Three players and one coach with Kelowna roots will be vying for a Vanier Cup ring this weekend in Hamilton.
Josiah Joseph, Matt Carson and Brennan Van Nistelrooy will suit up for the University of Calgary, while Paul Carson serves on the Dinos’ coaching staff.
The Canada West champion Dinos will take on the Laval Rouge et Or on Saturday at Tim Hortons Field for the Canadian university football championship.
Joseph, a graduate of Mt. Boucherie and former Okanagan Sun pivot, is one of three quarterbacks on the Calgary roster.
Matt Carson, a former Kelowna Owl, will line up along the defensive line, while former Okanagan Sun defensive back Brennan Van Niestelrooy will occupy a spot in the Dinos’ defensive backfield.
For Matt Carson, Saturday’s game will be his second appearance in the national final.
The senior defensive lineman dressed and played in Calgary’s last appearance in the Vanier Cup in 2013 when the Dinos lost 25-14 to Laval in Quebec City.
Matt’s dad, former Okanagan Sun president and offensive line coach Paul Carson, is the Dinos’ O-line coach, a position he took over in midseason.
He served in various capacities with the Sun before moving back to Calgary a couple of years ago.
Paul was Calgary’s offensive line coach in the 1993 Vanier Cup which the Dinos lost in the final minute to the University of Toronto.
In 1995, he was on the sidelines when the team won its last national championship defeating Western 54-24.
The elder Carson also has Vanier Cup playing experience, and was part of 1985 and 1988 national championship teams.
Joseph and Van Niestelrooy both hope to secure a national championship, a prize that eluded them last year as members of the Sun who lost to the Saskatoon Hilltops in the Canadian Bowl.