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Canmore Wolverines snap into season with new head coaches

“A lot of people think football is just a sport. From my experience, it's about personal growth,” said Randy Fabi.
New wolverines head coaches, Randy Fabi, left, and Christy Granat, middle, pose for a portrait alongside defensive coordinator, Christopher Bend, right, at Canmore Collegiate High School on Sunday (March 24). MATTHEW THOMPSON RMO PHOTO

CANMORE – The new Canmore Wolverines head coaches have a fresh outlook for the upcoming football season.

Christy Granat, the first female head coach of the team, will be coaching alongside the retired Canadian Football League player Randy Fabi.

“A lot of people think football is just a sport. From my experience, it’s about personal growth,” said Fabi. “It’s about learning all the life skills that maybe aren’t taught in the classroom. Like discipline, overcoming obstacles, working through some difficult things physically, working as a team, communicating, supporting each other, accountability. These are really important things that we focus on here.”

Along with the mental side of football, Granat is looking to create a safer environment through routine, stretching and equipment.

She said in addition to stricter rules, the team will also use innovative helmets to limit the potential of concussions.

“All the boys are going to have to wear the bubbles on the helmet just for concussion protocols,” said Granat. “We have a lot of coaches volunteering to help, so we’re just going to put in place a bunch of activities, limit maybe tackling to once a week just to make it more fun and more inviting for the boys and have better team spirit as well.”

Both on and off the field, the players will be able to seek guidance from Granat as she’s also teaching French at Canmore Collegiate High School.

“I think it’ll be good for the boys having a teacher as one of the head coaches because they’ll have the support at school and outside of school. I’m quite excited to take on that position,” said Granat.

On Sunday (March 24), the coaches put together a combine for existing players to find their physical benchmark and to introduce prospecting Grade 8s to the team.

“It sort of attests your base level skills of your physicality and so now instead of, ‘okay, we want you to go work out,’ now it’s becoming more of a game,” said Fabi. “It’s like, ‘OK, I did this event at this time or this weight, let’s see if I can beat it next time’. So, it gives them some motivation to get in the gym to get stronger.”

Accompanying the coaches' revived perspective for the team, they also bring years of experience running plays and making touchdowns.

Fabi won the 76th Grey Cup in 1988 playing for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and he also played a season with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after a four-year career with the Bombers. Granat played for the University of Toronto on the flag football team before playing tackle for the Mississauga International Football Association, and she now plays on Calgary Rage, which is part of the Western Women’s Canadian Football League.

“I’m hoping to get some of the boys out to the games and see what women tackling is like, because it’s pretty much the same thing. Same rules, same equipment, nothing is different, except we’re all women instead of boys,” said Granat.

On June 1, the Wolverines will be hosting a jamboree at Millennium Park to kick off the season.

“It’s going to be pretty much an exhibition game between other teams. It’s going to be a bit different rules, but it will be a fun day full of football scrimmages for the boys,” said Granat.

About the Author: Matthew Thompson

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