Great Weekend for Sask Selects Against Manitoba Selects
by Marc Smith
There was football, football and more football over the weekend at Yara Centre.
The Saskatchewan Selects football program was back on the field as they prepare to head to the sixth annual International Pigskin Classic next month in San Antonio, TX.
This weekend was different than the standard weekend of practice for the program however, as they faced off with one of the teams that they’ll be going up against in Texas as the Manitoba Selects came to town for exhibition games between the 12U and 14U teams.
“Everything went really, really well, we had a great practice on Saturday with the Manitoba teams and then there was some unbelievable football on Sunday,” said Zeljko Stefanovic, the program director for the Sask Selects.
These were the first set of games that the Sask Selects have ever played at home in the lead-up to their annual trip to a tournament in February.
The games were in vain of controlled scrimmages between the two teams, but both teams got a ton of benefits from the weekend as they saw how their teams stacked up against other competition.
“We really got comfortable as the game went on,” said Rhett Vavra, a receiver with the Sask Selects’ 14U team.
“We’re further ahead this year at this time than we were last year,” added Stefanovic. “This is the best of the best, so this gives them an opportunity to compete against kids that are as good, or better, than they are and allows them to see what level they’re at.”
The Manitoba Selects program is in its second year and will be joining the Sask Selects in San Antonio.
This weekend sparked a friendly rivalry between the two programs, which is expected when you have Saskatchewan and Manitoba football players getting together.
“To be able to come out here and see where we match-up against the Sask Selects has been really great for our kids to build their confidence to head to San Antonio,” said Kito Poblah, a former CFL player that’s leading the Manitoba Selects program.
There were big plays on both sides and there was hard hitting action throughout the two games.
“The game went good, we have to fix somethings, but it was good,” said Kenton Apple from Regina, a receiver with the Sask Selects’ 12U team.
Stefanovic said there were huge benefits to getting some game action in before they leave for the United States.
“We’ve been hitting the same guys for the last two months, so when you bring somebody different in, they run a different offence, a different structure and it really allows the kids to grow when they see different things on the field like that, so that’s why we really wanted to have this weekend,” he said.
The Sask Selects will continue practicing over the next two months before they travel down to San Antonio from Feb. 20-26.
2018 International Pigskin Classic