Crescentwood Grizzlies Orange sink Eastman Raiders

Grizzlies convert
Photo Credit: Alli Minarik

Week 3

It’s a Beautiful Sunday Morning as little bunches of Pee Wee Orange Grizzlies spill out of vehicles and collect like a big pool of orange juice in our orange and black uniforms at the north end of the Crescentwood field an hour before game time.

The offence huddles up expectantly, knowing without having to be told that Coach Neil will want to run them through some formations working on execution, timing and football smarts.

The defense under coach Greg heads further under the trees where they get their marching orders from the defensive coaching staff.

We are all waiting and watching as the Grizzlies Pee Wee White team under the direction of Coach Jeff Kerr knocks the stuffing out of the Fort Garry Lions Gold team. A win ensures Kerr’s team a one-week continuation of their undefeated season at 3 and 0.

Our boys cheer as the White scores again and Coach Neil reminds his team that we too want and need a win this morning.

Our team Grizzlies Pee Wee Orange is looking for our second win of the season after taking a tough lose the previous week to a skilled Mustang squad. Our Defense was solid and spectacular through the first three quarters but our offense failed to get untracked and you can see that bramble is still under the coach’s saddle.

The week at practice has been spent renovating the offensive line, getting in offensive reps and getting tougher and stronger up the middle. Linemen have learned a few new tricks and been working on double teams and blocking skills. Slots, receivers and backs have been seeing their blocking assignments shift and become increasingly interesting.

Our running game has solidified with Trevor “the Train” Wright at tailback and “Downtown” Julian Brown at fullback. Garrick “the Iceman” Teranishi has established himself as our “go to” quarterback with Sam “el Capitan” Narvey a more than capable back up. Sam, Michael “Crazy-Legs” Raaflaub, Aleksei “Knuckles” Minarik and Dustin “Big Dog” Jackson have platooned at all the receivers spots and are finding themselves the target of a few more passes this season.

But it’s not all run and catch as they are finding out. There’s blocking assignments and lots of movement to get the timing down for. The coaches are pounding it into their heads, but it is taking time for all the parts to begin to work together.

So, on this brilliant, sunny morning, in the heart of River Heights, all that work will be put to the test as we throw ourselves against the Eastman Raiders out of Steinbach. Dressed in teal jerseys with grey pants accented in black and white they take their bench and begin their pre-game drills. As usual this season they look bigger than our squad. We’ve become used to this as we’ve come to realize that we will be one of the smaller teams in the circuit this season. What we lack in size however we make up in intelligence, athleticism and speed.

Out onto the field go the special teams and with a sharp whistle the game begins. Our two team announcers Alex “Chuckles” Narvey and Mike “Yuk Yuk” Teschuk are announcing tackles and ball carriers, analyzing each play like it’s a Monday Night Football telecast.

From my vantage point it looks like the raiders have fielded a pretty good team this season. Their number 22 on defense is tall fast and a good tackler. Playing out of the safety position he has a lot of ground to cover to make a tackle but has the wheels to get there and when he does his tackles are sure and punishing.

Our O-line is playing better than they did the previous week and that is giving our quarterback time to roll out, hand-off or pass. Our offensive scheme is confusing the defense and we begin to make first downs. It’s not too long before the Grizzlies score. A quick second score has the Raiders coaches berating their team and you can see the wheels are beginning to fall off.

Our defense is having another stellar game. Ryan “Hitman” Bergen is leading the charge. On the D-line Ethan Stenberg “the Big E” is crashing and smashing. Ryan “Click-Clack” Crocker is blazing through the smallest of gaps. Martin “the Monster” Adaro and Michael “Slam” Demarin do not look out of place either. The linebackers Liam “Hammer” Riemer, Cody Sledgehammer” Cranston and Ciara “the Rocket” Okumura are flying around in on almost every play. The fleet flyers in the secondary, JL “Snake” Perron, Brendan Bullet” Chemerika, Liam “Ironman” Stewart, Shale “The Rock” LaFleur, Emily “Tornado” Middagh and the always tough leader of the pack Adam “the Assassin” Hannah have their afterburners lit and are making plays.

By the half the “discussion” on the Eastman bench can be heard over the football fight songs being pumped through the sound system. It’s a bunch to nothing and their coaches ain’t happy.

Crescentwood decides it is time to work on a few aspects of our game like the kicked convert and our air game. So in the second half the Grizzlies taxi out onto the runway and the airshow begins. Passes are completed to Aleksei, Michael, and Dustin with some regularity. We do throw a couple of picks too, but that’s why we are practicing.

Just to keep ‘em honest we run a bit too and turn what looks like a first down run into a touch down scamper when Julian Brown levels their most deadly player number 22 with a clean open field block enabling Trevor “the train” to round the corner and chug into the end zone on a 40 plus yard run.

The scoreboard stops recording at a 30-point spread in the third quarter, but the Grizzlies keep scoring and frustrate the Raiders offense. By the end of the game the Grizzlies Orange defense has its first shutout and the offense has tasted victory with an impressive mixed attack.

With a record of 2 and 1 the Grizzlies Orange readies itself for three games in two weeks. Next up the Transcona Nationals, Charleswood Bronco’s, and the St. James Rods.


Author » Chris Brown » Sep 2nd 2009, 21:06


Great story! Keep them coming!

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Chris Brown

  • 64 years old
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, C
  • User since Aug 31st 2007, 15:47