Martensville Maddogs football is in full swing as both spring 5-on-5 flag and six-a-side tackle seasons have recently started up.
The Martensville teams play in the Saskatoon Minor Football League and there are five flag football teams and three tackle teams representing the community.
In the six-a-side program the Maddogs have one peewee squad and two bantam teams.
“Normally it’s just one (bantam) team out of here, but we have enough that we can field an orange team and a black team,” said Maddogs Bantam coach Grant Currie.
There are 30 youth on the bantam team and 16 players in the peewee group, according to Currie.
The teams worked hard to prepare for the season, practicing three times a week. The spring season is a great opportunity for the youth to improve as players .
“The spring season is more about developing players and getting them playing time,” Currie said. “We move them to either side of the ball so they can learn the other position and it helps them to be a better player in the position they want to play.”
Currie is glad to see a lot of youth in the Martensville Maddogs program, but he’s also happy to see that girls are joining the tackle football teams. There is one female playing in peewee and one in bantam.
“I’ve coached a lot of years and I’ve never coached girls until I came to Martensville. And I love it because they want to learn, they pay attention, and they work hard,” he said.
Currie added that the boys have an advantage physically, but if the girls play technically sound then they should have no troubles competing against the boys.
A female that played on the bantam team last year is now coaching the peewee team. Currie said she will be a lot of help to that team because he thought she was one the best defensive backs on the bantam team last season.
The spring football season is great for the youth to figure out if tackle football is something they want to pursue.
“The spring just helps them know if they want to do it. Because it’s a smaller field, and it’s not as fast of a game as 12-man,” Currie said.
Martensville has five teams playing flag football. There are two teams competing in the Colts Division (Grades 1 and 2) and three teams playing in the Stampeders Division (Grades 3 and 4).
There are 53 kids on the Martensville teams which are co-ed.
Flag football acts as a bridge to tackle football and it helps the younger players become familier with the sport.
“It’s a lot of skill development and introduction into the game,” said Martensville Maddogs representative Clint Schachtel.
“The philosophy of the game is the same, and the skills required are the same, without the physical contact.”