After a month of learning it’s time to put the lessons to work.
The Holy Trinity Academy Knights go for a fifth straight Foothills Athletic Council league championship this week after completing an undefeated regular season in the four-team loop on Oct. 7.
“I think everyone had a lot of good learning,” said Knights centre-back Sidney Craig, a Grade 11 student. “With scoring and stuff, we had lots of good opportunities to improve because you have time on the field to actually score because there’s not as much pressure as we’re used to (in club).”
The Knights are blessed with a 19-player roster, giving its players opportunities to rotate into different positions and get back on the pitch with the benefit of rest.
“It’s also good because of the teams we’re playing, everyone gets lots of subs and everyone gets a turn,” she said.
The Knights will tackle the number-two seed Canmore Crusaders in the one match league championship on Oct. 13 at Okotoks’ Riverside Park.
Rather than a semifinal round as seen in past seasons the top-two teams go through to the final with the third and fourth seeds battling for bronze.
The bronze medal match will feature the Foothills Falcons and Strathmore Spartans.
“Canmore is definitely one of our biggest competition,” Craig said. “There’s lots of strong players on that team.
“With this (Knights) team it can go either way, it can go really well if we’re in the right head space.”
The Knights took both regular season meetings with the Crusaders, the first by a 4-1 count and the latter match by a 5-0 score on Oct. 5.
Knights head coach Peter Mundy said the season has shown the Knights’ improvements in passing, movement around the field and comfort in new and varied roles.
“They’re more comfortable in the positions I want to put them in, they’re not necessarily playing in the positions they’re used to at their club,” Mundy said.
Later this month, the Knights will get to test their mettle against non-league opposition for the first time since the 2019 season as hosts of the South Central Zone Championships from Oct. 22-23 at Riverside Park.
“It will be a learning for them as well at the beginning of zones because they’re going to come up against a next tier or level up again,” the coach added. “But that’s why we go there and it will be fun I hope.”
The competition is expected to include Canmore as well as perennial contenders for the Zone crown in the Cochrane High Cougars and Springbank High Phoenix.
“It’s really exciting because this is my first year because I’m a Grade 11,” said Craig, whose younger sister Kailey is also on the squad. “It’s super unfortunate we couldn’t play last year, but really excited that we get to this year and I was really looking forward to it.”