Coaches of the Year
Two distinguished and respected head coaches in St. Albert high school football were recognized by their peers as the 2017 Metro Athletics Coaches of the Year.
Chad Hill of the Bellerose Bulldogs in the division one Carr conference and Sam Johnson of the St. Albert High Skyhawks in the division two Miles conference were selected by the coaches within their divisions for outstanding efforts and contributions as teachers and mentors to the student athletes on their teams during the metro Edmonton football season.
Hill, a repeat coach of the year winner in the Carr, guided the Bulldogs (7-4) to their first Carr final, first Tier I (1,250-plus students) provincial playdown win and first Tier I (1,250-plus students) north final in team history despite a staggering amount of injuries, especially at the quarterback position.
The Bellerose football team was formed in 1998 after the breakup of the Bellerose-based St. Albert Storm and the arrival of the St. Albert Catholic High School football program.
Johnson weaved his magic with the Skyhawks (6-4), semifinalists in the Miles as the smallest school population-wise in division two, to finish one win away from the Alberta Bowl for the third consecutive year as the Tier III (450 to 749 students) north finalists.
Johnson and Hill are also longtime teachers at their respective high schools.
The St. Albert Gymnastics Club achieved podium finishes at the Gym Power Invitational last weekend at the Butterdome.
The following nine athletes, ranging in age from 10 to 12, competed in the Junior Olympic 6, 7 and 8 levels.
Tori Leakos: first on bars and first all-around in JO6.
Mia Ezebowitz: first on beam and second all-around in JO7.
Brooke Wildeman: first on beam and second all-around in J06
Abby Holt: second on floor and second all-around in JO8
Emma Kondro: first on bars and floor and third all-around in JO7.
Maya Swallow: first on bars and third all-around in JO6.
Caitlyn Kassay: third on beam and fourth all-around in JO6.
Alexa Leakos: second on bars in JO6.
Jazmyn Deonie: third on vault and beam in JO6.
The club’s top four scorers were Tori Leakos (36.350), Ezekowitz (36.325), Wildeman (36.300) and Kondro (36.000).
The athletes train an average of 20 hours a week and are coached by Ashley Sportun, a newcomer to the club.
The next meet is February in Spruce Grove, followed by the Northern Zones in March for qualification at provincials in April at Edmonton.
The club is also hosting Spring Flip 2018, a women’s Junior Olympic 1 to 8 level meet, April 20 to 22.
The U16 Western Canada roster at the International Bowl this week includes two graduates of the St. Albert Minor Football Association.
Defensive back Jackson Ganton, a Metro Athletics All-Edmonton All-Star selection in the division two Miles conference with the St. Albert High Skyhawks, and receiver Kolby Hurford of the Salisbury Sabres are among 19 Albertans in the U16 west lineup.
Ganton and Hurford are graduates of the 2016 senior varsity bantam St Albert Palmer 49ers.
The U16 west team scrimmaged against U16 Eastern Canada in a mini-game and both teams participated in a pair of jamborees against the United States and Mexico at Mavericks Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Elite 64 bantams
Six players from the senior varsity St. Albert Palmer 49ers will huddle up at the Elite 64 invitational skills development camp, hosted by the Alberta Golden Bears.
Caleb Akerley, Jared Granoski, Jacob King, Matt Kociuba, Marshall Missins and Martin Raw with the 2017 Tier I finalists in the Capital District Minor Football Association are among 64 players nominated and selected from all the bantam teams in the Edmonton and region area to participate in the Feb. 2-3 camp at Foote Field
The coaching staff of the Bears will provide instruction.