Vernon Panther linemen Liam Reid (53) and Brady Szeman (52) will try to help B.C. win gold at the Football Canada Cup U18 Championship in Kingston, Ont. starting Sunday. The pair are joined on the provincial team by VSS teammates Caden Danbrook and Zack Smith. (Black Press - file photo)

Okanagan football foursome named to Team B.C.

Quartet will try to help province win Football Canada Cup U18 championship for first time

With hands like Jerry Rice, a lot of eyes will be on Caden Danbrook.

The Vernon Secondary Panthers wide receiver is back for a second stint with Team B.C. at the Football Canada Cup U18 tournament starting Sunday in Kingston, Ont. Danbrook helped B.C. go 2-1 at last year’s tournament in Calgary – playing as a U16 – to finish fifth.

This year, at the eight-province event, Danbrook is joined by three teammates who will also get long looks from the plethora of Canadian university scouts expected to be on hand.

Danbrook, offensive lineman Brady Szeman, defensive lineman Liam Reid and defensive back Zack Smith all made the final cut for the provincial team, coached by former B.C. Lions running back Cory Philpot.

The quartet, who are entering their Grade 12 years, helped the Panthers become the first senior football team from Vernon to win a provincial championship, guiding the Cats to an undefeated B.C. AA season in 2018.

READ ALSO: Charles Lemay’s five TDs propel Vernon to B.C. title

“Caden is a kid with great speed and can catch the ball, that’s what makes him special on this team,” said Philpot, who coaches at Delta’s Seaquam Secondary where his quarterback, Jay Mather, will start for Team B.C. and look to the likes of Danbrook to help the province win the tournament for the first time ever (B.C. has never reached a final since 2010).

Philpot has been impressed by all four Panthers who will wear their VSS varsity numbers with Team B.C.

“Brady will be a big part in keeping our QB safe as he helps on the O-line. Liam plays a big part of the D-line and we hope to see him make big plays for us. Zack showed us he could make plays at DB and had what it takes to make the team.

“Overall these young men work hard every day and show us that they were right for the team. We are happy to have them as we try to bring home the gold.”

The four Panthers earned their spot after travelling to UBC in Vancouver for tryouts over a couple of weekends.

“We are all excited to show our talents and to represent Vernon football and the province,” said Danbrook, a summer chef at a Vernon restaurant. “It’s pretty awesome that we can play together and that we get to meet a lot of new kids.”

B.C. will host Ontario in its opening game Sunday at 3 p.m. Pacific time. The winner advances to the semifinal and a guaranteed top-four finish against the winner of Saskatchewan-Nova Scotia. The loser drops to the consolation side and can finish no higher than fifth.

Saskatchewan is the defending tournament champion, having beaten host Alberta 31-21 in last year’s final.

“I think if we can get by Ontario, which is a tough opening game, we will have a great chance to win it all,” said Danbrook, who enters this year’s Football Canada Cup with more determination. “I have a lot more confidence this year. I feel more part of the team.”

The Football Canada Cup is the premier pre-university football tournament in Canada which annually showcases the top under-18 football players from across the country.

All games in the tournament will be streamed live at http://footballcanada.com/2019-football-canada-cup/



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Zack Smith of the Vernon Panthers (left, catching a ball in a game against crosstown rivals Fulton Maroons) will play defensive back for Team B.C. at the Football Canada Cup U18 Championships starting Sunday in Kingston, Ont. Smith will be joined on provincial team by teammates Caden Danbrook, Liam Reid and Brady Szeman. (Morning Star - file photo)

Just Posted

Kelowna boy returns to school after recovering from possible Xanax OD

RCMP investigation found the drug to be a form of benzodiazepine, commonly known as Valium or Xanax

RCMP seeking assistance to locate missing West Kelowna resident

Kasey-Anne Balaberda was reported missing on Sept. 15

Renovations underway for Tim Hortons at Kelowna International Airport

The Tim’s will remain open through the renovations but with a reduced menu

Kelowna man sentenced to 35 years for the murder of wife and daughters

This marks the first time in B.C. that consecutive sentences will be handed down for somebody convicted of multiple murders

Man cycles across B.C. Interior for sobriety

Vancouver Island Resident Matt Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Facebook group forms committee against Thompson Nicola R.V. crackdown

Group discusses issues with regional R.V. bylaw at recent meeting

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

Most Read