The Okotoks football flag will be flying high next month.
Six Okotoks-area football athletes played their way onto Team Alberta selections for upcoming national championships with Sidanee Bowers, Carter Smith, Tyson Sopp and Thomas Rodehutskors making the grade at the U18 level along with Thomas Rowan and Seth Poelzer headed for the U16 Western Challenge.
“The biggest thing for me about this summer and the Canada Cup is really the exposure,” said Rodehutskors. “Having missed last year, Grade 11 is a really big year for recruiting, and not having a lot of film, it’s been tough to get my name out there and get coaches paying attention.
“That’s really what I’m excited most about Canada Cup, finally getting some game film and some eyes on my name.”
Smith, Sopp, Rodehutskors and Bowers were part of the Holy Trinity Academy Knights’ run to the provincial final at the Tier II level in the winter and are all products of the Foothills Eagles program.
Smith and Sopp were key cogs in the Knights’ secondary while Rodehutskors missed the season due to injury.
All three were part of Football Alberta’s Summer Series in 2021.
“Team Alberta for me has been a little up and down,” Rodehutskors said. “I’m really excited about this opportunity, but last time I played them in the summer that was when I broke my leg and that was my season-ender.
“Originally I wasn’t planning on participating in the Canada Cup this year, but then I had a call with coach (Jason) Lafferty, the head receiver coach for U18, and he’s an awesome coach and he convinced me. It’s definitely a special opportunity for me given what happened.”
The U18 Football Canada Cup is July 8-17 in Kelowna, B.C.
For Bowers, the opportunity to play at the U18 Female Championships in Regina, held July 1-9, will be her first as Team Alberta’s Female U18 team is making its debut at the nationals.
Bowers is one of just 20 players named to the roster with selection camp taking place earlier in the month in St. Albert.
Rowan and Poelzer helped the Bantam Eagles to a terrific season, with an undefeated record in the regular season and Tier II city championship in the fall.
Rowan, a defensive back, and Poelzer, a runningback, were part of the Bantam Showcase event earlier in the spring.
From those games, selections camps were made and the top 40 players from camp earned Team Alberta honours.
The U16 Western Challenge takes place in Langley, B.C. from July 1-7.
For more information go to footballalberta.ab.ca.