EDSS se­nior boys to make first visit to county foot­ball cham­pi­onship

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - FAISAL ALI

THE EDSS SE­NIOR BOYS’ foot­ball squad made his­tory this week as they head to the Water­loo Coun­try Se­condary School Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion (WCSSAA) fi­nals for the first time in 13 years.

Bat­tling against the Water­loo Col­le­giate In­sti­tute in the semi-fi­nals Mon­day, the team emerged vic­to­ri­ous by a nar­row 7-6 mar­gin. The Lancers will be head­ing to Cam­bridge this Satur­day for a fi­nal show­down against the five-time de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons of the league, Ja­cob Hespeler Se­condary School.

It’s the first time the EDSS se­nior team has made it to the fi­nals since foot­ball re­turned to the school 13 years ago, said head coach Steve Karn. The boys are now just a stone’s throw away from mov­ing up to the Cen­tral West­ern On­tario Se­condary Schools As­so­ci­a­tion (CWOSSA) re­gion­als.

“Things are go­ing re­ally well for the foot­ball boys,” said Karn, who founded the team. “It’s been a long time com­ing, but we’re there. We fi­nally made it to the fi­nal game. The kids are pretty ex­cited.

“[It’s] the end of the line. The first time I started the pro­gram 13 years ago, we never had foot­ball here, and this is the first time we’ve made it to that fi­nal game. We’ve had some close calls, last year we lost in the semis in over­time, so we re­deemed our­selves this year.”

The re­ver­sal of for­tune in the semi-fi­nals came cour­tesy of a last-minute Hail Mary play and a run to the end zone by re­ceiver Ja­cob Gin­grich.

“Mon­day night when we played WCI, it was like a back-and-forth bat­tle, for sure. And at the end of the game there was 19 sec­onds left when we scored the touch­down,” said Karn. “We got to the 40-yard line, and time was tick­ing, so we threw sort of a Hail Mary pass to the right, and my re­ceiver came all the way across the field and made a great catch and ran it in.”

The Lancers’ next stop is the county fi­nal Satur­day at Ja­cob Hespeler in Cam­bridge for a 1 p.m. show­down. Only one team will be able to move on to the CWOSSA, how­ever, and Karn is en­cour­ag­ing fans to come out and lend their sup­port.

“They’re the five-time de­fend­ing champs, haven’t lost a game in five years,” said Karn. “It’s a steep task, but you know what? Our guys, they’re tough, and they’re go­ing to work their tails off that’s for sure. They’re not go­ing to give it to them. There’s al­ways lots of up­sets in the world of sports, so it’s nice be­ing the un­der­dog.”

Poor weather is in the fore­cast for this Satur­day’s game, which Karn sees as an ad­van­tage for the his team. Ja­cob Hespeler has a strong pass­ing team, notes the coach, but they’re go­ing to have a chal­leng­ing time work­ing their ad­van­tage in a head­wind, while the Lancers have the edge in shut­ting down the runs.

“We never roll over, that’s for sure. Our guys will play hard right to the last whis­tle,” he added.

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