Knights buffed up for early season test
Football: Holy Trinity Academy fine-tuning in quasi-exhibition in Brooks
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 06:00 am
School has just started at Holy Trinity Academy but some students will face an early pop quiz this Friday in Brooks.
The Holy Trinity Academy (HTA) Knights will play the Brooks Buffalos in a football game that will be part exhibition, part regular season. The main focus is to get rid of some kinks before the long high school season.
“We are going to try and get everybody in,” Knights coach Matt Hassett said. “I haven’t talked to the Brooks coach yet, but we might do things like just play young guys for a quarter… It’s kind of exhibition and kind of regular season game. It will count towards the rankings, but the early rankings don’t mean a lot.”
The Knights started practice on Aug. 19 and just like being in the classroom, they are learning a little bit each day.
“If you are inserting an offence you put in a couple new things each day,” Hassett said.
“We will try a few plays each day, and then a few more plays the next and we try to fine tune it.
“We will go into Brooks with a very basic package.”
The game will allow Hassett to give his quarterbacks a few more snaps. Spencer Kiranas started at the tail end of the 2012 season and he is penciled in as the Knights’ starting pivot but is banged up after playing football this spring with the Calgary Midget Stampeders.
“We think he will be ready to go, but we will see,” Hassett said. “He has looked really good in practice but he probably won’t start the season.”
He said he expects Nick McFarland and Troy McGee to take some snaps against the Buffs.
On defence, he wants to make sure his players have hit – and been hit – in preparation for things to come.
“Defence usually comes along a lot quicker than the offence,” Hassett said. “I just want to make sure we have a game before we play Raymond next week.”
The special teams might not be too special against Brooks, but that’s okay with Hassett.
For now, it’s just about keeping it simple.
“We are still at the feeling out stage,” Hassett said.
“Things like special teams will be pretty vanilla. There won’t be a lot of fakes are anything like that.
“At the end of last week, we were just trying to slot players into special teams since we have seen the guys for five practices now. It is difficult to get special teams set up and running in proficient manner to get them ready to play.”
Hassett said he will be looking towards three-year veterans such as receiver Caleb Selders and safety Jordan Rae to help the younger Knights on the field.
“They are huge,” Hassett said.
“They know what it is like to go to the provincial final and they saw how people fought tooth and nail to get there.
“That is going to be a very important as the year goes on.”
The Knights are hoping to use the Brooks game as a springboard for their home opener on Sept. 6 at Knights Field against perennial Alberta powerhouse the Raymond Comets.
The Big Rock Football Conference has added one more team. The Canmore Crusaders have joined the conference after the Big Sky League folded. The Big Rock league will enter its third year with five teams. They are the Foothills Falcons, the Holy Trinity Academy Knights, the Highwood Mustangs, the Crusaders and the defending champion Rundle College Cobras.
The playoff format has yet to be determined.
The Knights’ first Big Rock game is Sept. 13 when they host the Cobras.