In a season of firsts it was only fitting that the Yorkton Atom Gridders made another Yorkton Minor Football first on Sunday afternoon at Century Field. After a 4-2 season that saw the Gridders win their first ever home win, the young squad hosted its first bowl game in its existence as well as winning their first ever Football Saskatchewan Atom Bowl game in the process in what was a shootout between the Gridders and the Regina Cats.
The game itself was a barnburner as both teams threw caution to the wind and played a game that saw both teams put up sixty points in a 68-60 game that gave the parents and fans at Century Field plenty to cheer about. Quarterback Jordin Rusnack of the Gridders scored six touchdowns of his own in the game while commanding an offense that put points up on the board all season, topping off what was a great season for the Gridders offense.
The Gridders finished the 2011/12 season 1-5 with a loss in a bowl game in Regina in what was a season that introduced many to football, with more experienced players in this season, the Gridders really saw improvement which was a key to their success according to head coach Steve Variyan. Variyan mentioned that last year not one player on the Gridders squad had played football before and now two-thirds of their players on the team had played football before the first game of the season, which was a key to their winning ways in this season. Variyan also pointed out that the Atom program is helping grow Yorkton football as various coaches of the Pee Wee and Junior programs come out and mention their excitement in having experienced young players in their programs, which is a big part of the Yorkton Minor football program.
The Gridders are a part of a flourishing year in Yorkton football with a winning Pee Wee team heading into their post season as well as the YRHS junior and senior teams planning on making runs in the playoffs in the Regina and Moose Jaw leagues respectively. The Atom Gridders will look to return to further success in the RMF while some players will move on to the Pee Wee level next year.
Coach Variyan mentioned that this years group was a special one and that it was “a pleasure to coach this group of kids, and it was an enjoyable year for all of us.”