‘Bees’ continue to suffer growing pains

Heading into last Thursday’s game against the host International Falls Broncos “C” team, the Muskie “Bees” were confident they were a much improved football team.
But while the team has made great strides since the start of the season, the outcome was the same as the black-and-gold suffered their third-straight blowout–this time falling 78-12.
Despite the lopsided setback, head coach Rob Tysz remained upbeat and continued to praise the team’s determination even while the Broncos ran up the score, including a touchdown in the final seconds while already leading 70-12.
“No one likes to lose, especially with a huge lopsided score,” the rookie head coach noted. “But we learned a great deal from that game–coaches and players alike.”
Comprised of a “dozen or so” players playing organized football for the first time, the team continues to strive towards its goal of teaching these young players the skills they’ll need to advance to the Muskie senior program.
“Teaching them the skills will take these players two to three years to learn,” Tysz noted. “And keeping this in mind, the coaches can be proud of this young team and the improvements they’ve made in the game.
“All the coaches are extremely proud of this team and will continue to improve for our next game,” he stressed.
While it may be difficult to see the improvement when the team dropped its worst defeat of the season, one in which the black-and-gold defence surrender 10 touchdowns (including five to Bronco running back Chad Kuffenkam), the Muskies technically look to be headed in the right direction.
Kuffenkam scored on touchdown runs of 50 and 47 yards just 1:36 into the game to stake the Broncos to a quick 16-0 lead.
But Jock Gemmell scored on a nice individual effort midway through the first quarter, breaking through the middle for a 54-yard major, to close the gap to 16-6 (the two-point conversion failed).
That touchdown was set up by a Brad Wakefield fumble recovery near midfield after the Bronco returner couldn’t handle a high punt.
Gemmell later added his second touchdown of the game, and third of the season, on a 52-yard run to pull the Muskies to within 32-12 in the second quarter.
“He continues to grow each game, and his maturity is starting to rub off on our offence,” praised Tysz. “Our offensive line clicked a few times and he hit the hole.”
“Jock’s really improved in reading his blocks, and he’s really good at going to the outside because he has so much speed,” added offensive co-ordinator Todd Calder.
“And he’s strong enough that he can use his power to break through the middle,” he added.
On offence, Tysz said he was impressed with the play of several of his players, including Barry Rodrigues and Steve Arpin. He also noted the job done by grade sevens Kevin Tysz and Michael Allen, who both gained starting spots for the game.
Calder said the offence continues to get better each game. “The offence is starting to come together. The kids are starting to hold on to their blocks longer than before,” he noted.
And while the score would indicate otherwise, the defence also did a reasonable job at times as it continues to learn the 3-4 system, the same one used by the senior squad.
“Our front seven learned the value of filling a gap and creating a pile at the line while our secondary gained valuable experience in filling the holes to contain against a very strong running game,” said Tysz.
“We had a number of fine gang tackles, made with a strong individual performance from Adam McCormick who found his way to a number of individual stops,” he added.
The “Bees” return to action tomorrow in Roseau looking to avenge an earlier loss to the Rams here, then wrap up their schedule on the road against Littlefork/Big Falls on Oct. 6.