Edmonton Stallions: Stallions History
Stallions History 2001 - 2008Edit
The Edmonton Stallions were created in the fall of 2001. The 2 originators were Ryan Bellerose and James Scott. Both were members of the now defunct Edmonton Icemen. After numerous attempts at making the Icemen successful; yet failure at every turn , Ryan and James pulled 6 members from the Icemen to create a new team. Those members were Yuri Wishloff, Rob Rogers, Garin Mackay, Troy Snaychuk, Warren Caulkins and Byron Kay.
All 8 decided to take on the new position of board members on a board run team. They quickly set up team rules, and put in place a strategy to recruit new players. Origionally the Stallions team colours were going to be the same as the New Orleans Saints, but in a meeting the colour of the Stampeders was presented and voted on. Thus the Red/Black/white colour scheme was born. And you can't have the Stamps colours without a horse theme. Therefore the original logo was to be the Indy Colts "horseshoe" Later the idea was passed to have the old Baltimore Stallions horse as the Stallions logo.
In February of 2002, Ryan and Garin drove to Calgary for the AFL's annual AGM and at this meeting. 2 expansion bids were made. 1 was by the Red Deer Buccaneers and the other by the Edmonton Stallions. Both clubs were sucessful in there expansion bids and were to begin play(under a 1 year probation) for the 2002 season. That year the AFL consisted of the Calgary Thunder(2001 AFL Champs), Calgary Wolfpack, Calgary Coyotes, Calgary Gators, Edmonton Icemen, Red Deer Buccaneers and the Edmonton Stallions. Shortly after the expansion news the Stallions roster started to officially fill up with such names as Matt Oberle(QB), Yemi Adeniyi(RB),Max Iribar(LB),Brad Matheson(LB)Duane Gladden(SB),Dave Graff(DT),Terry Miller(FS),Justin Smyth(DB),Tim Lambkin(DB),Don Tiemstra(OL and Scott Wallace(DT); Shocklingly, Byron Kay wasnt able to committ to the Stallions and removed himself from the board, thus leaving it with 7 player/board members.
The 2002 season had its ups and downs, plus a lot of learning curves. The Stallions budget was only $15,000 for the first season, and players were asked to supply there own tape and drive on there own for road games. The Stallions kicked off there existance with a 50-6 stomping of the Icemen. They defeated the Calgary Wolfpack 10-6. Went into Red Deer and turned a game into a Natural rivalry by defeating the Bucs 30-0 and having a Bench Clearing Brawl. The Stallions then defeated the Coyotes and by doing so started the season 4-0. Then the Stallions lost to the Calgary Thunder, tied the Calgary Gators on a last second Hail Mary pass for TD to then Receiver Chris Clouden, beat the Icemen again and lost the regular season finale to the Buccs 30-3. The Expansion Stallions finished 5-2-1, good enough for 3rd place and host a playoff game. Only they played the Veteran Gators and lost 49-6.
The offseason started off horribly for the Stallions as one of there own, Troy Snaychuk, died suddenly on Oct 9th.The Board and Team were in shock. Troy's funeral service was completely full as to the popularity of this bright young man. #65 will forever be retired from the Stallions roster. Thus the Troy Snaychuk Heart and Soul award was created in memory of Troy.
The 2003 season saw the addition of CIS calibre talent join the Stallions ranks but inner termoil at the coaching position made the Stallions spiral downwards from there previous season.This year the Stallions added former Eskimo draftee Guillaume Petit(DE),Tim Siewert(DE),Nathan Fung(DT),Pat Sanders(DB),Gord Schroder(OC)and Mike Oakley(WR). Yet the head coach quit the team 1/2 thru the season after a tough loss to the Coyotes, in Calgary 17-7. The Stallions finished the season 3-5 and looked at the offseason from a non playoff teams perspective.
The Stallions 2004 team was arguablly the best Stallions team (Talent wise). The key additions were former CIS allstars Nathan Connor(RB),Mike Ebberts(DB),Mike Plante(DB) and Tyler Tapp(OL). As well Willie King (U of Wyoming, former NFL draftee) made his Stallions debut at QB. To go with these players the Stallions recruited heavily from the Edmonton Junior clubs to tip the roster at 50+ players. And to start the season off they played the 2003 AFL champ Wolfpack in Red Deer. The Stallions lost that game 63-19 but learned a few things along the way. They took the loss in stride and ended up going 8-1 and along the way having the AFL alltime rusher Nathan Connor run for 1257yrds on 128 carries. Plus 20Td's. QB Willie King also rushed for 553 yrds,giving the Stallions a multi headed attack on the ground which nobody was able to stop. This season the Stallions Offensively rushed for more than 2500yrds, lead the AFL in Special Teams yrds/return, Sacks, and were 2nd in Int's. There only stopping block between them winning the AFL title and representing the AFL in the National Championship game in Edmonton were the Calgary Wolfpack.The game has been dubbed "e "the greatest AFL game Ever. The lead changed hands almost every series as the Wolfpack took a early 27-0 lead.The Wolfpack looked like they had the game wrapped but the Stallions had other ideas and came back to take the lead. By late in the 4th quarter the Stallions were hanging onto the lead 46-44 lead. Less than 2 minutes to play, 3rd and 1 on the Wolfpacks side of the field(around 30-35 yrdline) all the Stallions had to do was convert the 3rd down, something they had done all season, and they would advance to the CMFL final. Unfortunately the run by Connor was stopped and the Wolfpack took over. Leason lead the Pack down field and with 17 seconds left scored the winning TD. Not this season.
