Looking back at the football season they’ve just played, some players from the Howe Sound Sounders say the team’s come a long way.
While the group didn’t make it past their semifinal game on Nov. 17, players say everyone pulled together throughout the season to clinch some impressive victories.
The Sounders’ story is an underdog tale.
Many on the team this year were either completely new to the game of football, or new to playing it in a competitive setting.
Roughly only a quarter of the players on the team had experience on the field, which made things quite challenging at first.
Coach Jim Errington previously told The Chief that at the beginning of the season some of the players were so new to the game, they didn’t quite understand how hard they could play in a “contact sport.”
Furthermore, some players weren’t playing in positions that suited their natural strengths, so the lineups had to be tweaked to make sure everyone was in the right role.
“It was a pretty rough start, but close to the end of the season when we got into the regular season, we started learning a lot more and executing a little better,” said quarterback Michael Lane.
The playbook was changed to emphasize more passing plays to balance out the team’s natural tendency, which leans towards running plays, he said.
Over time, the team started doing better and better at practice.
Eventually, it led to one moment when Lane felt like everything was starting to work out.
“We kind of just clicked,” he said. “It’s hard to describe, but it’s pretty amazing.”
“We just ran our plays as well as we could,” Lane continued. “We just came together at the end of the day.”
Apparently, Lane’s intuition was correct.
Howe Sound made their way from a struggling team to a squad that managed to capture some decisive wins.
For linebacker Hayden Taylor, one of those victories, in particular, stands out.
“When we all really just came together and played football was our second season game against Frank Hurt,” he said.
In this case, the numbers tell the tale.
The Sounders steamrolled Frank Hurt with a 34-0 shutout victory on Nov. 4.
“That’s quite incredible,” Taylor said. “We came into that game underdogs and we pulled through and just won the game.”
It was a hard-fought victory.
Some might even argue there was a little bit of a David-versus-Goliath element to the match up.
For instance, Taylor, for instance, said Frank Hurt’s lineup featured players who were generally physically bigger.
In the end, however, size didn’t equal strength when it came to the final score. There was another standout win.
Howe Sound defeated Eric Hamber with a score of 58-38 on Nov. 11.
It was a good way to turn the tables, considering that Eric Hamber got the best of the Sounders in the 32-6 game in September.
“Our final three games of the season, [the team] picked it up,” said Taylor. “We did quite well.”
“With football, you just need that time to play together and practice together,” he said.