After months of practices, studying the playbooks and growing as players, the Saskatchewan Selects are ready to go for their trip to San Antonio.
The four teams made up of players from Moose Jaw and around the province will be travelling to Texas next week to compete in the 2018 Pigskin International Classic football tournament.
“Where we started three months ago when we started with evaluation, we had a lot of good talent and now we want to bring them together as a team, and I just addressed the team about being friends and working as a group to make good things happen,” said Steve Sombach, coach of the Selects’ 14-and-under team.
The Selects will be sending teams in four different age categories to the tournament, starting with 10U and then 12U, 14U and 16U. Since November, they’ve been practicing at Yara Centre in Moose Jaw to learn the way the Selects’ way of playing football, as well as growing together as a group.
With all that work in the books, the players are ready to go for Texas.
“We’re definitely ready to go, we’ve been practicing for a lot of weekends and we’re really tired of hitting each other, we’re ready to play some different teams from the States,” said Jake Farrell from Yorkton, who is a quarterback for the 12U team.
Through the three months of practice, the players have dived into playbooks to prepare for the tournament, but they’ve also worked on skill development and had some fun will doing it.
“When we showed up for that first practice, we looked like garbage, but the coaches out here have done a fantastic job of teaching us the right way to do things, so we’ll do a good job,” said Connor Lamer from Regina with the 14U team.
Lamer has been playing with the Selects for four seasons now and said he wouldn’t want to spend his winter playing doing anything else, “This program is so organized and fun, we played dodgeball out here, it’s just so much fun to be around the guys,” he said.
The Selects will be squaring off with teams from Texas, California, Virginia, Mexico and Manitoba. They know the challenge is going to be tough, but feel they’re up for what’s in front of them.
“We have a great team, I feel like we’re going to go down there and kick some arse and represent our province,” said 16U offensive lineman Logan Hubick from Strasbourg.
“Our mesh and togetherness is our best attribute, we’re all on the same page. If you’re not together, you can’t do anything, if you’re playing for yourself, the team will lose.”
The Selects will practice on Wednesday-Friday next week in Texas and then they hit the field for the tournament next weekend.