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Bellerose football coach awarded coach of year award

Bellerose Bulldogs head football coach Jason Lafferty has been recognized by Football Alberta as High School Tier II Coach of the Year
Bellerose Bulldogs Coach Jason Lafferty out on the field.

It’s been 20 years since Jason Lafferty, head coach of the Bellerose Bulldogs, last received a coaching award from Alberta Football.

He was starting his first teaching gig at a school in Peace River at the time.

That year (2004), the team he coached went all the way to the provincial finals but lost to a talented group from Cochrane.

“I still talk to one of the players that was on that team,” Lafferty said. “We golf, and we chat, and we tend to follow up with each other. So the relationships are really, really good — and that’s what makes all the really good teams: relationships.”

Apparently, Lafferty hasn’t lost his touch for building team camaraderie.

Last year the Bellerose Bulldogs senior and junior teams, both coached by Lafferty, went to the Edmonton Metro League Championship games. The senior Bulldogs went 10-1 in the 2023 season and won the Senior Boys Miles Division title, while the junior Bulldogs won the Junior Boys Division 1 title in their championship game against the Harry Ainlay Titans.

In his time away from Bellerose, Lafferty acted as assistant coach for the West Edmonton Raiders, who won the Capital District Minor Football Associations Tier I Bantam Championship.

And, for his work, Lafferty last Saturday received Alberta Football’s High School Tier II Coach of the Year Award.

“It’s nice to be recognized, but you have to keep it in perspective, that it’s not me — it’s the players,” and everyone who supported the team, he said.

Lafferty pointed to collaboration between players, coaches, parents, trainers and administration as the key to success on the field.

As a coach, he prioritizes making sure that athletes feel cared for and respected, he said.

“We coach them at the level that we feel they need to be to get the opportunity to compete,” he said. “Showing up to practice and making sure we're prepared, that shows care. Putting them in a position where they can have success on the field, holding them to an academic standard, making sure when someone is injured, they get immediate care … it really is about building relationships and trust.”

Football had a “really positive” year at Bellerose, with lots of excitement and support from players, parents, teachers and the school itself, he said.

The teams had the slogan “every decision I make has a direct impact on my team” printed on the backs of their t-shirts.

“We wrote it on the inside of our championship rings,” Lafferty said.  “There was a feeling that we were all here for the right reasons … We had a really special season.”

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