Season comes to a close for Wolverines
- Published on Monday, October 22, 2012
By: Lanny Stewart
The 2012 season has come to a close for the Manitoba Major Football League's Westman Wolverines.
The 12-man football team -- which includes players from the southwestern Manitoba area -- lost 20-3 to the East Side Eagles in a semifinal on Saturday afternoon in Winnipeg.
The Wolverines held a 2-1 lead after a quarter of play, but it was downhill from there as the Eagles outscored Westman 19-1 the rest of the way en route to the victory.
Offensively, the Wolverines managed 123 yards on the ground with Shayne Sebree leading the way in that department, as the Virden product ran the ball 15 times for 68 yards. Defensively, Souris' Brendynn Tuttosi had two and a half sacks, while Brandon's Jared Sowiak also got in on the action with a fumble recovery.
"It was close in the first half," said Wolverines head coach Dave Stantial. "Both defences were dominating. For the majority of the first half, we were winning the field position battle but couldn't put a scoring drive together.
"In the end, the Eagles were able to get things rolling and made us play from behind -- getting away from our game plan," he continued.
Despite the loss, Stantial and the rest of the coaching staff are proud of the season overall, considering the club began the year with four consecutive losses but were able to rebound with five straight victories, which included the club's first ever playoff win over the St. James Rods on Oct. 12.
"It would have been easy for them to pack it in, but to win the last four games of the season and then to win a playoff game really shows the character of the young men on this team," said Stantial. "It was a great step for the program to take this year."
This year, the Wolverines had six former members of the Rural Manitoba Football League's Neepawa Tigers on the club this season. On offence, running back Bradley Kyle had the biggest impact, running the ball for 427 yards and two touchdowns during the season. On defence, starting linebacker Ethan Jowett played a key role all year long, finishing with 36 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble. Offensive lineman Patrick Grover, defensive backs Tony Taylor, Robin Brister and wide receiver Bryce Unger were the other former Tigers on the squad.
Stantial says now that the season is over, the coaching staff will begin recruiting for 2013. Stantial plans to be in Neepawa on Friday to watch the Tigers take on East Parkland Warriors.
In the other semifinal game, the St. Vital Mustangs defeated the North Winnipeg Nomads 32-23. The Mustangs will battle the Eagles in the championship final Saturday night in Winnipeg.
Team honours four
The Wolverines recently named four players as their most valuable players for the season: safety Tain Heywood, linemen Brendynn Tuttosi, Jordan Hicks and running back Shayne Sebree.
In photo: Shayne Sebree (player with ball) had a solid day running the ball for the Wolverines, but it was not enough as Westman fell to East Side 20-3. Photo submitted.