The Chestermere High School Lakers Football team is hosting its annual "Friday Night Lights" game to kick off the season! While it technically isn't the team's first game of the year, it's treated like the team's first game of the year since it's the first game since the school year started.

Lakers Head Coach Scott Ledieu said the team can't wait to put on a show for the fans, and hopes many people come cheer the Lakers on.

"It's a lot of fun every year, the kids really enjoy the atmosphere, playing under the lights, getting all their classmates in the stands with them. I think when it comes to field presentation and our bleachers and just kind of the general overview, it's one of the better experiences in this area of Alberta to have that at a high school," he said. 

Given how big of an event this is for the school, Ledieu expects a fun, electric atmosphere for both the fans and the players.

"The kids really thrive on it, they feel the energy from the stands. They really enjoy this game, the kids in the school really enjoy the game, the ones that aren't part of the team as well. I think our guys definitely get a boost out of having the fans in the crowd and the lights on and the big presentation and everything else."

Last year the Lakers were able to send two athletes to U-Sports, being Kayden Solvason to the University of Alberta and Samir Mughal to York University. This was the first time the Lakers sent players to such a talented league, and Ledieu is hoping to continue building the Lakers program to send even more athletes after this season. In the meantime, the Lakers will be tasked with replacing the production they brought to the field, but Ledieu believes the team's depth is prepared for the challenge.

"It mat not be one person or another that takes all of that production, but some of the committee approach. We've got some guys that were growing in behind and ready to go, and then there's another group that are coming in grade 10 this year that are just about ready to start contributing."

He also mentioned the strong coaching staff, as the Lakers have 12 coaches to help develop and maximize the team's talent.

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Ledieu hopes to keep the team competitive and bring them to the playoffs, and with 23 players in their grade 12 season he hopes to get those players some great film to show off their skills to potentially move on to another league. Ledieu is also particularly hyped for September 29, as that's when the Strathmore Spartans make the trip to take the Lakers on in an exciting rivalry game.

"I got a chance to coach with (Spartans coach) Danny Warrack this past spring. We developed a good relationship, so he and I are really excited about getting a chance to coach games against each other again."

The game starts at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 15, at the Chestermere High School football field. They take on WH Croxford from Airdrie. If possible, they ask that you bring recyclable bottles as a donation to raise money for the football program. 

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