Spar­tans gear up for sea­son start

Les Nouvelles Saint-Laurent - - SPORTS UNE NOUVELLE ÉQUIPE AAA - SARA-KING ABADI sara.king-abadi@tc.tc

FOOT­BALL. The sea­son is about to start for Que­bec’s ol­dest ci­vil ama­teur foot­ball as­so­cia­tion, and the Saint-Laurent Spar­tans are still open for re­gis­tra­tion.

En­rolment has been on the de­cline in recent years, so­me­thing head coach of the Ban­tam team, Steve Bat­sos, cre­dits to an in­crease in high school foot­ball pro­grams. “The high school sys­tem is de­ple­ting the players from the ci­vil sys­tem,” Bat­sos said.

With prac­tices three times a week, and more in­di­vi­dua­li­zed at­ten­tion, the ci­vil league gives players the op­por­tu­ni­ty to suc­ceed in the sport.

There are se­ven coaches for rough­ly 30 players (per team) means more spe­ci­fic at­ten­tion ba­sed on po­si­tion, he ex­plai­ned. “We do warm ups. Ca­lis­the­nics, stret­ching . . . and break off in­to in­di­vi­dual units. They get drilled and do a lot of exer­cises for their par­ti­cu­lar po­si­tion.”

SAFETY

All coaches are cer­ti­fied to iden­ti­fy concus­sions and have a safety pro­to­col to fol­low.

“Be­cause foot­ball is un­der the mi­cro­scope we’re ta­king a lot of pre­cau­tions and we’re edu­ca­ting our­selves,” said Bat­sos, who has been coa­ching with the Spar­tans for eight years.

Chil­dren up to the age of 15 are wea­ring the same equip­ment as pro­fes­sio­nal foot­ball players, Bat­sos ex­plai­ned.

TEAM SPIRIT

The boys do not on­ly culti­vate foot­ball skills, but friend­ships. Bat­sos has been with the Ban­tam team, who are now aged 14-15 years old, since they were eight.

“You see them be­come men. We’ve won a lot of games but I’ll on­ly know if they’ve been a suc­cess 20 years from now when I see they’ve be­come good fa­thers, hus­bands and mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty.”

(Pho­to: Cour­te­sy – Saint-Laurent Spar­tans)

The St. Laurent Spar­tans, Que­bec’s ol­dest ci­vil ama­teur foot­ball as­so­cia­tion, are in their 63rd year. Re­gis­tra­tion is still open for the 2016-17 sea­son.

Pho­to: Cour­te­sy - Saint-Laurent Spar­tans

The St. Laurent Spar­tans on the bench in 1954.

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