Muskies open season today

Although their regular season opened today, training camp is still in session for the Muskie varsity (‘A’) team, at least according to rookie offensive co-ordinator Shane Beckett.
After winning for the first time in two seasons in an exhibition game here last Thursday against the Sturgeon Creek Schooners (18-0), the Muskies headed to Winnipeg early this morning for a late-afternoon game against the Churchill Bulldogs—one of the best teams last season in the ‘AA’ conference of the Winnipeg High School Football League.
“We treated this week as training camp and regular season starts next week, so whatever happens this week is a learning experience for us,” Beckett said before yesterday’s practice.
“Offensively, we’ve been working primarily on just execution and timing,” he noted. “There was some sloppy play on those fronts in the game against Sturgeon Creek.
“We have to get it to the point where it’s systematic and that just comes from [repetitions],” Beckett added.
Even though the Muskies are playing the role of underdog against the Bulldogs this afternoon, they’re still going into the game with confidence.
“We’re not concerned about Churchill does. We’re more concerned about what we’re going to do,” head coach Bob Swing had said after last week’s win over Sturgeon Creek.
“We’re going to do what we do, and not spend a lot of time with what Churchill does,” he added.
What the Muskies need to start doing is establishing their running game as a legitimate threat, which then would open up the passing game for quarterback Ty Griffith.
“We have to be able to run the football,” Beckett stressed. “We had some miscommunication with that, as well, so we’ve also worked on that.
“Running the football sets up our passing game and that’s how our system works,” he added. “So if we can get Thomas [Edwards] going on that, then that will really help us out.”
Last week’s victory was a big step for the Muskies, who went winless the past two seasons after going 4-4 in their inaugural campaign in the WHSFL in 2001.
“You could see that their was a sense of relief that we had won, but at the same time it brought a sense of urgency, knowing that what we will face this week is not what we faced last week,” said Beckett.
“Last year, I remember that offensively they [Churchill] moved the ball very well and defensibly they stymied us a lot,” he added. “If we can do well in this game, it really can set us up for the rest of the season.”