Muskies aiming for first win today

When you really think about it, 30-0 isn’t all that bad.
Though the Muskie varsity (‘A’) team was on the losing end of that score in last Friday’s regular-season opener against the host Churchill Bulldogs, they haven’t let the loss discourage them from seeing the bigger picture.
“You know what? We’re going to keep on the same course we’ve been on. We’re just going to keep it simple,” Muskie defensive backs coach Greg Allan said earlier this week.
“We’re going to get the basics down and work on those, and keep the reps up and go from there,” he added. “We’re not going to do anything different in the Grant Park game.”
Kick-off for the Muskies’ home-opener today against Grant Park is at 4 p.m. And the black-and-gold know they will be in tough against the Pirates, who narrowly lost their season-opener 18-16 to the River East Kodiaks last week.
“We’re 0-1 and their 0-1, and they’ll be a good team and we’ll expect a lot out of them, and we’ll be much more prepared for this game than the last,” said Allan.
While the Muskies were blanked last week by the Bulldogs, one of the better teams in the ‘AA’ conference of the Winnipeg High School Football League, some positives still emerged.
“We called a lot of the right plays, it’s just we didn’t make the play,” rookie offensive co-ordinator Shane Beckett said yesterday before practice.
“We need to get our running game established and we worked a lot on our passing game this week and worked on the timing of the passing game, so I think that’s a little bit more polished,” he added.
The team leaders also started to make their presence felt this week, starting to take the initiative and take things in their own hands.
“What we saw this week is a lot of the leadership started to step up and that’s a really positive thing,” said Beckett. “Guys are starting to take it on their own and staying late after practice and doing their own thing.
“I see that as a major improvement and character builder for us, which is something we haven’t necessarily had for the last little while,” he admitted. “We’ve had some strong leadership, but those guys now really have to take us to our goals.”
One of the negatives from last week’s defeat was that it left a bad taste in some players’ mouths—and some still haven’t gotten over the loss.
Monday’s practice, for instance, saw only 18 players out—down from the 27 who had made the trip to Winnipeg for Friday’s game. And though the numbers steadily improved as the week went on, the Muskies would love the option of having more players.
“It’s picked up. We made a couple of phone calls,” said Beckett. “A couple of guys I guess kind of cut themselves, and the guys that weren’t here on Monday that came and talked to the coaching staff were back out on the field.”
The Muskies will field 23-24 players for today’s game against Grant Park, having called up Bantam (‘B’) players Joe Bodnar and D.J. Hunsperger.

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