The Avon View Avalanche football team had a rough year, but head coach Jim Bryan is optimistic for the future.
"We are still growing the sport in the area,” he said in a recent interview.
The Avalanche began the season strong with 35 players. However, that only included four Grade 12 players. An overwhelming number were Grade 10 students, which Bryan said looks great for the future.
The Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation went back to using an old system of play where the league was not divided into divisions. The system saw teams play as high as Seed 1 through to the bottom, knowing full well they would have an uphill climb.
The first game of the season was against what looked to be the best team in the province — CP Allen.
“The Avalanche might have finished 0-8 but they survived,” said Bryan of the 2013 fall season.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend in mid-October, someone broke into the Avalanche’s shed and stole food and propane tanks and then continued to the Avalanche dressing room trailer, stealing cleats, team hoodies, helmets and t-shirts. It was a real setback, Bryan said.
On a more positive note, the team finished the season with a core group of 27 players who never gave up on each other, the coaches or the program. Bryan noted the improvement shown by the athletes as players, people and teammates was commendable.
Looking ahead to next year, Bryan wanted to let the members know that the only way this season was worth the pain was if the players stick with the program and pursue the better days that are coming.
He noted that if everyone returns, there will be 25 players, including a number with experience from Windsor’s now defunct minor football system.
He encourages any Grade 9 students coming to Avon View in 2014 to come out and give the sport a try.