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Off-Season Forecast: Edmonton Wildcats

07/21/2021, 11:00am PDT
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Jumping into 2021 like...

The 2019 season saw the return of the Edmonton Wildcats to the Canadian Bowl playoffs for the first time in six years.  They’ve had a chance to build off that post season appearance for a year and a half and have reloaded and are ready for kick-off next month.

As they enter the return to play program in Alberta the Wildcats are very pleased with the amount of players at each position that will report to camp.  There will be a healthy competition for each and every roster spot for 2021.

What’s New:

The Wildcats will have a couple of new faces on the coaching staff here in 2021 as Kavis Reed and Paul Schwartz have been added to the mix.  Off the field the club has launched a brand new website, have a new bus sponsorship deal with Traxx and will tee-off the first ever Al Park Memorial golf tournament at the end of August which will double as a fundraiser for their scholarship program.

Key Grads:

LB Chopper Hippe – one of the best names to ever play in the CJFL, Hippe led the League with 46 solo tackles in 2019 and added six assisted stops along with a knockdown.

QB Dante Tabacu – any time a team loses a quarterback there is a sense of starting over.  During the 2019 season Tabacu completed over 50% of his passes for 888 yards and threw four touchdowns.

DB Matt Zarowny – he was one of the Wildcats top defensive backs in 2019 making 16 solo tackles, had three interceptions, blocked a kick, collected four knockdowns, recovered two fumbles and forced another.

Entering Final Season:

WR Lucas Howe – after a solid 2019 season, Howe will look to build upon his production numbers of 25 receptions for 418 yards and three majors.

OL Anthony Rahe  & Mike Rea – these two players have been the anchors on the Wildcats offensive line and enter their final CJFL season with high hopes of getting deep into the playoffs.

Counting On:

DL Cole Milford – Coming into the 2021 season Milford will be looked upon to make a big impact on the defensive line.  He had one sack in 2019 and 10 solo tackles, a pair of stats the Wildcats are hoping he’ll expand on.

QB Devin Desormeau – he saw minimal action in 2019 completing 11 passes for 103 yards and had a passer efficiency rating of 105.6 albeit in limited action.  He is poised to win the starting role coming out of camp but will have to work hard and earn it from the coaching staff.

RB Nathan Zacharias – after seeing limited playing time in 2019 he is ready to take the Wildcats’ torch and “run with it,” following in the footsteps of some incredible running back in team history.  Back in 2019 he rushed 59 times for 243 yards and did score two touchdowns; something the Wildcats will hope to see a lot more of this season.

The Wildcats begin the 2021 season on August 22nd when they visit the Calgary Colts before their first official home game on September 12th when they kick-off at 11:00am at their new field; the JP Bowl.

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