, as their core will remain the same, including their quarterback.
“We will have eight out of 12 starters returning, including the quarterback and the defensive line. We’ve got lots to build on,” he said. “We are a community team and we have 20 kids coming back next year. It is primarily a home grown team and the community suppose is fantastic.”