Number 63 - Brady Monster stands with a few other offensive players on the sidelines
Winkler resident Brady Monster and the Fort Garry Lions will be playing in the Manitoba Major Football League's championship game Saturday at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg. The Lions defeated every team in the league and finished with a perfect 8-0 record, and outscored their opponents by 251 points throughout the season.
"It's going to be a bit nerve racking at first, especially since I did take a year off, getting into work and everything," shared Monster, who plays Left Guard for the Lions. "My first steps onto that field will be a little nerve-racking, but then I'll calm down. I did the same thing when I played in the old Bomber's Stadium (Canad Inns Stadium). The first quarter I was nervous, but then you calm down and focus on football, and do your thing."
Clearly with a perfect record and such a dominating offensive performance over the season, the team clicks.
"We all connect," explained Monster when asked why the team has had success this season. "There is no argument between us, and we are competitive. We show up to practice, we get our stuff done, we go over plays, game film, and everything. We all connect, we are one big group. Were like one big family."
It wasn't a very hard decision for Monster when he had the opportunity to play football again, even if it required traveling to Winnipeg to do it.
"It's football," the former Pembina Valley Cornhusker simply stated when asked about traveling to Winnipeg to play the game he loves. "Since the program shut down here, I've missed playing it. I was told about the Major Football League, and I thought maybe I could sign up for a team, and I did. I just love football. I love the physicality of it, that you get to pretty much hit people all of the time. It's fun. I love it."
The semi-finals saw the Fort Garry Lions defeat the St. James Rods 47-6, and the St. Vital Mustangs stepping over the East Side Eagles 11-8. With the Lions and Mustangs winning it sets up an interesting championship game.
The Lions finished first in the regular season, while the Mustangs finished second at 5-2-1. The two teams met twice during the regular season, with Fort Garry coming out on top 41-0 in week 3 and 28-0 in week 6.
"We don't play their style," noted Monster. "Their style is to try and get into our heads verbally, and try and talk us out of this game, try and lose our focus, but we don't bite. We just keep playing football. We keep playing our game, and don't go to their game of messing with your mind, It's just not our style."
The Lions and Mustangs will kick off the final game of the Manitoba Major Football League season Saturday at 6:00 p.m.
"We have to keep our cool," said Monster. "There has been some games where we have got a little heated, and it's turned into a couple of penalties the other way, and we haven't been too happy about that. We also have to respect the other team as well. They are here too, they worked hard to get to the same point, and we have to respect that. We can't just come in there, and think 'we went undefeated the whole season, we're going to be champs now'. No we have to keep doing what we are doing, and just do our thing."
Below is a list of the regular season scores for the undefeated Lions.
Week 1: Fort Garry Lions 9 East Side Eagles 7
Week 2: Fort Garry Lions 42 Greendell Falcons 0
Week 3: Fort Garry Lions 41 St. Vital Mustangs 0
Week 4: Fort Garry Lions 37 Westman Wolverines 7
Week 5: Fort Garry Lions 28 St. Vital Mustangs 0
Week 6: Fort Garry Lions 44 St. James Rods 8
Week 7: Fort Garry Lions 43 North East Nomads 4
Week 8: Fort Garry Lions 33 East Side Eagles 0
*Photo courtesy of Brady Monster