“Playing in the second tier nine-aside Mills Division, the Sherwood Park Wolverines ended up going 0-4 in league play and were outscored 114-12 in the process.
However, they came dressed as a completely different looking team on Halloween Sunday at Fuhr Sports Park, almost doubling their point total from the entire season in their final outing when they narrowly fell 27-22 to the St. Albert Fury in their semifinal clash.
The Wolverines struck first on a touchdown from Jackson Kendel.
“Jackson has been our playmaker all year and broke a tackle for a long TD run on our first drive,” said Wolverines head coach Matt Nielsen, who took over the top job on the team mid-season. “It was a defensive battle for the rest of the half. Carson Hartmann was our MVP this season, and is a huge presence for us on the defence. He, along with defensive standouts like Ethan Gauthier, Marek Huybregts and Craig Boldt, kept it close at the halfway point.
The Fury ramped up the pressure and took the lead before some hard inside running by Tyson Hartmann enabled the Sherwood side to move the ball downfield and add another major to close the gap and give them a shot in the final minutes.
“We had some big runs by Hartmann, Nate Ryning and Jaydyn Badry in the final fourth quarter drive,” Nielsen said. “Badry and Ryning have been doing double duty as LBs and RBs all year and have been the heart and soul of our team. Our QB, Tobin Thomas, connected with a long pass to tight end Carter Nielsen up the sidelines to set us up in their end with only a few minutes left on the clock. Ultimately we couldn’t punch it in and we ended up losing by a score of 27-22. It was a very close game and we had a chance to win it all in the end.”
Nielsen was impressed by his team’s battle level in the final game after a tough regular season.
“I am extremely proud of the way our guys competed and worked together this year,” he said. “I feel like we improved tremendously and I can’t wait to see what some of the young men moving on will do in high school football and beyond. This is a young team with lots of players returning next year and I am looking forward to seeing them grow and learn.”