GOTW SK: CFC50 No. 9 LeBoldus and No. 31 Campbell renew hostilities

Expect animosity in the air on Thursday night as the CFC50 No. 9 LeBoldus Golden Suns take on the No. 31 Campbell Tartans in Saskatchewan.

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These two programs have some history with Campbell being the culprits who brought an end to LeBoldus’ reign over the province two years ago. The Suns managed to advance out of Regina and defeat CFC50 Holy Cross from Saskatoon in the provincial finals five years in a row, but life hasn’t been the same since Campbell stole the grand prize in 2017. Last year neither program advanced with the Miller Marauders dancing their way to glory, but after an early season tumble on the CFC50 Rankings, all of a sudden Saskatchewan looks like anybody’s for the taking.

We’ve got a brand new cast of stars carrying on the tradition, and there’s plenty of fresh faces that are looking to write some history of their own. LeBoldus will be led in part by CFC Prospect Game standout CFC100 Ryker Frank, who expects to set the tone in the backfield this season,

“We play aggressively and confidently, but with discipline. We have a fast, athletic team and aim to dominate early. Personally, I am hoping to lead our league in rushing yards as I did last year, but this year I want to come out with a city and provincial championship.”

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The Suns got off on the right foot last week earning their first victory over Sheldon-Williams in a 56-20 blowout, but they know there’s still plenty of work that needs to be done. Most of their top prospects will be playing both ways this year with Joe Camplin playing offensive line and linebacker, Ben Swallow playing linebacker and fullback, Tommie Avram playing halfback and fullback, then Hayden Lorenz lining up on both sides of the line.

Another playmaker to watch on offence will be receiver Jerry Wiebe, who has full faith that their coaches have the team mentally prepared for battle,

“The top 3 points of emphasis for our team is execute to perfection, do your job then the play will take care of itself, and the third point is be disciplined. Our coaches are always preaching how important these things are.”

Campbell enter as the underdogs on the rankings, but with parity taking a stranglehold on the province in recent years, they understand the top ranked program today isn’t promised tomorrow. After earning victories over Winston Knoll and Sheldon-Williams to make their first appearance on the CFC50 Rankings, they’ll be looking to Jaxon Runge, Adam King, Logan Gabrielle and Jack Hanwell to lead the way again on defence. Hanwell’s main focus is on preventing points with the goal to drop no interceptions and have no catches against this season, but he also chips in at running back to compliment their pass attack. A couple key receivers to watch for the Tartans will be Lucas Matravolgyi and Levi Hurlbert, who’re already forming an early connection with quarterback Kayman Mellor.

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While he’s got his own responsibilities to deal with on offence, Hanwell says the main focus will be shutting down the other guy in the backfield,

“We need to stop the run. That’s one of the biggest keys going into this game as we are facing the best running back in the league. I think our receivers need to do a good job at catching the ball and making big plays when we need them. And our defence needs to really communicate this week with all the moving around before the snap.”

When asked about what to expect if you’re scouting Campbell, Hanwell kept things short and sweet,

“Scouts should expect a physical team that goes hard every play. They should expect a brotherhood, and a bunch of guys out there playing what they love and ballin’ out.”

This won’t be a matchup for the faint of heart with two physical programs going toe-to-toe, and it could reveal a tiny glimpse into the future if one of them ends up running away with the victory. For five years the end result was never really in doubt in Saskatchewan, but LeBoldus now have a new generation of hungry athletes ready to make the climb,

“For those who are unfamiliar with our style of play the most important thing I would say is how quick we play and how we are all competitive and supportive at the same time.” Wiebe explains.

“My personal goal this season is to win provincials. Every year I’ve gotten really close but we’ve fallen short every time. I believe this year we have one of the best team I’ve ever played with, and I trust these guys. They have my back and I have theirs.”

Campbell will play host with kickoff set for Thursday at 5:15pm.

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