The Taber bantam Rebels will hit the field Monday, Aug. 18 for the first day of pre-season camp.
“We’re going to go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday that week and then give the kids the rest of the week off for Cornfest,” said Garrett Simmons, head coach of the bantam team.
Practices are set for 5:30 p.m. each night at Ken McDonald Memorial Sportspark. The team will get back together Tuesday, Aug. 26, and will practice each night until Friday, Aug. 29, also at 5:30 p.m.
“It’s nice to get an early start to the season and get an opportunity to knock off the rust, work out some kinks and make sure everyone is in shape once the regular season starts Sept. 6,” Simmons added.
Numbers look to be a challenge once again this year, as the bantams just approached the 20-player mark for spring camp earlier this year.
With a few weeks to go before the start of school and the Southern Alberta Minor Football Association season, Simmons is hoping to see everyone from spring camp, and a few new faces.
“We would still like to add at least another five players. Football is a physical, demanding sport, and we need a few more players to spread out the playing time and give some of our players a rest when they need it.”
As was witnessed last year, having a team with a lot of depth on the roster helps when the season approaches the mid-way mark.
“You always have kids you tweak an injury here and there or have to miss a weekend due to a prior commitment,” said Simmons. “That’s when those extra few players on the roster really come in handy. If you can have a number of players ready to step in when things happen, it makes for a much more smooth season.”
Getting new players on the field early is important, he added, as in years past newcomers have signed on well into the season, and while the help was needed, and appreciated, having a full training camp comes in handy.
“In a perfect world, we would love to have every kid show up Aug. 18, whether it’s the veteran player whose been involved in football since atom or the kid who is brand new to the sport,” said Simmons. “Having time to teach kids the proper way to block, tackle, catch a football and get them in shape, really makes a huge difference. Simply put, we can’t put someone on the field in a game if we’re not confident they know what they’re doing.”
Players looking for more information about the bantam program can call Simmons at 403-382-0681.