General Amherst likely to field combined senior and junior team this season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

When the General Amherst Bulldogs take the field for the 2018 WECSSAA football season, they will likely be a mix of both senior and junior players.

John Rudak, who is coach of the senior Bulldogs, said he likely will have to combine both teams in order to put a team on the field this season. The juniors could be their own team as in previous seasons but Rudak said that would take an influx of players to help bolster the depth on the senior team.

Rudak pegged the chances at a combined team at 95 per cent, as of last Thursday afternoon’s practice at Centennial Park.

“So far, we’ve had 35-36 players out for all four of our practices, which is good,” he said last Thursday. “The bulk of this team is going to be junior players. We’ve got a good group of Grade 9’s.”

As players put on the pads this week, Rudak said numbers could grow into the 40’s if some players show up that have indicated they might. He was hopeful of more players at the end of the last school year, but noted that they have decided to pursue other options.

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs football team hit the field for the first time this season last week as practice has started for the 2018 WECSSAA season.

“People were interested enough at the end of last year but they changed their minds over the summer,” said Rudak.

With a combined roster, Rudak said the Bulldogs will be stronger than they were last year when the senior team went 0-6. He said there were players who weren’t dedicated to the sport last year and that there weren’t enough players so that he could substitute in people who had the dedication.

Rudak said he has no problem putting a Grade 10 player in the game over a more senior player if the younger player is more committed.

“Last year, we had no depth,” said Rudak.

Rudak added that it is nice coaching junior players, as they have fewer commitments that take them away from football. He said playing football allows young people to have fun and be competitive.

“Just to be part of something is important,” he said.

The Bulldogs won’t be the only combined team in the WECSSAA league this season, he pointed out, adding that there are schools with double the enrolment who don’t have a football program.

“We’re going to try and keep this going as long as we can,” said Rudak.

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