2017 High School Team Previews (AB): Lloydminster Barons’ armed and ready for provincial redemption

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will be posting high school team previews from June to September as part of our comprehensive season coverage. Canadafootballchat.com (CFC) has tapped into our network of coaches to produce high school team previews for the 2017 season. The #CFCteampreviews highlight top returning players, team strengths, and toughest opponents.

CFC also will bring you the national high school football rankings known as the #CFC50. Last year’s final rankings were the most controversial to date… and we heard about it. Whether you agree or disagree, we love hearing from you. For an explanation of how the rankings are computed, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

Lloydminster Barons (ASAA- Tier 2 Wheatland League, Lloydminster, AB)

The Lloydminster Comprehensive Barons’ are a competitive team that were close to sweeping the league title last season. A 27-0 loss to the Holy Rosary Raiders in the Wheatland final discouraged the Baron gang before their take on provincials.

Despite the big blowout, the Barons’ fought their way back into the winning circle after an impressive provincial win against the Fort McMurray based Holy Trinity Knights, 51-7.

The Barons’ trekked their way into the quarter final game against the Paul Kane Blues, 22-15, but their provincial road ended with a 20-3 loss to the No. 1 ranked team, the St. Joseph’s Celtics in the semi-final.

Garrett Musgrave is a young player looking for a post-secondary spot after this determining season (photo courtesy: Aaron Harper)

Coming back from a scoreless game against a “cross-town rival” to competing in the Tier II semi-final provincial game, Head Coach Aaron Harper is looking forward to challenging his players to go beyond last year and capture both the league and provincial title.

“We aim to be the best Baron team we can be by competing and getting better every single day,” Coach Harper said.

This season, the Barons’ will be lead by quarterback Garrett Musgrave.

Coach describes his athlete as a player who can win on the run or with a solid pass.

“He makes every throw on the field, [Musgrave] will be a great leader on this team.”

The young mans versatility will continue to grow and expand into a potential spot in post-secondary by the end of the season. 

As apart of the U18 Alberta team, offensive lineman Kyle Theiss is technically sound and knows his position and the game quite well.

Coach Harper says his ability to finish a ground play is what makes him a strong contender on the field.

Running back Nathan Zacharias is a dynamic player who lead the Barons’ in rushing yards as a freshman player. With 21 carries for 150 yards in a single game, Zacharias executes his ground work for maximum field coverage. The young footballer is also a provincial hurdler and a feature on the senior boys basketball team. His athleticism is undeniable to his coaches and fellow teammates.

Coach Harper commends Zacharias for being a ‘jack of all trades’ within the sports community in Lloydminster.

Garrett Hatchard, another Team Alberta player, is a disciplined athlete and a star linebacker. His ability to make plays on the field is credit to his fast feet, unusual to find in a linebacker.

Next season, Hatchard will place himself in a leadership position while the team unfolds with both new and old talent and skill colliding.

“I want to be that guy the younger players can look up too and have confidence in. I want to not only improve my games, but everyone else’s game.”

His developed technique will be noticed next season as Hatchard begins to search for post-secondary options.

“Playing football at the next level would be awesome, and I would be willing to go wherever I think it would benefit me the most,” Hatchard said.

On defence, Ethan Mather and Brody Collins are two versatile players that are superior to opposing forces.

“[They] hit like trucks,” describes Coach Harper.

Mather has the ability to track down the ball no matter where it is on the field. His attitude is a huge part of his football IQ on top of his athleticism and speed.

Collins is utilized as a linebacker, safety, or a halfback. He is a hard-worker that welcomes challenges that conflict with his skill that he is working on to develop in off-season.

The Barons’ are approaching their 2017 season without leading receiver Jesse Borzel and 2016 Lineman of the Year, Joel Wallington.

This situation puts Coach Harper and his returning players on their feet to try and replenish what they lost in skill and talent.

Losing the semi-final game has sparked fuel to the fire that the Barons’ wish to utilize next season.

With many returning players on the verge of scholarship opportunities, Coach Harper expects his players to show up ready to play and ready to conquer what they believe was taken from them in 2016.

The Wheatland League lists the Barons’ to open their season on the road against the Wainwright Commandos.

 

Lloydminster Barons (ASAA- Tier 2 Wheatland League, Lloydminster, AB)

Head Coach: Aaron Harper 
#CFC50 Ranking: N/A
2016 Record: 8-4 (Lost to St. Joseph’s Celtics in Provincial Semi-Finals)
Key Returnees: Nathan Zacharias, Danon Slywhcuk, Diego Falcon , Carter Wall, Colton Schmidt, Mathew Morin, Anton Amundrud, Josh Dunham
Key Losses: Joel Wallington, Jesse Borzel
Number of Returning Starters – Offence: 10
Number of Returning Starters – Defence: 7
“X” Factor: Garret Musgrave (QB)

 

If you would like your high school team previewed, please contact info@canadafootballchat.com.

CLICK HERE FOR 2017 PREVIEWS

CLICK HERE FOR 2016 PREVIEWS

CLICK HERE FOR 2016 FINAL CFC50 RANKINGS

How is the #CFC50 evaluated?

The #CFC50 rankings considers all conference and non-conference games (in Canada and the United States) while scrimmages are not evaluated (there is no such thing as an exhibition game – those are non-conference games).

Leagues included in rankings: British Columbia AAA Varsity, Alberta Tier One, Saskatchewan 12-man 4A, Manitoba AAA Varsity, Ontario OFSAA Bowl AAA qualified teams, Quebec Juvenile Division 1, New Brunswick 12-man, Nova Scotia Tier 1.

The #CFC50 is a relative ranking that considers top tier leagues from all eight high school playing provinces (minimum one team represented from each province). The CFC Scouting Bureau consists of CFC Reporters, CFC Scouts, and also selected local reporters and scouts who submit local ranking results on a weekly basis. This is the eighth year that Canadafootballchat.com has ranked the top high school teams in Canada.

Join the conversation online #CFC50 #CFCteampreviews

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