The Strathmore Spartans football team enjoyed another big win last Friday, defeating Winston Churchill High School from Lethbridge 41-13. The Spartans remain undefeated in this young season, as they are now 2-0 (3-0 if you include preseason).
While the huge win was nice, Head Coach Danny Warrack said he wasn't entirely pleased with what he saw on the field.
"(There were) lots of good moments, lots of bad, mostly discipline issues. Got a bit of an issue right now with some character on the team that we gotta straighten out. We're still taking tons of penalties, tons of showboating and taunting, so we gotta cut that out for sure," Warrack said.
Beyond being a bad look for the team, Warrack said if the team doesn't play disciplined football it will cost them in the future, as a poorly timed penalty could be the difference between a win and a loss. He added this isn't an issue exclusive to the Spartans, but he believes it's a bigger part of youth culture as a whole.
"It's the Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok culture these days, right? And that's something we're always fighting, I mean when I was a player, there wasn't much of that going on, you got your wrist slapped pretty quick for that."
While Warrack has stressed the importance of disciplined football, the team doesn't seem to have fully grasped the message, so he said moving forward the team will have a zero-tolerance policy. If you taunt you'll now be pulled from the game, and possibly held out of the next game as well. However, it isn't just taunting Warrack wants to crack down on.
"It's not just talking, it's sideline etiquette and all that etiquette. We had a guy make a great hit on a guy near our sideline and it's great to cheer and celebrate a little bit, but I mean we got guys jumping up and down and running over there. We just got to clean that up and we'll be fine."
Beyond taunting, Warrack is also stressing the importance of disciplined football as he said the Spartans aren't playing mistake-free football. This includes things like poor tackling form and messing up assignments. While the Spartans have gotten away with it so far, Warrack warns these mistakes will haunt them against stiffer competition.
"We're trying to get better every week and I don't think we are."
Despite all the issues Warrack wants to address, he was still happy with the team's dominant performance. He pointed to quarterback Dylan Elliott's five-touchdown performance as a huge highlight, alongside some impressive receiver showings from guys like Bodey Pettifer, CJ Nelson, Porter Zaugg, and more.
The Spartans next game is on Friday in Claresholm to take on Willow Creek. Warrack said Willow Creek has a fantastic football program and will be a tough challenge, so the Spartans have to bring their A-game to continue the winning streak.
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