With snow on the ground outside, local football players will be heading inside next month to get a jumpstart on the 2015 season.
Football practices are being held in the Taber Community Centre auditorium, starting Wednesday, Jan. 7 from 6-7 p.m. Bantam players are the focus of the practice sessions, as players currently in Grade 7 and Grade 8 are welcome.
“It’s an opportunity for our veteran players to get some conditioning and skill work in and hopefully, we’ll have some newcomers as well,” said bantam head coach Garrett Simmons.
The bantam team is coming off a season which culminated in a Division 3 Southern Alberta Minor Football Association championship, and the coach is hoping to build off that momentum.
“We ended the season exactly how we wanted to, and now the focus has shifted to recruiting players for 2015,” said Simmons.
“With our returning Grade 8 players and the peewee kids coming up, it looks like we’ll be struggling to put 20 players on the field come the fall season..”
The coach added he’d like to add another 10 players to the roster, either kids who have played in previous years and hung up the cleats for a few seasons or those new to the game.
“Every year we have players sign up who have no football experience whatsoever,” said Simmons.
“Football is a game that can be taught, and if you’re willing to learn, we can find a spot for you on the field. That’s the beauty of the sport — football takes players of all shapes and sizes to fill out a roster.”
Practices are free for players, and will run most Wednesdays in January and February. Players only need to bring a pair of running shoes and a willingness to learn.
“We’ll include some basic instruction for those brand new to football, throw in some conditioning and football-specific skills training and work in some more advanced stuff for our returning players,” said Simmons, who added while the practices are designed for bantam-age players, peewee players and those moving up to high school are welcome to attend.
For more information, contact Garrett Simmons at 403-382-0681.