TISDALE — There will be playoff seeding and an undefeated regular season on the line this Friday for the Tisdale Middle & Secondary School football team.
Last week the Tornados beat L.P. Miller Comprehensive School, 62-21, in Nipawin. This Friday they take their perfect 5-0 record on the road to Melfort. The contest will decide the top seed in nine-man Conference One for the provincial playoffs. Earlier this season the Tisdale squad beat Melfort and Unit Comprehensive Collegiate, 68-56. The 12-point difference was the Tornados’ smallest margin of victory so far this season.
“From here on in, it’s going to be stiff competition all the way through,” TMSS head coach Keenan Carrier said. “We have Melfort again. As you can tell from our first game against them – it was a nail biter. It’s going to be a hard week of practice and we’re going to have to prepare because Melfort is going to come at us with everything they’ve got and then we’re onto the playoffs.”
If TMSS wins Friday, it claims the C1 crown outright. If MUCC is victorious by more than 12 points, they will be the top seed coming out of the conference.
Carrier said the Tornados learned about their weaknesses the first time they played MUCC. The team is focusing on “making sure we don’t have those same mistakes that were made the first time around. I think if we cover up that, we’ll put ourselves in a pretty solid position for this game,” he said.
The Tornados head to Melfort after a convincing road victory over its Nipawin foe.
“I kind of thought that was our best game of the year for a lot of our players,” Carrier said. “If we come out next week and the week after that and have another best game of the year, we’ll be in a pretty good position moving forward.
“I thought the players played really well and the players knew what they were supposed to do. They knew where they were supposed to be, and they executed really well.”
On offence, the Tornados spread the ball around. Grade 10 receiver Ambrose Abiara scored three touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, TMSS had some players missing due to illness.
“Those kids that we put in there really rose up to that challenge and stepped up … We definitely needed them to,” Carrier said.
Through junior jamborees and getting snaps in senior games this season with the Tornados holding a strong lead, the young players gained valuable experience. This has allowed the Tornados to increase their depth over the course of the season.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Tornados, as is tradition for one October tilt, sported pink socks against Nipawin. On Sunday, the team headed to Saskatoon to watch the Hilltops play in Canadian Junior Football action. The trip, which the team has also done in past seasons, allows for bonding and for the players to see football played at the next level.
The Tornados are focused on extending their campaign.
“It’s been a great season so far and I know my coaching staff and my players aren’t ready to let that end, so they’ll do everything in their power to have some good practices and be prepared for what we need to be prepared for,” Carrier said.