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Comp Eagles players, coaches excited for upcoming football season

When it comes to team dynamics, each of the veteran Grade 12 players feel encouraged by other players and try to lead by example.
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Zack Schmidt, Ben Michel and Ben Manning are all veteran Grade 12 players for the Comp Eagles football team.
WEYBURN - Excitement was in the air at the Comp Eagles football practices, as players and coaches are excited for their upcoming season. Ben Manning, Ben Michel and Zack Schmidt are all veteran Grade 12 players for the team.

“I am looking forward to building new relationships with the team, and getting back onto the field,” said Manning. He is a quarterback for the Eagles, and has played football since the age of 10.

“I am looking forward to giving the younger players some tips and pointers, so when they are our age they will have good leadership skills and build a good team,” added Manning.

“I am excited to be out here and playing with all my friends again. It should be good,” said Michel. He is a running back and linebacker for the Eagles, and has played since the age of nine.

“We want to help out the younger players with everything, and make them into great leaders by Grade 12. Hopefully everything goes according and we get to win a lot this year,” added Michel.

“It will be nice to just be able to play, since it has been a while since we got to play any sports with all the COVID lockdowns,” said Schmidt. He is a kicker and halfback for the Eagles, and has also played football since the age of nine.

“I am looking forward to helping out the younger players with their skills, and making sure that they can become better,” added Schmidt.

When it comes to team dynamics, each of the veteran Grade 12 players feel encouraged by other players and try to lead by example. All three players were asked to name the most encouraging team member.

“Austin Knupp is always there, right by my side. He is always picking me up when I am down,” said Manning.

“Evan Barsness is sort of like the dad of the team. He encourages everyone and is there for everyone,” said Schmidt.

“Both Evan and Austin are great leaders on our team, and they help around with everything, and are both a great support,” added Manning.

The three Grade 12 players also spoke about the coach who they feel helps them the most during practices and games.

“As a player, I would go to Coach Rob Umbach, he always has great tips for players, and whenever I need help with making decisions on the field he is always there,” said Manning.

“Colton Neithercut is a great coach. He is a good guy to have around, and helps me a lot with learning the techniques for the field,” said Schmidt.

“Coaches Chris Michel and Neithercut are both very supportive. They both help me to get better as a player, every single day,” said Michel, who is the son of Coach Chris Michel.

Finally, each player was asked which professional football player they felt inspired by.

“Barry Sanders (Detroit Lions) was an idol of mine growing up. I really liked way the he played, and everything about him,” said Michel.

“I really like the style of Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs), “said Manning, who wears a bandana during practice and games, just like Mahomes is known for.

“I really like how Randy Moss (Minnesota Vikings) always caught the ball over people’s heads,” said Schmidt.

All three veteran players agreed that Yorkton would provide a great challenge for competition during the upcoming season.

The Comp Eagles have a pre-season controlled scrimmage home game against Estevan on Friday, September 3 at 4:30 p.m.

The home opener will be against Yorkton on Saturday, September 11 at 1 p.m.