Howard S. Billings High School Reignites its Football Legacy in 2023

After nearly half a century, Howard S. Billings High School is reviving its tackle football team, lighting up the Friday nights once again.

“It’s incredibly exciting. Billings has been without football for a considerable period,” remarked manager Sophie Caisse, noting that this anticipation resonates throughout the entire school.

As the Billings Blazers gear up for their grand return, the team aspires to exceed all expectations. Jahki Parkinson, a student athlete, voiced his excitement and determination: “It’s great to be part of this, but we also recognize that we have something to prove as a fresh team entering a new league.”

Open to 10th and 11th graders, the reestablishment of the team is primarily designed to keep the teens engaged and in school. Luc Pelland, the head coach, explained the motivation behind the revival:

“We want to keep them busy and off the streets. The idea is to introduce them to a fantastic game where they can form friendships, develop positive habits, and boost school spirit.”

Pelland, despite his extensive 25-year coaching experience at CEGEP and university levels with Concordia and McGill, is taking on his first high school role.

He shared some of his initial impressions: “It’s a slight shift. I’m accustomed to working with older individuals, so I might have to watch my language a bit more,” he joked, adding, “But at the end of the day, football is still football.”

Aspiring players look forward to learning from Pelland’s seasoned expertise to enhance their gameplay. Thomas Granberg, a 10th grader, shared his aspirations:

“I’m still getting to grips with the game, but I’m hopeful that with Coach Pelland and the rest of the team’s support, I’ll improve year by year and move onto CEGEP.”

Though the wait stretches three more months, the enthusiasm remains undiminished. After all, the nearly 50-year anticipation will culminate when the team steps onto the field.

Granberg echoed this sentiment: “I’m really hoping for a massive turnout when the games begin. It’s going to be awesome.”

The high school season is set to officially kick off in late August.

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