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New season, new head coach for Olds high school football team

After 24 years, George Grant is taking a step back from being head coach of the École Olds High School Spartans football team
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OLDS — The Olds Spartans have kicked off a new football season with more than just new players. 

They have a new head coach. 

Vice-principal Kent Lorenz has taken over the reins from George Grant who has “stepped back” after 24 years.  

Grant says he’ll remain as a coach, but it was time for a change. 

“I’ve just taken a slight step back and Kent has taken over,” Grant said during an interview. “I’m still working with him. We’re a great team, but he’s dealing with the day-to-day operations.”

Grant said initially he just asked Lorenz to come out and help coach the team but later asked him if he’d take on the head coaching duties so Grant could concentrate on other aspects, including coaching his son who joined the team this year. 

Lorenz is looking forward to his new duties.  

“Stepping back into the role of coaching football this season was something that was in the works for some time,” he wrote in an email. 

Lorenz noted he has 34 years of coaching experience in a variety of sports. 

“Football and basketball are definitely my favourite,” he wrote. 

Lorenz said Taylor Grenier has become the senior boys’ basketball team head coach, thereby freeing him up to “make the transition back to the gridiron.” 

Lorenz noted that while all coaches are “integral to the success of the team” “as an administrator at Ecole Olds High School, “looking over the day-to-day tasks and paperwork seemed a good fit for myself to help support the coaching staff. 

“For that reason, the coaching staff agreed that I would move into the role of head coach.” 

This year, there are 28 players on the Spartans football team, about half of whom are first-year players.    

“There is a balance between the number of Grade 11 and 12 players and we are encouraging Grade 10 students to come out and try the game of football,” Lorenz wrote. 

“With many new players to the game of football, we are working on all aspects of the game. Most of the players are learning a position that is new to them.” 

The team has several players who came up through the Olds Minor Football Association system. Lorenz said they’ve become “fantastic leaders” on the team. 

“They are also very patient and go out of their way to support the new players that are learning the game,” he added. 

Lorenz sees lots of opportunities for students to grow by playing sports like football. 

“When athletes have the opportunity from a young age to participate in a particular sport it helps them build confidence, skills and a sense of belonging,” he wrote. 

“Football is the essential team game. Team building and familiarity with your teammates is essential for players wanting to continue to work hard and persevere.  

“The Olds minor football program is doing a fantastic job encouraging athletes to come out and have fun and participate in a great game.”