School is back and so are Fulton’s boys of Fall.
The players and coaches are relieved that the lengthy teacher strike is over and they can back to the gridiron.
“The strike disrupted our schedule a fair bit, but it’s what had to be done. We are just happy to be back,” said head coach Mike Scheller, who is entering his 18th season with the Maroons, who opened their Okanagan AA Varsity football conference by getting thrashed by crosstown rival VSS Panthers.
“It wasn’t the start we wanted, but we’ve got some good young kids that are going to develop, they just haven’t played enough football yet. There’s nowhere to go but up for us,” said Scheller.
The Panthers mauled the Maroons 48-0, but everyone on the team has moved on.
“We had a lot of unprepared guys, but that is behind us now,” said quarterback and senior Tye Kitzman. “My role now is to be a leader, help guys out, keep their heads up and keep improving.”
Sikandar Ahmad spends a lot of time on the field playing defensive end and right guard when the Maroons get the ball back.
“I’m really looking forward to Week 9 when we get to play them again,” said Ahmad, who has been playing football for three years and turns 18 in March.
Added Scheller on what Ahmad brings to the team: “He has a great motor, he has a lot of energy and he makes big tackles out there.”
Scheller is looking forward to working with one of his underrated players, tight end and defensive end Darrien Broomfield, this fall.
“Darrien is a hard working guy and he really doesn’t get enough credit at this school.”
The 6-foot Broomfield also plays power forward on the Maroons basketball team.
“I like getting to hit people,” said Broomfield, who is an Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck fan.
Broomfield is one of the three captains on the team and just like Kitzman, he is relishing his new role.
“I want to teach our news guys about our system, the program and how our defence works,” said Broomfield.
Receiver Tyler Liefke remembers what it was like to be the new guy last year, putting in his dues. He is ready to take the next step with the Maroons’ offence.
“Last year was a building year for me, I am ready to go now,” said the 5-foot-9 Liefke, whose favourite routes are streaks down the field with his great speed, and he is hoping he can hook up with Kitzman on a few deep bombs this fall.
“I guess I should start working on my touchdown dance,” joked Liefke.
Broomfield reeled in two touchdown passes as the Maroons fell 55-26 to the Duchess Park Condors Saturday night in Prince George.
The Maroons host the Westsyde Blue Wave Saturday, noon, at Grahame Park.