Cougars look to christen new stadium with victory
Cobequid Cougars second-string quarterback Alex Upham goes through the paces at practice earlier this week at James Macpherson Stadium. The new $250,000 complex will be officially opened Sunday before the Cougars take on the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames at 1 p.m. Matt Veno - Truro Daily News
TRURO - There's no shortage of motivation Sunday for the Cobequid Cougars.
If the official opening of James Macpherson Stadium isn't enough, the thirst for revenge over the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames and the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Truro Minor Football Association - which feeds many players into the Cougars program - should provide the rest. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
"It's a huge game obviously and we've been preparing all week to get another win," Cougars head coach Scott Annand said. "But of course there are some exciting distractions as well. That's part of it."
The Cougars will be cutting the ribbon to officially open their new stadium prior to the opening kickoff. The $250,000 project saw the former CEC Field transformed into the stadium with new aluminum bleachers to seat 1,000 fans, a new scoreboard, locker room, player's lounge, press box and offices.
A brunch will also be held at the stadium earlier in the day for family, friends and teammates of Macpherson and for those who helped make the project happen.
Aside from wanting to make the christening sweeter by coming out with a win, the Cougars are also looking to avenge a loss to the Flames last season which saw Sir John A. erase a 21-point deficit to dump the Cougars, dealing Cobequid's fragile psyche a fatal blow. The team went on to exit the postseason in the first round.
"The bottom line is there's that bitter taste in everyone's mouths from that game last year," Annand said. "It's fresh in our minds. I know it's fresh on my mind. You're never happy when you blow a 21-point lead."
But in order for the Cougars to make all their dreams come true, they'll have to forget them first. Leaving out all of the distractions and history surrounding the contest and focusing solely on the game will be crucial.
"We just have to concentrate on the game, the basic stuff," said senior centre Brendan Collette. "We just have to do what we're supposed to do and worry about what we're doing, not what they're doing."
Cobequid enters the contest on the heels of a 35-0 drubbing of the Sackville Kingfishers to open the season last Sunday. The win was a confidence booster for the Cougars, who look to keep that momentum going against a Flames squad that's also 1-0.
"We know they're a good team but we're a good team also," Collette said. "Overall it'll be a really good game. But it's our game to win and I think we just have to go out there and play our own game."