Cochrane football well represented at Alberta Summer GamesMay 17, 2018
The Town of Cochrane will be well represented at the 2018 Alberta Summer Games, as many athletes will take their talents to a bigger stage including 10 local football stars who will be suiting up for Zone 2.
Football is one of the 13 sports in the Summer Games which will be taking place July 19 through July 22 in Grande Prairie. The tournament will feature eight Zone teams from around the province and games will be played at CKC Field in Grande Prairie as well as in the Town of Wembley.
Cochrane-born players Chase Hunt, Shaun Clazie, Ben Oliver, Ty Metcalfe, Ben Dobson, Callum Currie, Jake Mate, Riley Moore, Marek Coltman and Connor Mills will join 25 other players from areas such as Airdrie, Okotoks, Springbank, Strathmore, Drumheller and Hanna who are looking to bring home a gold medal.
Chris Glass, Zone 2 head coach, said he’s not surprised that Cochrane comprises a little more than one-third of the team and said the town is usually well represented at this particular tournament.
“We had 67 kids tryout for the team through Football Alberta and we’re able to select 35 players. So basically, we invited who we considered were the best players as well as some kids who wanted to tryout, so we had some walk-ons as well. Cochrane led the team in entries with 10 and we’ve got some really good players coming from the Cochrane area,” Glass said.
“It is very obvious to see that there’s a football culture in Cochrane. With the Bow Valley Bobcats and Cochrane Cobras, Bruce O’Neill and Rob McNab … they do a great job of making football a big focus in Cochrane. Paul Vaillancourt has also done a great job of developing players so right away those players from Cochrane know the mindset as to what football is all about. Both football schools (from Bow Valley and Cochrane High) were both really well represented.”
Glass is not new to the Summer Games process and formatting. While this will be his third consecutive Games, it’s his first as a head coach. He said the preparation going into a tournament such as this will be a bit different for those who haven’t gone through the experience before.
“The big thing is when we have our training camp, is it’s going to be about installing the plays and systems that we think can win us the tournament as opposed the best to win in a season. The one thing we don’t have the luxury of doing is preparing for our opponents … we know nothing about them,” Glass said.
“We want our team to be the most flexible and adaptable team in the tournament.”
Glass said the coaching staff picked the players who they felt like could come together the quickest, which was vital when building a team from players who are more accustomed to beating up on each other than playing together.
“I think the biggest thing you have to do in the short period of time is create a culture for that team. The most successful teams play as a tight knit unit and we started to build that culture in the last two weekends,” Glass said.
“The biggest thing for me is to set a common goal, so our common goal is to win a gold medal and if you aren’t working towards that, then you weren’t going to be selected to our team. So the kids that did their best to put us on that pathway, were the ones who will represent Zone 2.”
Glass, who is from Airdrie and has been coaching the George McDougall Mustangs for the last several seasons, said two players from Cochrane really stood out to him and they could be causing problems for his high school team down the line.
“We have six captains on the team and two of them are from Cochrane. One of them is Ben Dobson, who will be playing defensive back for us … a very quiet kid but just a steady football player who makes tackles and has a real head for the contact side of it,” Glass said.
“Then on the offensive side of the ball, we have Chase Hunt who might be one of the best running backs I’ve seen in some time. It’s been about five years since I’ve seen someone as good as him … Chase and Ben are just the perfect kids to bring to this tournament because they pick up their teammates, they work hard all the time and they didn’t take a play off the whole two weeks.”
“You’d have to be blind or not know anything about football to not see that these two kids stood out … I’m not so excited to see them go to Cochrane High and have them be my problem for the next three years but at least for the summer I’ll be cheering them on and helping them do whatever they need to do in order to be successful.”