Bengals' running back Liam Krys carries the ball past teammate Isaac Porozni during a drill at practice last Thursday. The Bengals open their season at home on September 8 against the Lloydminster Chargers.
view all photos (-count-)
Bengals aim for playoff bye
The St. Paul Bengals are set to take to the field for the team’s home opener against the Lloydminster Chargers on Sept. 8 with the goal of claiming a bye for the playoffs.
After finishing last season without a marker in the win column, it’s going to take a strong work ethic across the Bengals’ roster in order to achieve the team’s goal for the season. Head coach Seth Henderson says that if there is one thing he has been trying to instill in all of his players as they close in on their season opener, it is a solid work ethic.
“Football’s not a game where you can take any days off or take stuff lightly. It’s like a job for these kids,” Henderson said. “When they learn that work ethic, intensity, drive, determination, all that kind of stuff, it helps them become better players.”
Henderson said that in order to get their hands on a bye in the first round of the playoffs, which would require a top-two finish in the standings, the Bengals will need to win four of their five regular season match-ups.
“We’re looking at playing some good teams, Bonnyville is the defending (Wheatland Bantam Football League) and northern Alberta champs, so they’re going to be a tough team,” Henderson said. “Every team is competitive. It’s just a matter of them wanting to win.”
An honest running game will be integral to the Bengals’ success this season, says Henderson.
“We’ve got to be able to run the ball. I think we have some pretty good running backs,” he said. “We’ve got to be able to throw the ball deep and connect on our deep hits so that we can keep our running honest.”
Fourteen-year-old running back and defensive safety Liam Krys, entering his third year as a Bengal, says his goal as a member of the team is to “finish with a championship ring” this season.
“I feel pretty good, our offense is looking good and we have more size than last year so we’ll have more chance to get stuff done,” Krys said.
“It’s going to take the whole team to do their jobs because it can’t be just a handful of people working their butts off because it’s a team sport, and if the whole team isn’t contributing, then we can’t do it.”
The Bengals will host the team’s most anticipated game of the season on Sept. 15th, when the boys set the stage for the Lions as both teams take on their rivals from Cold Lake.
“It’s going to be a battle. There’s going to be some intensity, there’s going to be physicality,” Henderson said. “I know our boys are going to be up for it, the Cold Lake boys are going to be up for it. It’s going to be a good game. We want fans out on the stands watching that game.”