The Dakota Collegiate Lancers are Winnipeg high school football's new number one
Published Friday, October 18, 2019 6:41PM CST
Last Updated Friday, October 18, 2019 6:51PM CST
The Dakota Collegiate Lancers are undefeated in 2019.
"I wasn't sure how the season was going to start, but we've put in the work and we've shown who we are,” Grade 12 defensive lineman Jordan Friesen.
First came a 19-10 victory over Sisler High School to kick off the regular season. Then they beat Kelvin High School 34-21 the following week.
"It's been a wild ride, to be completely honest,” said head coach Mitchell Harrison.
The 27-year-old has a life spent in football, including five years of eligibility playing with the Manitoba Bisons. But this is the first season he’s ever been the man in charge on the sidelines, and his arrival has seen the culture of the team shift.
"Our team's still our team,” said Grade 12 offensive lineman Cameron Sumka. “He's just introduced a lot of new concepts, and he's really driving us to be the best team we can.”
Their third game of the season was a breakthrough for the program — a 15-13 win over the St. Paul’s Crusaders, who are typically one of the Winnipeg High School Football League’s strongest teams.
"We've had players in the past say, ‘Oh you know my knee's a little hurting, oh my back, I don't know if I can play against this team,’ because of that stigma that they have around them that they're unbeatable,” said Paulic. “I think that this year we put an end to that."
The Lancers followed that up with wins over Grant Park High School, Oak Park High School, and Murdoch Mackay Collegiate, and now sit a perfect 6-0. A win against Steinbach Regional Secondary School on Friday, Oct. 25 would see them finish the regular season at 7-0.
"Every time I do think about it, I can't help but smile,” said Harrison, who admitted it’s hard not to think about the future of the team. “If this is how well we're going to do in year one, I can't wait to see what years two, three, four moving forward look like."
But this year’s group has something they’d like to accomplish first.
"Championship, obviously,” said Friesen. “Not even a question. We're going there, we're going to be there, and we're going to win it, I'm telling you."