Portage Collegiate Trojans football is back.
The squad will hit the road today for their first game of the season, which has them taking on the Sturgeon Heights Huskies. Brendon Brydges is the Trojans' new head coach this season and says he can't wait to get going.
"I'm really excited about this year. The team has been looking really good, and we've had strong numbers through our first two weeks of practice," Brydges explains. "Some of the veterans are stepping up and leading the younger guys by showing them the expectations."
Brydges says they have a variety of players with different experience levels and notes they have seven Grade 12s on the roster. He describes the type of team he anticipates the Trojans being this season.
"In typical Portage fashion, we're probably going to be a more run-heavy team," Brydges continues. "We have a couple of Grade 12 running backs that we're hoping lead the way, so we'll probably rely on them a lot. We have a younger quarterback this year, so we'll have to see how things go."
The man leading the charge on the sidelines says this will be his first time being a head coach at this level but adds he's ready for the challenge.
"I've been all football, all the time since I got asked to be the head coach. It's the only thing my brain has been on lately," says Brydges. "My coaching staff has been a huge help. There are about ten of them helping out. I've been relying on them to help build the playbook and to get these guys ready for the first game."
Brydges notes the team is beyond excited to get the season underway.
"The boys are ready to start hitting. They are getting a little antsy. They are coming to practice and executing. They're in their playbooks and know the playbooks already. You can see the excitement they have about the games coming up and that they'll be able to start hitting for real."
PCI will start off the season with two straight road contests, and Brydges says he hopes they will be able to shake off the nerves and the rust before they debut in front of the Portage fans.
The head coach adds if any PCI student is still wanting to join, they are more than welcome to do so and can stop by the field house to get set up with equipment.
The Trojans will be in action for the first time today against Sturgeon Heights and will play their first home game on September 22.