FUMBLE - Lacombe Explosion player Kyle McQuaig races his Red Deer Steeler opponent Kaleb Leek to get the jump in a Pee Wee game on Sept. 27th

FUMBLE - Lacombe Explosion player Kyle McQuaig races his Red Deer Steeler opponent Kaleb Leek to get the jump in a Pee Wee game on Sept. 27th

‘Football Day’ celebrates the sport in Lacombe

Lacombe Culture and Harvest Festival wasn’t the only big annual event going on last weekend.

Lacombe Culture and Harvest Festival wasn’t the only big annual event going on last weekend.

At MEGlobal Field, football fans, players and coaches from Lacombe and elsewhere gathered for the annual Football Day event.

“Football Day was amazing,” said Riley Quance, who coaches both the Pee Wee Explosion and the Lacombe Composite High School Rams football teams.

“The turnout, the fans, the parking lot was full, the stands were full, the atmosphere was extremely exciting.”

Quance added Football Day is an event designed to celebrate football and share it with the entire community.

“Football has come a long way in the community not only since the field was built but just in general,” said Quance. “This is just a way for the community to celebrate those successes from the atom teams right through to the high school.”

This year, both the Lacombe Pee Wee Explosion and Bantam Raiders football teams played at the field as part of Football Day.

Prior to them, the Atom Chargers also had some jamboree style games.

While Football Day is meant to be a day where all of Lacombe’s football teams play, the Rams did not play as part of Football Day this year as they were on a by-week.

Raider’s coach Darren Gagnon said Football Day has been around for a long time, at least since he started coaching nine years ago.

“I think it’s been going on forever,” said Gagnon. “It was going on long before me.”

Gagnon said Football Day started with the Rams and Raiders playing on the same day. As the football programs in Lacombe grew, the Explosion and Chargers started playing as well.

“I think it’s a chance for a bunch of people to get out in Lacombe and get to see a great sport,” said Gagnon.

Quance said the Football Day event is advantageous to all Lacombe’s football community as a whole.

“What I think it does is it helps minor football as a whole realize that we’re not separate teams, we’re more one big family,” said Quance. “The more we can work together and collaborate as coaches and staff the better off our kids are going to be because we are going to be able to give them a consistent message right from eight years old right through to 18 years old.”

Quance went on to say that the message is it takes all types for a football team to be successful.

Furthermore, a successful football team promotes teamwork.

“Everybody has an opportunity to participate and excel,” said Quance. “We also have the understanding that one person, no matter how good they are, in the world of football cannot do it on their own.”

Teamwork is promoted on and off the field by minor football, said Quance. He added the hope of minor football is that players be able to use the skills they learn on the field in other facets of life as well.

“The number one goal of all the programs is to make productive citizens,” said Quance. “Minor football has been working extremely hard to ensure that happens.”

Quance went on to say everyone involved with minor football, not just players and coaches are necessary for this process.

He said everyone who works behind the scenes is vital as they ensure the business of minor football is taken care of and these opportunities continue to exist in Lacombe.

“The people behind the scenes that aren’t on the field coaching are as important if not more important,” said Quance.

He said he would like to see other groups who make use of the MEGlobal Field facility have their own sports days as well.

“I think that’s the ultimate goal, is to make it a total community facility where it’s being utilized all the time.”

news@lacombeexpress.com