How it all began…

“As a kid, I grew up an avid Calgary Stampeder football fan. Frank
Andruski played for the Stampeders during this time. Frank was my favorite
player. Frank was a member of the church our family attended, played
basketball on a team that my Dad coached, lived just down the street from
my family, and he and his family were close friends of my family.

In 1972, tackle football for a youth did not start until the Bantam age
(Grade 9). There was a flag football league available for youth younger
than Bantam age, and I played 3 years of flag football while in grade 4, 5
and 6. After grade 6, youth could no longer play flag football. I wanted
to continue to play football but there was no organized Bantam team in the
newer Calgary south east community of Lake Bonavista. After some calls and
inquiries by several parents (including my parents) as to how the southeast
communities of Lake Bonavista, Willow Park and Maple Ridge could start up a
new team in the Calgary Bantam football Association, word got around that
we could have a team if we had enough players and a coach. At this time, I
was too young to play Bantam because I was only in grade 6, but my older
brother, Brent, was in going into grade 9. My parents were talking to
Brent and his grade 9 friends about whether they had an interest in playing
tackle football if a team started up in South East Calgary. Brent spoke
with many of his friends and many of them wanted to play. I remember
listening to Brent and his group of friends talk about how they should ask
Frank Andruski to be the coach of this new team. I was the “scrawny
bothersome little brother” hanging around, just wanting to play football.

My brother and his friends left the house and started heading over to Frank
Andruski’s house to ask him to coach. I followed behind or “tagged along”
as Brent’s little brother. When Brent and his friends got to Frank
Andruski’s house, they started debating who should knock on Frank’s door
and ask him to coach. They were all too scared to ask him. Mr. Andruski
was the neighbourhood celebrity at this time because he was on the
Stampeders. My brother and his friends pressured me to do it. I was a
little scared as I walked up to Frank’s door and rang the door bell. Frank
answered, and I told him we were starting a new tackle football team and we
wanted him to be our coach. He told me if I could go get a list of names of
kids who wanted to play, he would think about it. Later, I learned he was
just trying to get rid of me.

I left Mr. Andruski’s door step and went into the alley and was pounced on
by Brent and his friends, asking me what Mr. Andruski said. I told them
what he said and that we needed to go get as many names as possible to show
Mr. Andruski we really wanted to have a team. The next week I went around
the Lake Bonavista neighbourhood knocking on doors, telling people about
our new football team and asking people at the door whether anyone lived
there that would like to play football. I don’t remember how many names I
collected but I know it was a lot. I even think some people that signed my
list were adults who just wanted to get rid of me.

After collecting my list and combining the lists with that of my brother
and his friends (which wasn’t any where near what I had collected) we went
back to Mr. Andruski’s house to show him the lists. Again, my brother and
his friends debated who should go to Mr. Andruski’s door and again, they
all pressured me, so I went. I remember, I was scared, but I remember
exactly what I said. I rang the door bell, Mr. Andruski answered, I showed
him my list and I said, “Lets get this team started!!”.

The rest is history. Frank Andruski was our first coach, I got to play
football that year as the only grade 7 on the team. I played 3 years for
the Colts and we won the City Championship in every year. I have such fond memories of the Colts. I remember when we named the team the Colts. My years as a Cowley and Keith Colt are great memories and gave me a great
start to my football career. I feel proud to be part of the group that
initiated the Colt program, along with many others such as Keith Kendall,
Frank Andruski, Ron Rooke, Doug Rooke, Bruce Shaw, Dave Cowley and many others.

Greg Peterson