School history will be made Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m.
That's when the SRSS players take to the field to play the Crocus Plains Plainsmen in Brandon in the football programs first ever junior varsity game.
"It just seems like a short seven years ago we were kicking off the first game with the varsity squad and getting to be part of that was really special," said Steinbach Regional Secondary School head coach Kerry Friesen who played quarterback during the Sabres inaugural season in the Winnipeg High School Football League. "It was fun what we were building and now it's a new excitement we're building. There's a bunch of kids who have come out. They're committed and have worked out in the off-season. It's almost surreal but it's really exciting."
Friesen and his coaching staff have a roster of nearly 40 players to work with in season one.
"We had a lot of kids come from the Eastman Raiders bantam team so we had 15-20 core kids who have played football but there was also the other 15 who have never touched a football in their life so to speak. We have a great group of coaches who are alumni and get the process of teaching. They really got our guys up to speed. It's been a fun journey seeing them grow and see them take big steps really quickly."
A really big step took place last week at A.D. Penner Park in Steinbach where the Sabres won their lone preseason game 17-7 over the Grant Park Pirates.
Quarterback Austin Dueck connected with Seth Fenez for a major and running back Christian Ginter had a 35-yard touchdown.
Teg Peters added a 25 yard field goal and Bryson Friesen had two interceptions.
"They exceeded our expectations and yet at the same time it was like, there is so much more this team can do," said Friesen on that exhibition game with the Pirates. "We're a first-year team but it doesn't look like that when we're on the field. It's exciting to see the potential if we keep working hard and be committed and show up day-by-day. It was a fantastic experience seeing them out there and compete and get the win."
And what is the SRSS head coach expecting from the Plainsmen on Wednesday?
"We haven't got any film on them to see what they're going to be like or what they are going to give us as far as strategies," Friesen said. "We're expecting a competitive game, similar to Grant Park. We're trying to raise the bar with expectations that every team is going to be better and better and we need to match that and prepare accordingly. We're expecting a tough physical game and we'll see how we do."
The Sabres play their home opener Wednesday, September 20th against the Sisler Spartans at A.D. Penner Park.