Season ends for Spruce Grove Panthers

The team fell 61-0 to the Salisbury Knights out of Sherwood Park Friday in the semi-finals.

File photo Evan J. Pretzer / Postmedia Network

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The Spruce Grove Composite High School Panthers have fallen just short of a championship final.

The team fell 61-0 to the Salisbury Knights out of Sherwood Park Friday in the semi-finals. They each play in the Carr Division of the Metro Edmonton High School Athletics Association’s high school football. The Panthers went 3-4 in the regular season and were good for fifth in their division. Head coach Brian Yakimchuk said their inconsistency got better by playoffs, but was not enough.

“Offensively we’ve been good running the ball and defensively we have showed some flashes of brilliance,” he said. “But we tend to fall back into some habits that are not conducive to winning. We were up and down, but have got some work to do going ahead into the future.”

Through the season a number of players emerged as standouts on the field. League leading running back and recent University of Alberta Golden Bears recruit Joshua Boyd ran for more than 700 yards in one game and quarterback Bo Smereka won praise for his leadership.

“[He] has the experience and confidence to remain calm, control the emotions of the entire offense and be the eyes of the coach on the field, suggesting where we can attack a defense,” Yakimchuk said of Smereka at the time of their 49-35 win over Beaumont earlier this month.

They will not come home with a title in 2019, but Yakimchuk says they are in a good position for 2020. Everyone is relaxed and bonded with everyone else, all they need is just a little bit more concentration on the key things to put the group at the top of every games final score on the board.

“Everyone is just comfortable among the system and their teammates,” he said. “They can concentrate more now on what to do to in order to execute.”

epretzer@postmedia.com

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