AMHERST - Opponents are quickly learning that the fledgling Wolfpack is no longer fledgling.
Starting its third year playing in the Moncton Football Association, the Cumberland Minor Football Wolfpack is proving to be a formidable opponent.
"We have kids like (quarterback) Blake Thompson. He's in his third football season and he's developed the sense to run plays, choose what to do and where to go," said Travise Dow, Wolfpack president and head coach, as he watched Thompson quarterback his bantam team to a 52-18 victory over the Moncton Raiders Sunday at the Winston Avenue football field on Sunday.
Thompson said the Wolfpack teams are beginning to mesh, and attributes the improvement to the coaching.
"With the coaches help it's really coming together," said the 14-year-old.
As for himself, Thompson said his passing is better and he knows the game better.
"I like throwing passes and I like running but I'd like to get better at reading the game," he added.
The most experienced player on the bantam Wolfpack team is Desiree Gould.
She played with Sackville, N.B., for four years, but there isn't a bantam team in Sackville, so she made the jump to the Wolfpack.
"Her athleticism speaks for itself. She's a great athlete and has a great attitude," said Dow. "And the knowledge she has on the field is something that can't be coached.
"Last year our peewee players chased her around, and this year it's great to have her playing with us."
Gould is 14-years-old and won't be intimidated by anybody.
"I like to show the boys that girls can be as good as them," she said after scoring a touchdown where she spun away from a two defenders, and then ran down the sideline. "I like the roughness of the game. My favourite part is hitting.
Dow said the younger kids are learning from the older players.
"It takes time to build a program, and we're lucky enough to have good parents, good coaches and good children who want to learn how to play," said Dow. "Kids are seeing the positive relationships that are built through football, and it's filtering from the older kids right down to the mosquito's."
Dow said it's not to late to register for the 2012 football season.
"Go to the (website at) cumberlandwolfpack.com, or come out to the field," said Dow. "Practice is Monday to Friday, from 5:30 to 7 p.m."