#CFC50 game preview [exhib]: Vincent Massey Trojans clash with the Aden Bowman Bears

The Winnipeg High School Football League has another road game on tap this Friday. The Vincent Massey Trojans are traveling to Saskatoon Saskatchewan to meet with the Aden Bowman Collegiate Bears.

Vincent Massey is coming off of a 6-1 regular season, with their first varsity championship in the programs 7 year program. This is the last matchup for the Trojans before they meet the St.Paul’s Crusaders on September 9th.

I talked to coach Kelsey McKay about how long some of his starters would see action in Friday’s game. Winner of WHSFL’s Rookie of the Year Eryk Bujalski and Abdul Gassama have both been stand outs on their squad. McKay mentioned, “Eryk Bujalski is our emotional leader on defence, and is responsible to get our defence set-up into their responsibilities.” Abdul Gassama will play at one of the slot positions, and will also take turns returning punts and kicks. Both of these stars will play into the 3rd.

When approaching a preseason game, coach and his staff tell the team that everyone will get the opportunity to show themselves in the game, and as part of the team concept. They want to see them disciplined in their responsibilities and communicate on the field thoroughly with their teammates.  Coach added, “Also, and most importantly, enjoy the game, have fun, and ‘compete’ out there, game day is ‘Pay Day’ for all those hours of practices, meetings and working out.”

Preseason games can only matter so much in the big picture, but the Trojans staff is looking for their players to be disciplined, and humble. “We like to see their consistency in their execution, are ‘we’ organized as a team, and disciplined in our interaction with our opponents, and the referees.” Stats aren’t always big for Massey either, “Also, who is out there playing for their teammates, not themselves, not caring who gets any credit,” explained McKay.

One of the biggest losses to the Trojans in the offseason was Findlay Brown. Brown was a senior in 2015 and signed on scholarship with McGill University. Team veteran Taj Moryl will get the shot over converted soccer goalie Connor Hall over experience, but it’s a pretty close race right now.

There have been a few surprises from Vincent Massey’s camp. Grade 11 defensive back Caleb Williams has made an impact, McKay said, “Caleb Williams is a tackling machine,he’s not big in stature, but wow, is he fearless.” Williams is known for being quiet but playing big, and he’s currently pushing some of the older starters for playing time.

Another player that has been on coach’s radar is grade ten defensive tackle/end, Kyler Filewich. At 6’5, 240 he is very athletic for his size and is extremely intelligent and instinctive. “We return all 4 starters from last season’s Def Line, yet Kyler’s progress is accelerating immensely!,” exclaimed Coach. Kyler has been working himself into a regular rotation with the older players on the defensive line as well.

The preseason is almost over and soon the Trojans get the chance to defend their title. One question remains, who will win in the second battle of the prairies?







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