Chargers look to continue winning tradition


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September 1, 2016 12:00 AM

BACK TO WINNING Last year was a near perfect return to the winning tradition the Chargers bantam program wants, as they lost to Bonnyville in the final, a year after not winning a single game.

Two seasons ago, the Lloydminster Chargers bantam football team didn’t win a game.
Last season, they returned to the final, losing to Bonnyville.
While they would have liked to bring home another Wheatland Bantam Football League (WBFL) championship, getting the team back into the win column may have been more important overall, as the feeling of losing week in and week out was taking its toll on the team.
“There is definitely that mentality, that attitude of winning,” said Chargers head coach Michael Wirachowski.
“Just getting that culture back in the program of winning and try and continue moving forward with it.”
Twenty-six players make up the chargers roster with 12 players returning from last season. With nearly half the roster being returning players, the expectation is that the Chargers will again challenge for a championship, as the experience from last season should carry over, while the fresh faces from peewee are expected to make an immediate impact on the team.
“We see ourselves in the finals again,” said Wirachowski. “I feel like we have a really good team, really good key pieces and a good foundation. The test will be whether or not they stay healthy.”
The Chargers should have a deep running back core, while Wirachowski said their secondaries are big players on defence. But the strength for the Chargers is in their leadership and learning how to win again.
That’s something that can’t be seen in a stat, yet it could be the difference between the Chargers finding themselves back in the WBFL final or an early exit from the playoffs.
“They know what it takes to win,” said Wirachowski. “They’ve been there. They are going to push the younger guys. We got a good group of peewee kids coming up and hopefully they can transition to the speed of bantam football.”
The Chargers open the season on Saturday against St. Paul, a team they beat handily last season, so Wirachowski is expecting them to be ready to return the favour.
From there the Chargers head on the road for the next two weeks, going to Cold Lake and Bonnyville before returning home against Wainwright and finishing up on the season on, what is technically a road game, against the Lloydminster Mustangs on Oct. 1.

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