Head Coach Predicts a Winning Record
~ by Trevor Phipps ~
The Cripple Creek-Victor Pioneers are back on the field, and are ready to kick off their 2018 season with much optimism.
As of last week, the team had only seven players dressed up during practice to play six-man football. According to the Pioneers’ new head coach Sebastien Benzi, two of the players are currently injured, leaving them a couple players short during practice.
This year is Coach Benzi’s first year as the Pioneers’ head skipper, but he has been a football coach in Cripple Creek for four years. His first two years with the school district he coached the junior high school team. Then, Benzi was the assistant high school football coach for two years under former head football coach Greg Samson.
Benzi is excited and optimistic about his first year as the head commander of the Pioneer team. Moreover,h e is quite optimistic about the team’s prospects. “A team goal we have is to win at least half of our games this year,” Benzi said. “After having only won one game each year the last two years, we’re better than that, and we want a .500 record or better.”
Compared to past year performances in the pigskin arena, this could serve as a worthy goal.
The coach also believes that the team this year has some advantages that will definitely improve their record. “We have three returning starters, just having that experience on both sides of the ball is nice,” Benzi said. “We have a little more speed than we have had other years. We have smaller and faster guys, so we’re trying a different offensive technique and trying to do more spread plays.”
The team’s returning starters are Jacob Walinski, Alex Best, and Quarterback Jaden Wirtz.
According to Benzi, the team’s three junior returning starters are the star players to watch this year. The one returning junior on the team, 5’9” 180 lbs. Jacob Walinski, is excited about the upcoming season.
“I feel like we are doing a lot more conditioning this year and stuff that will get us in better shape since there is a lot of running on the field involved in six-man football,” Walinski said. “I feel like we have a good captain and people to motivate us. For me personally, I want to be more of a leader this year. I am taking on a bigger role and helping the team out as much as I can. I could want more rushing yards and more tackles, but it’s more about the team for me. I want to get everybody going and try to help end what has been a 20-year or so streak of losing.”
Another advantage the Pioneers have this year is the fact that they switched leagues for the 2018 season. Whereas, they will be playing some of the same teams as last year, they will also be playing teams that are more similar regarding their physical size and experience level. As a result, Benzi thinks that the Pioneers will be more competitive against the teams they play this year.
Their first game is on Saturday, September 1, and it will be played out east in Hanover. The Pioneers lost to Hanover last year, but as the coach and star player said, they hope to wear out the Hornets next week with their improved speed and extra work on conditioning. The team starts their season with a slight disadvantage though, because they will be playing teams that have mostly seniors. The Pioneer team is young, consisting of one junior and three sophomores, while the rest of the squad are freshmen.
The good part with this lineup is that Coach Benzi will be working on building a good team for the future. But he and Pioneer supporters don’t want to wait for the future. They want to see the Pioneers win games now!
TMJ News wishes the CC-V Pioneers the best of luck during the 2018 football season.