The sun was shining on Saturday afternoon in Lethbridge, Alta., as kids filled the football fields at Catholic Central High School for the Southern Alberta Minor Football Association Peewee Jamboree.
“Essentially, we’re doing little mini-games to check the skill level on each team because it changes from year to year,” said Jonas Freedman, president of the Lethbridge Minor Football Association, “just to put them in the division they should be leading into our regular season.”
The annual Peewee Jamboree was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, some 250 kids from around southern Alberta came out to hit the field and show off their skills. Freedman says it makes this year even more special.
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Everyone had a different reason for coming out.
“I’m looking forward to tackling people,” laughed Ty Whalen. The running back and linebacker missed last season due to an injury. Being back on the field on a beautiful day was exciting, he added.
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Linebacker and tight end Braiden Hubley was eager to hit the field for two reasons: “To get a touchdown and hit somebody really hard.”
For others, it was just exciting to play a game with their teammates.
“I like going out to play with my friends and the enjoyment of the game,” said Erick Clarke, who is getting ready for his fourth season.
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Each team played three games throughout the day. The results decide if they fall into Division A or B for the regular season.
It wasn’t just the kids who were excited to play the game. The sidelines were filled with family and friends, eagerly cheering on the young athletes and grabbing some food from the barbecue.
“Just to see the delight on all the kids’ faces, it’s amazing to see this many kids out here enjoying football,” said Freedman. “Football is huge in southern Alberta, and it’s just great to see the kids out here enjoying what they love.”
“I really like running,” said wide receiver and slotback Isabella Amantea, “and my team. They’re all very nice.”
Registration for the season is still open for anyone interested. Details can be found on the Southern Alberta Minor Football Association website.
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