LCCVI will field both a senior and junior football team in the 2013 season.
Last year, the Petrolia high school could only field a junior team because there were simply not enough seniors to form a team.
But Rick Tremblay, coach of the junior Lancers, says this year the seniors will field an eight-man team in a rearranged league.
“The seniors are in two leagues; St. Pat’s (Sarnia) and Northern (Sarnia) will play a 12-man game with Strathroy (Holy Cross),” says Tremblay. “There is a five-team, eight-man league with Strathroy, Blenheim, St. Clair (Sarnia), SCITs (Sarnia) and LCCVI.”
Tremblay says it is a good solution to the shortage of players at the senior level. “For that group of kids, we didn’t get a lot of kids out to participate,” he says. “The late bus hasn’t run for five years, kids from Alvinston and Brigden…don’t come out because there is not a late bus.”
The downside of the new system, he says, is the Lambton County championship could be played between two teams who aren’t from Lambton.
But Tremblay believes LCCVI has a good shot this year. “It’s a wide open league,” says Tremblay. “When you take Northern and St. Pat’s out of the league, all those games are going to be winnable games.
“It’s a lot more balanced league.”
Meantime, Tremblay is looking for the Lancers to be competitive against the likely frontrunners in the junior league, Northern and St. Pat’s. “They’re going to be the two favourites,” he says. “Northern has won the championship a number of years in a row and then St. Pat’s will be strong because they’re going to have two schools combined.” (St. Christopher students joined St. Pat’s this year.)
Tremblay is hoping for a strong start saying there are a number of returning, Grade 10 juniors but adds some of the team is playing for the first year. “For some of these kids, it’s putting the equipment on and knowing the proper stance first,” says Tremblay. “We have a lot of Grade 10s, so we may be a bit more advance but it will take time.
The Jr. Lancers take on St. Clair in their first game Sept. 26 in Sarnia. The first home game is against St. Pat’s Oct. 3.
– Heather Wright