History and team pictures of the Warriors over the years of my involvement 1987 through 2012, over the years the players, managers and fellow coaches have provided many a lesson, daily learning, and more than few laughs and tears across the entire range of emotions.
1987 Warriors did not advance to the playoffs in the MPFL that season, I joined the staff as a defensive coordinator for the last two or three games of the 1987 season while still teaching at Montrose Junior High .
1988 Warriors returned to the playoffs but lost to Whitecourt, the eventual Peace Bowl champions in the semi-final. Trevor Webb was the MVP and this was the first year we went to Edmonton to the Lazerte Tournament. The foundation for the 1989 champions who were the first to advance to the Provincial Semi-finals was established with this group.
1989 Warriors win the Peace Bowl with a dominant defense, a very strong running back in Trevor Webb, and a young QB in Jeff Stonehocker who could throw the ball a mile. We advanced to provincial play for the first time, maybe ever but certainly first time in the modern era of ASAA football provincials and defeated Wetaskiwin on the Saturday after winning the Peace Bowl on the Thursday. The team lost the semi-final to Salisbury who were then thumped by LCI in the final.
1990 The team had enough talent to make it to the Peace Bowl final but lost in an upset to Glenmary in the semi-finals just one week after soundly beating Glenmary in the last game of the regular season. A lesson well learned.
1991 The Warriors returned to the Peace Bowl but lost to St. Joe’s Celtics, at least in part as a result of Senior QB Jeff Stonehocker injuring his shoulder early in the game.
1992 The Warriors won the Peace Bowl largely powered by QB Matt Bain, the running of Mike Eager, and a very dominant line and linebacker crew lead by Jarrett Moreau. We advanced to the provincial semi-finals after defeated Red Deer in Red Deer but lost to the St. Albert Storm.
1993 was an interesting year lots of talent but not a lot of senior players, linebacker Terry Willard separated his shoulder in the semi-final lost in overtime to St. Joe’s. I recall our receiver Cory Peterson catching a long pass for a touchdown but fumbling the ball when he hit the goalpost simultaneous with the catch…a true post pattern I guess. That was our last loss to St. Joe’s until the 2010 season.
1994 we didn’t have a lot of players but what we had played with a lot of heart in spite of injury. This team included two grade 11’s Mitch Sutherland and Todd Seely who would be drafted by the CFL and would play a lead role in securing a championship in 1995. There was a lot of snow in 1994 – this team lost two games all year, the Peace bowl by two points and the Provincial 1/4 final by a single point of O’Leary at home as I recall. The core of this team would return in 1995 for one of the biggest victories in the history of Warrior football to date.
1995 – Warriors – Peace Bowl championship over the South Peace Penguins, Warriors go on to provincials where we defeated the Salisbury Sabres in four full overtimes – each overtime had two 5 minute halves – it remains the longest game in high school history according to Football Alberta. The next week we lost a heart breaking game to Lindsay Thurber falling short of reaching our first provincial final.
1996 – Warriors – Tough loss for a very young team to the Whitecourt Cats in the semi-finals. One of the greatest games and victories for the Warriors would come two weeks later in a blizzard as Rob Kimble returns a punt from our endzone all the way to beat the St. Albert Storm in the 1/4 finals. Lost the semi-final to Salisbury at Clarke Park.
1997 – Warriors win the Peace Bowl in a great game last minute over the Sexsmith Sabres. We defeated Red Deer and then lost to St Albert in Edmonton in the Provincial Semi-finals.
1998 – Warriors lost the Peace Bowl to the Sexsmith Sabres in a tough game, the next week we went to Red Deer and came back to win the game in thrilling fashion and lost in the next round of provincial playoffs. Jeff Halvorson was rookie of the year in the MPFL this year – corner and RB
1999 – Warriors lose the Peace Bowl to the Sexsmith Sabres and a close game to Bev Facey in provincials in spite of co MVP Jeff Halvorson spending the game at receiver nursing a migraine as a decoy. There would be a pretty determined group of grade 12’s in 2000 with a Peace Bowl to win.
2000 – Warriors win the Peace Bowl over the Whitecourt Cats as Jeff Halvorson goes for 400 plus yards rushing and 4 or 5 touchdowns in a bit of a blizzard that hit the entire northern part of the province. We lost to the St Albert Skyhawks the last time we played at Coronation Park – it was very much like a hockey rink but featured a fierce second half comeback that fell just short.
2001 – Warriors lose the Peace Bowl to Whitecourt (a bit of an upset as we’d been undefeated by a large margin most of the season), lose in the provincial 1/4 finals to Bev Facey.
2002 – Warriors go undefeated in the MPFL and win the Peace Bowl over South Peace, a thrilling last second drive complete with hook and ladder to the 7 yard line in the last seconds and a last second TD and two point convert defeats Fort Mac in the first round of provincials, subsequently lose in a high scoring game with Facey as the eventual two QB’s from 2003’s team Alberta square off in high school action. This was the first of three undefeated years in the MPFL (one peace bowl loss in 2001 from four years undefeated).
2003- Warriors go undefeated in the MPFL and win back to back Peace Bowls, again a tough game in Fort Mac results in a Warrior victory – but a team depleted by massive flu/pneumonia bug the next week with 11 players out loses to Salisbury in the 2nd round of provincials.
Fall 2004 – Warriors go undefeated including provincial exhibition play defeating St Alberta and LCI, Peace Bowl champions, huge victory over Scona in the first round, and a defeat of Salisbury in the semi-finals sends the Warriors to their first ever Provincial Championship where we lost to the St Francis Browns at McMahon stadium.
Fall 2005 – Warriors fail to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1987. With just 3 starters returning from the 2004 team this was one of the serious rebuilding years in Warrior history. A tough regular season loss to Beaverlodge proved fatal to our playoff hopes in the MPFL but the team carried on and played with great heart in its provincial game against Bev Facey in Edmonton.
Fall 2006 – Warriors – Advance to the final and lose to Sexsmith 2-1 in overtime with a punt out of the back of the endzone in an epic blizzard.
2007 – Warriors win the Peace Bowl in Peace River on a punt out the back of the endzone – I believe the score was 4-3. Two years in a row with no touchdowns in the Peace Bowl.
2008 – Warriors lose in the semi-final to Peace River, and to Parkland in the Provincial 1/4 finals in Edmonton.
Fall 2009 – Warriors lost the Peace Bowl to Peace River and to Harry Ainlay in the Provincial 1/4 finals. A great trip to New York, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis one of the highlights of the year.
2010 – Warriors – Peace Bowl semi-final loss to St Joe’s (regular season loss to St Joe’s had been the first loss to the Celtics since 1993), Lost to Salisbury in Provincial playoffs.
2011 – Warriors – Peace Bowl champions in the most difficult season as the team worked through the tragic death of 4 players and critical injury of a fifth player killed an injured in an automobile accident a week before the semi-finals. Warriors lose to Bev Facey in the provincial playoffs.
2012 – The 2012 season I served as an adviser/assistant as the team struggled with injuries, some unexpected movement of players from the city, and finished in 2nd place losing the league semi-final and the provincial 1/4 final to bring the season to a conclusion. A great core of players, young men, and young women (managers) who will undoubtedly go on to great things.