Jim Bryan, the Avon View Avalanche’s head football coach, is anticipating a much better season for fans and players after some changes were made with the Nova Scotia Schools Athletic Federation’s schedule.
“We are in the third division and only play teams at this level and as a result, games will be more competitive,” said Bryan.
The Avalanche got off to a shaky start to their 2014 season Sunday afternoon, Sept. 7, as they were defeated 40-9 by Northeast Kings High School.
Justin Crossley, who shared quarterbacking duties with Austin Sabean, kicked a field goal and scored the Avalanche's only touchdown of the afternoon while also rushing for 100 yards.
The Avalanche devoted a considerable portion of the contest to their ground game. Between Sabean and Crossley, they only attempted eight passes, and completed four.
Jordan Bauchman caught two of the four completed passes for 45 yards.
In addition to Crossley's 100 yards on the ground, the Avalanche received an exceptional effort from Bronson Lee, who finished the day with 10 carries for 50 yards.
Defensively, Austin States had a huge day in the losing effort, garnering 12 tackles while Luke Jillett and David George contributed eight tackles apiece.
Bryan said despite the loss, he is encouraged by the fact that 70 per cent of the players who turned out for training camp were from Grade 10.
He believes the future for the Avalanche football program is bright.
“The strength of the club in 2014 will be the depth and amount of linemen we have and although we lost by 31 points in our opener, the schedule is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Bryan.
The local team has about 35 players on the roster.
Bryan feels as the season wears on, the Avalanche will be in good shape.
“In order to have a .500 season or better, we will need to have the players commit to the marathon, focus and get better everyday,” said Bryan.
“With so many new young players, the learning curve will be steep. Our defense will hold their own, but it is crucial that our offence gets going. It has been some time since we have had a team that could sustain a drive consistently.”
The Avalanche will they travel to Antigonish this Friday, Sept. 12 for a 7 p.m. start against the Dr. J.H. Gills High School. Their home opener is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 21 at 4:30 p.m. when they take on West Kings.