In 2005 the Stallions added to there OLine with the addition of former NCAA OT Travis Matlock,LB Real Bouchard and former U of Waterloo QB Jordie Holton. These additions were key to the Stallions success as they went 9-0 this year. Running the ball was no longer Nathan Connor, as he and Willie King moved onto the European Theatre to play pro football. Now it was former Edmonton Huskies RB Kent Turner. Turner almost broke Connors' rushing record of 1257 yrds by rushing for 1251 yrds. However this season the Stallions Offence was more level as they had a legitamite passing attack from Holton. Jordie passed for 2739 yrds and 29 td's, leading the AFL to a 1st place finish. And thru the playoffs to eventually host the AFL final against the Calgary Wolfpack, again! And again it was a close game but by the 4th quarter the Wolfpack had a solid lead, eventually winning 42-28. Not this season.
In 2006 the Stallions kept most of there key players, veterns included and managed to go 6-1-1(tieing the Lloydminster Vandals 10-10). Good enough for 2nd place. Statistaclly the Stallions offence was just average as QB Holton threw for only 1793 yrds, and HB Yemi Adeniyi rushed for only 500 yrds (good for 6th in league rushing yrds). However the Stallions defence was able to stop just about everybody, thus leading the way in 2006. Guillaume Petit led the league with 7.5 sacks. The Stallions were 2nd in sacks, Int's and Fumble recoveries. While being 1st in blocked kicks. The Defence was known for creating 2 and out situations for opposing offences and this allowed the Stallions offence more time on the field. The Stallions had a early exit from the AFL playoffs in '06, when they hosted and lost to the Calgary Gators. Not this season.
At the Stallions AGM in February 2007, then club President Gord Schroder made a bold promise to all. We will win the AFL Championship this season and go out east and play for the National Championship. Our camp started the last weekend of April with a ton of new and familiar faces. RB Manny Gordon, former Winnipeg Rifles leading rusher, CB/K Grant Shaw, former 2 time PJFL and 1x National Champion in the CJFL with the Edmonton Huskies, OT Zach Nordin from the Victoria Rebel of the BCJFL all joined the club. Former AFL allstar DE Tim Siewert was back. As was AFL Allstar WR Landon Klassen. Other past Stallions also came back in the likes of CB Chris Kercher from the BCJFL and OT Tyler Tapp. Everything was set in place for the Stallions to take a run at the title.
After the first game against the Vandals the Stallions looked pretty thin at Oline. They lost 1 player for the game another for 1/2 the season and a 3rd for the season. To top it off they lost the game. Week 2 wasn't any easier as they lost to Grande Prairie and lost another 2 OL for the season. So going into week 3 they dressed 2 new Olinemen. They tried to convert DL Garin Mackay to play OT and Coach Bernie dressed to play OG beside Garin, thus Bernie gave some much needed leadership to the now patched OLine. The result was a Stallions victory against a weak Seahawks squad. The Stallions were now playing with confidence. Bernie never played again that season but the OLine of Gord Schroder, Tim Mottershead, Luc McCabe, Garin Mackay, Zack Nordin and Bruce Theroux gelled enough to give the Offence much needed confidence.
The Stallions ended up going on a 5 game winning streak beating even the highly touted Gators and rival Buccaneers. Then the Stallions played the Wolfpack with a depleated defence and lost there last regular season game 44 - 17, putting the Stallions in 5th place. This meant that they had to play a 1/4 final game for the first time since 2002, and on the road in Vandal land. The 1/4 final was a completely defensive battle, with only 1 TD being scored by either team, on a INT by the Vandals. The Stallions ended up with the ball deep in there own end with 1:30 remaining. Down 9-8 the Stallions drove the length of the field and with 1.9 seconds remaining Grant Shaw kicked a 40yrd FG to give the Stallions the win.
The Stallions semi final game was on the road in Grande Prairie to face the #1 Drillers. This game was played in a wet field full of Pig sh1t. However this didn't stop the Stallions Offence as they went on to score 32 points and the Defence stoned the Drillers all game long. Final was Stallions 32-0, and onto the AFL final in Calgary against the much favored Gators.
The Gators had former NFL RB Ronney Jenkins on there roster, but he wasnt able to rush anywhere on this day as the Stallions Defence stoned him cold all game. The Stallions offence was up to the challange as RB Manny Gordon had his best game as a Stallion rushing for over 100 yrds, and QB Holton threw for over 250 yrds. The Stallions ended up winning the game 21-16. We did it the hard way, 3 road wins against 4th, 1st and 3rd place teams. And after starting the season 0-2 with the string of Injuries.We had finally done it. 2007 AFL CHAMPIONS. Up next was the Sault Ste. Marie Steelers in the Nationals in Oshawa, Ontario.
Unfortunately the Stallions lost in the CMFL final 59-10, but alot has been taken in thru last season, so the Stallions know what they need to do to repeat as AFL Champions and what they need to do too win the National Championship in 2008.
Alberta Football League - 2010 StandingsEdit
|Lloydminster Vandals||8||6||2||0||12||299||140||.750||1||AFC Champion|
|Grande Prairie Drillers||7||5||1||1||11||265||158||.714||0|
|Red Deer Buccaneers||7||2||5||0||4||193||196||0.286||1|
|Sault Steelers||1||1||0||0||2||32||0||1.000||1||NFC Champion|
|Sherwood Park Renegades||7||0||7||0||0||76||306||0.000||0|
2001-2002a: Ryan Bellerose
2002b - 2003: Garin Mackay
2004 - 2008: Gord Schroder
2009-2010: Garin Mackay
Current: Jeremy Mann