Seven local football stars are preparing to represent the B.C. Provincial Football Association (BCPFA)’s provincial selects team in two separate national tournaments.
U18 selects Easton Schmuland (fullback), Caeleb Schlachter (receiver) and Nolan Ulm (receiver) boarded a plane in Vancouver, bound for Kingston, ON where they will take on eight provincial teams from coast to coast in the 2019 Football Canada Cup.
U16 selects Jaeke Schlachter (receiver), Evan Fitchett (receiver), Jack Nyrose (defensive back) and Everett Schmuland (linebacker) travel to Kamloops for the 2019 Football Canada Western Challenge, a tournament hosted this year by the BCPFA.
All seven youth play locally for the Kelowna Secondary (KSS) Owls Varsity and Junior Varsity teams. KSS’s 2018 season was capped with a provincial championship title for the Junior Varsity squad, which included Nyrose, Everett Schmuland, Jaeke and Caeleb Schlachter and Fitchett.
For months, players and coaching staff have maintained a gruelling practice schedule that required them to travel to Lower Mainland every other weekend to practice with their team mates from across the province.
“It’s a tough schedule which requires hard work and focus,” notes Coach Schmuland.
“We have amazing and very passionate, dedicated coaches leading this great group of young men. I am not surprised by the commitment shown by both the athletes and coaches. It’s why they were hand-picked to be a part of this team.”
They all hope to return to their hometowns victorious.
“Yes, we would love to be able to bring the cup home to B.C.,” says Nyrose, who played in the tournament last year, which saw Team Alberta repeat as champions by defeating Team Manitoba 47-21. “We want to make our coaches and our communities proud. We have to stay focused and play our best.”
The U18 Football Canada Cup takes place from July 5-13 at Queen’s University Richardson Stadium in Kingston, ON.
The U16 Western Canada Cup will be held July 13-18 at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops.