The UNB Saint John Seawolves, disappointed with their last place in the Atlantic Football League 2015 season, are making strides hoping to improve this year.
“This year we actually have a lot of good athletes. I think we are going to be the underdogs but I think we are going to come through with a lot of wins” says Jordan Tracey, a 6 year veteran wide receiver studying business at UNB Saint John.
In the offseason, the club has installed new head coach Nathan Gorham, who has been busy recruiting and promoting a new attitude over the summer. “We hope we can get out as many people as possible,” says Gorham. “We are working hard to field the winning team but to also get the word out on the change in attitude and in the change in perspective.”
Part of this change means hard work for the team with practice times being extended as well as an increased expectation of commitment from all players from Gorham. “We’re trying to get people to buy into the reality that being an elite team in an elite league requires commitment and discipline and (…) making football their number one priority to the extent that they can.”
Tim Laskey, a 2nd year running back for the Seawolves and a 3rd year UNB Saint John student speaks to the change in attitude and commitment, saying that, “last year we had a bit of trouble but I think this year all the guys who want to be here are here.”
In addition to work on the field, Gorham and coaching staff emphasized team building off the field.
“We will be starting to do other things like team dinners and off the field sort of things to help build more chemistry,” says Gorham, and it appears their efforts are paying off.
“Everyone seems to bonding really nicely….and it is nice to feel like I fit in here,” says 1st year UNB Saint John student and Seawolves rookie receiver Ben Belliveau.
The team has also been encouraged to contribute to the greater community with many Seawolves players coaching teams for local schools and leagues in the Greater Saint John area.
With all the work and changes, president and general manager, Barry Ogden is very confident the Seawolves will improve this season. “I would say we are going to have a very good year; we should be a team that is going to be very, very competitive.
Peter Fox/Melissa McKeon memorial game this Sunday
This Sunday, September 11, features the Seawolves opening game against their rival Holland College Hurricanes at the Canada Games Stadium in Saint John.
This game has special meaning for many players as they honor two dedicated members of the Seawolves team who passed away.
“I played with Peter, both in high school (Saint John High School) and with the wolves, and I feel it is one of the biggest games of the year.” says Jonathan Atherton, a 4th year student at UNB Saint John, and 5 year veteran outside linebacker.
Peter Fox was a member on the team and Melissa McKeon was a dedicated trainer for the Seawolves as well as a medical research coordinator at the Canada East Spine Center. “ We miss them both for sure,” says Tracey, reflecting on the memorial game.
Ogden is looking forward to the memorial game which also doubles as the season opener and is encouraging UNB Saint John students to come out and enjoy the atmosphere of the homecoming game adding that over 500 passes have been given out to students
Kickoff starts at 12 noon on Sunday, September 11 with tickets at the door. $5 for adults, $2 for students and free for children under 14.
For UNB Saint John students interested in joining the Seawolves Football Team contact Nathan Gorham at gorham (at) saintjohnseawolves (dot) ca