St. Catharines Cardinals

    This years St. Catharines Cardinals faced challenges from the start. Many members of last years team have moved on. They have joined different teams, or leagues,or are pursuing other interests.The hard pressed,but undaunted, coaching staff was left well short of a full team. This necessitated many of the Cardinals to fill multiple positions, playing both defence and offence, as well as special teams.
     Each individual has clearly improved aspects of their game. Also they are beginning to understand the finer points of their assignments. And the players are  getting to know their teammates, even forging new friendships. All this, has fused to create an air of some optimism. The fun and personal growth is always evident, but it is nice to see the Cardinals improving as a team.
     Despite a gallant effort from the entire organization, we are off to a winless start after three games.Yet, as forementioned, there is legitimate reason to be hopeful of more satisfying final scores. This was most obvious during the fourth quarter of the game played June 16th. The Tiger Cats proved competent. Establishing an early lead and building on it for three quarters. Their offence appeared well organized and faster. Their defence stronger and stingier.But Coach Warren and his able assistants provided relentless encouragement and sound advice.  The ‘Boys’ responded, shoring up the line of scrimmage, and clearly dominated on both sides of the ball. And the quarterback, his receivers and the runners looked confident in scoring two unanswered touchdowns. It is worth while to mention they were marching easily down the field when time expired. The defensive backs during the final quarter looked quicker and more capable in reading the opponents plays accurately. As a result the ‘Cats gave up significant yardage in their last two possessions.
     As the final quarter progressed you could sense a change in the Cardinals. Excited fist pumps and back-slapping were seen after successful plays. The team grew more vocal and they could be heard on the side-lines encouraging and congratulating each other. One animated player even coaxed a round of shouts and applause from the fans by motioning for noise with his hands. It was nice to experience the buzz of excitment from the parents and other supporters as the teams’ energy continued to climb. And continue it did. After the whistle sounded to end what was our best game in over a year, the team hoisted quarterback, Owen Wallace onto their shoulders. It was clearly a gesture they recognized him as a major contributor to the teams improved performance. Congratulaions Cardinals!

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