HS Game Preview (MB): Sisler Spartans take on the Grant Park Pirates

The Winnipeg High School Football League is back in action Thursday night. The 1-0 Sisler Spartans will be hosting the 1-0 Grant Park Pirates.

In last week’s action, the Grant Park Pirates defeated Murdoch MacKay 34-21. “I thought we did a lot of good things and knocked some people down,” mentioned Doug Kovacs coach of the Pirates. Grant Park’s defense was very aggressive with 6 sacks and 4 interceptions. Brandon O’Connor was the player of the game with 240 total yards including 3 touchdowns, on defense Brandon earned 3 sacks and 7 tackles as well. Tyson Spence had a sack and Valentine Lazo played both ways, both were very physical on the line of scrimmage. Matt Strachan also made an impact with an interception and a key knockdown that sealed the win, coach added, “I thought he did a tremendous job shutting down #7 for Murdoch.” Also, Marcel Dufault rushed for 140 yards and 2 TDs.

For Grant Park to open the season 2-0, they’ll have to get through the Sisler Spartans, a team Doug Kovacs referred to as, “A great team with a strong tradition.” The Spartans are very balanced on offense and fast. Defensively, Sisler is very big up front and physical. “We will need to match their discipline and speed on Thursday night,” explained Kovacs.  “I think it will be a great game and the team that limits penalties and turnovers will prevail.”


Photo credit: Grant Park Pirates

Photo credit: Grant Park Pirates

Sisler opened up their 2016 campaign with a 24-6 victory over the Kelvin Clippers. In the victory over Kelvin, the Spartans were lead offensively by their ground game. Senior tailback Ivan Jaque had 11 carries for 85 yards including a 20 yard touchdown reception. In the 4th quarter Sisler was able to rely on their big junior fullback who earned 145 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown, while helping close out the clock. Junior Quarterback Tyler Koniuck also contributed by running for 50 yards and passing for 80 and a touchdown. Defensively, junior middle linebacker Easton Montour and sophomore free safety Austin Balan both had big games.

Last season, the Spartans were fortune to have Bailey Pavcek playing both sides of the line. Coach Sean Esselmont talked about his former player, he said, “Bailey was a special part of this program, he was a LS, a Center, and a DE and an emotional leader.” I asked coach who was able to step up and fill the void left by Bailey, “The void has been filled by Logan Leschyshyn who plays right tackle, linebacker and LS for us and has stepped up as a captain and leader for this team.”

Pavcek #55

Pavcek #55

In order for the Sisler Spartans to start the year 2-0, they’ll have to keep their defense playing sound discipline football and have their offense utilize its speed. “Grant Park’s offense is a lot of misdirection and they run a lot of pressure on defense,” mentioned Esselmont.

When asked how his team is preparing for this game, Doug Kovacs explained, “It is a traditional rival of ours and we have not experience a lot of success with them over the last 50 years. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

We at CFC think that Grant Park will defeat Sisler, but it will be a dog fight.

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