The Plenty Wildcats are set for a short road trip tonight when they take on the Rosetown Royals under the lights at 7:00 pm.
Rosetown supporters will be in red and black as Rosetown Central High School is set for an exciting weekend of sports, ready to be abuzz with the football game and Sr Girls volleyball action set for all weekend.
“It will be a pretty hopping place to be at,” said Rosetown football coach Mitch Wintonyk about this weekend at RCHS.
It should be a nice weekend in west central despite the possibility for some cold temperatures during tonight’s game. Luckily enough snow is not in the picture for the prime-time match-up, but even still, tonight’s game is a precursor to the tough conditions that are likely ahead for the regions playoff hopefuls.
“Looks like it’s not going to be windy and it should be clear, but ya it will definitely be chilly,” forecasted Wintonyk, “This is the time of year where that is what you expect, and you always want to play in cold weather because it means you’re making a run at something. You better get used to it, and want to play in that cold weather.”
As for Plenty, their head coach Jason Kelly is expecting no different and says because the team is used to their morning practices, cold weather shouldn’t seem to be an issue.
“The game in Clavet was super windy and cold, but they are definitely going to have to get used to it because come playoff time it will be a lot colder than this,” explained the longtime Plenty coach Kelly, “We practiced in the mornings up until this week, so they are used to practicing in the cold and they are looking forward to the game no matter what the temperature is. It will be a change from what we’ve been doing but they are excited for it.”
The only change for the Wildcats didn’t only come on the practice field this week, as the team will be playing their first match-up under the lights in quite some time according to Kelly.
“This is their first under the lights game, it has been probably three years since we played one under the lights so they are looking forward to it.”
For the Royals they are definitely more experienced when it comes to playing at night, and Wintonyk’s team is excited for the opportunity they have to come out and face an opponent facing the same motivation as them.
“The kids know each other, and there is a little bit of bragging rights for second place in the league so you know there’s a lot of factors that go into it.”
Wintonyk believes his team is coming together at the right time, and a strong performance against the Wildcats tonight could put the Royals on a good path headed into playoffs. He says a few weeks back was the start of a different feeling in their locker room and on the field, and says that same kind of feeling and focus is present headed into the big game against Plenty.
“It’s fun when you can come in with that focus and compete level, that desire I guess. We’ve had a lot of fun this season, and you can kind of see it coming together now.”
The regular season finale between the two this week has far from little at stake. Each team beat their opponents by a similar score and took a loss in their first game to Clavet, leaving this week a good chance to truly prove who the better team is.
Even setting aside all of the factors from the standings, its the first time these two teams will meet in quite some time, if not ever according to Kelly.
“This is probably my 22nd year and I’ve never coached a game against Rosetown. It’s definitely a new rivalry,” explained Kelly, “When I started they were still 9 man, and since they’ve come down to 6 man they’ve always been in a different league than us. This is the first time in a long time we have played Rosetown.”
The two teams will meetup but are still headed their separate ways after tonight’s game. At least for the rest of the season. Rosetown will have a chance to enter provincials with a win next week and play for a chance to potentially meet up again vs Clavet, while 1A school Plenty is guaranteed a home playoff.
“It’ll come down to the end but we will be hosting a game on October 30th against whoever comes out of the 1A schools.”
With it being Plenty’s first year being match-up with “outsiders” in 2A schools Rosetown, Biggar, Outlook, and Clavet; they weren’t sure how they were going fair in the stacked up competition.
“We didn’t know how we matched up against these 2A schools. We never played any of them. The way it turned out this is a good last competitive game to go into provincials after this,” said Kelly, “It should be a battle.”
It can be exciting to get out ahead of things and prepare for the playoffs, but each coach knows their team needs to temper their expectations and just focus on the current plays at hand.
“Hopefully we can make a little run at it. I’m hopeful. We will take it week by week and not get ahead of ourselves,” wishfully said Wintonyk.
Tonight’s result should be meaningless when it comes to the Conference 6 standings, but it can’t be completely disregarded as each team presents an equal test for their opponent. Each team lost to one of the provincial favourites in Clavet to start off the year, but have since come a long way, and are eager to show out under the lights and head into the postseason on a winning note.