The Saint Mary’s Huskies want to get better — and they figure the best way to do that is to get bigger.
Coming off their second straight setback in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport football semifinals, a 38-14 loss to the Calgary Dinos on Saturday, the Huskies’ self-assessment is that they were physically overmatched.
“The biggest thing we want to address is, we got exposed size-wise,” Huskies head coach Steve Sumarah said. “We have to step it up and get bigger on both of our lines.”
The Huskies’ key losses are at receiver, with 1,247 yards and eight touchdowns graduating with all-star Carl Hardwick, reliable Joe Doherty and speedy Aaron Racioppa.
They’re also losing all-star offensive lineman Derek Weber and all-Canadian defensive back Jeff Zelinski.
Sumarah is following Calgary’s example. He said the Dinos were overmatched in last year’s semifinal — a 59-10 blowout loss to the Laval Rouge et Or — and came back this year with a big, strong offensive line that opens up gaping holes.
“The same thing happened to them,” Sumarah said. “They got exposed, they made some corrections, and it paid off for them. That’s our goal, to get those things corrected.”
Sumarah said sophomore Jack Creighton is his quarterback “until someone can prove they’re better than him.”
“The biggest thing with Jack is, we can no longer say he’s a young quarterback,” Sumarah said. “He’s now an experienced guy who needs to constantly work to get better.”
The all-star tailback tandem of Devon Jones and Craig Leger is also expected to return, but Devon’s brother, Tristan, could be on his way out after an injury-plagued season.
“He may be looking at some other life possibilities,” said Sumarah, who noted he isn’t a big fan of a three-man backfield committee. “Tristan is a question mark right now.”
Saint Mary’s has been to three straight national semifinals but has fallen short of a Vanier Cup the past two.
“Two years in a row, we haven’t won a national semifinal and that’s frustrating,” Sumarah said. “We want to make sure our guys are committed 200 per cent to making that next step.”
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