About two weeks ago, the Fort Frances High Muskies took home the NORWOSSA football championship, knocking off the previously undefeated Dryden Eagles 14-3.
Assistant coach Scott Fawcett said the team was as excited as any team is when they win a championship.
“Whatever level you win a championship at, it all feels the same for the participants,” Fawcett said. “Whether you’re in the winning locker room after winning the Grey Cup or after a university championship.”
Fawcett says it’s particularly impactful on coaches to be able to see players’ joy at the win.
“When the coaches got to see the looks on the players’ faces after the game, it’s like watching five year olds on Christmas morning, right?” Fawcett said. “That’s all we really needed out of the whole thing to make you feel good about your little part of the contribution. The championship really belongs to the players, their parents, the people who ran the touchdown club who did the fundraising.”
Fawcett said the trophy is currently being engraved, and will be presented to the team soon.
Fawcett was also very thankful to the staff at the school board and Fort Frances High School.
“Nobody will know outside the football team how difficult this was, and how much gratitude we need to express to the director of education, Heather Campbell, and her staff at the school board, and Principal Jen Leishman and the head custodian Lori Caul and her team,” Fawcett said.”Because football was not only the first sport of the fall, it starts before school and the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education had just issued their guidance on COVID protocols and return to sport less than a week or so before we started practicing.”
With 15 seniors leaving the team after this year, Fawcett said the effort to recruit new blood to the team through this year’s grade 8s will start in the spring. Fawcett says losing so many seniors will open up space for younger students to play next fall. With only five grade 11 players they hope to see those who were in grade 9 this year step their game as well.
“There will be a lot of opportunities with those 15 graduating seniors for grade 9 students, or students that are currently at the high school but, for whatever reason, didn’t play this year,” Fawcett said. “There’s going to be a lot of opportunity for them to come in and earn their playing time just like our grade 9s and 10s earned their playing time this year.”