Football team needs more players

The Muskie football season is fast approaching, with an exhibition game slated for this Thursday (Sept. 2) at 4 p.m. against the visiting Sturgeon Creek Schooners.
But there’s a small problem facing Bob Swing and the rest of his coaching staff—they need more players.
“We don’t have a lot of numbers,” Swing admitted Sunday before the start of practice. “Right now, we’re probably looking at between 22 and 25 kids.
“There’s seven or eight kids that are undecided, but you don’t want those kids if they’re not committed because they’ll end up just being cancerous and causing problems for you throughout the year,” he added.
Swing believes the bandwagon effect has come into play with student participation.
The slump the Muskie ‘A’ team has seen over the past two seasons in the Winnipeg High School Football League has decreased the numbers.
In previous years, when the team was successful in the old NorWOSSA circuit, they didn’t have enough spots for the overwhelming player turnout.
“We have had 65-75 kids in previous years, and what happens is they don’t get enough playing time, they don’t get enough reps, and I think it’s not conducive to be successful, but that’s what happens,” said Swing.
That is why the program is building the Bantam and PeeWee teams, which have seen good numbers to start this season with more than 30 kids coming out.
They hope building these “feeder” teams will bring the varsity squad back to their once dominance.
“Knowing that we will once again, at some point, be successful, we want to tier it so it feeds itself, and that’s what we’re trying to do with the PeeWee and Bantam programs,” Swing explained.
“It’s the only way we’ll survive,” he stressed. “To be successful to the level we want to be at, we have to have the feeder programs.”
Swing, along with defensive co-ordinator Lou Gauthier and offensive co-ordinator Shane Beckett, would like to have 30-34 kids with the ‘A’ team in order to have options when the regular season rolls around.
“We’re good enough to compete, absolutely. Enough to sustain? We’ll have to see about that,” Swing remarked.
So for all you high schoolers out there who always are the first to criticize the team and say, “Man, I could’ve made that play,” put your money where you’re mouth is.
It only takes one phone call to Swing (274-4656) or a visit to Beckett (in the office beside the small gym).