After a fiercely battled tournament out east, local football star Emily Krause returned with a gold medal from the U18 Women’s Football National Championships.
Representing Alberta, Krause's victory at this highly competitive event held in Ottawa from July 23-29, was more than just another win; it was a testament to her dedication, skill, and unwavering spirit.
Krause has tasted gold before. Having won the same tournament last year, the incoming St. Albert Catholic High School (SACHS) senior has now secured her second consecutive championship. And while her achievements on the field are noteworthy, the journey leading up to them is equally inspiring.
“I started playing football when I was 12,” said Krause fondly, who at 17 is preparing to step into her final year at SACHS.
“I had no idea how the game worked, or how much I would love the sport. I was involved in as many sports as possible when I was young, and I was always told I was too rough. The hitting was what initially attracted me to the sport.”
Not only did she begin her football journey at a young age, but she also stood out, being the only girl on her bantam team. Her passion didn't stop there.
“I played for the first U16 female tackle football league when I was 12," she said.
Football for Krause is not merely a sport — it's a lesson in life, resilience, and leadership.
“The sport taught me many lessons,” she said, and her accomplishments speak volumes.
With accolades that include being chosen as an all-star in the national tournament and being the first female captain for the SACHS Skyhawks, Krause's football journey is filled with highlights.
They include being a part of the inaugural U18 Alberta team that clinched gold, securing the MVP title of the gold medal game with a staggering 16 solo tackles, and receiving awards such as the spirit award at SACHS, and both the Heart and Hustle and defensive MVP titles during her years with the St. Albert Minor Football Club (SAMFA) — the list goes on and on.
Krause said when she first started playing with SAMFA, she was playing for the U16 Valkyries female tackle team.
“I played a level up during the four years I was a part of their program,” she said.
The journey to represent Team Alberta was a tough one. The province held both south and north selection camps, culminating in a final selection camp in Calgary.
“It was amazing to see the coaching level and experience and talent brought this year,” she added.
While the tournament brought glory, it wasn't without its challenges.
“Our defence held a high standard, allowing zero points until our gold medal game against Quebec. Adapting to other teams' strategies and key players was a challenge,” she notes, while also appreciating that under the guidance of their coaches, Alberta managed to out-strategize and overpower their opponents.
“I plan to continue with the Western Women's Canadian Football League. I also plan to try out for the female 18-plus Team Alberta and work my way up to female Team Canada,” Krause said.