July 24, Ottawa, ON – The 2023 Women’s U-18 Tackle Football Championship kicked off on Sunday in Ottawa, ON, with a full day of gridiron action and determination. The tournament, featuring seven provincial teams and a first-ever National Indigenous Team, providing a critical platform for the sport for women and girls, resumes on Wednesday with divisional semi-finals.
The opening day started off with an offensive explosion put on by Team New Brunswick and newcomers Team Québec. The ladies in blue had the best of their opponents with an impressive 90-72 win led by QB Frédérique Morneau. Morneau was rightfully selected as Québec’s offensive MVP, with teammate Romane Simard earning the honours on defense. Jana McAllister (offensive) and Emma Bradley (defensive) were also recognized for their stellar performances for New Brunswick.
The second matchup of the day pitted the top two teams from last year’s championship game, Team Alberta and Team Saskatchewan. It was all about the reigning champions Team Alberta as they assembled a near perfect 48-6 win. Rehema Holaki (offensive) and CharleyAnna Ware (defensive) were the top performers for the winners, with Ella Schenher (offensive) and Kolbi Fenrick (defensive) receiving MVP honours for Team Saskatchewan.
It was then time for the much-anticipated opening match for the National Indigenous Team as they took on Team Ontario Black. It turned out to be a difficult afternoon for the Indigenous Team, crippled by injuries early on, but they nonetheless offered a resolute performance in their 0-70 loss to Ontario Black. Kayleigh Boucher (offensive) and Gabrielle Gladue (defensive) shined for the National Indigenous Team, with Neva Spadafora (offensive) and Shelby Peacock (defensive) selected as MVP for the winning Ontario Black team.
The final clash of game day 1 featured Team Ontario Red against Team Manitoba. The Ontarians, energized by the Isabelle Bérubé to Teagan Roy combo, came out on top with a 32-26 win. Eden Gates (offensive) and Elayna Blahey (defensive) highlighted Team Manitoba’s performance, with Teagan Roy (offensive) and Kaliane Sterling-Godue (defensive) earning MVP honours for Team Ontario Red.
The stage is set for divisional semi-finals on Wednesday, July 26th. In the Cummings Division, Team Manitoba will face off against the National Indigenous Team (9:30am, University of Ottawa Lees Field), and Team New Brunswick will play Team Ontario Black (5:30pm, TD Place). In the Harlow Division, Team Québec will battle Team Saskatchewan (2:30pm, TD Place), and a clash between Team Alberta and Team Ontario Red will close out the day (8:30pm, TD Place).
The championship will conclude on Saturday, July 29th at Carleton University, with bronze (10am and 1pm) and gold (4pm and 7pm) medal games in each division, leading to the first Cummings Division Champions and Harlow Division Champions being named. All games are open to the public, with tournament passes and single-game tickets on sale now.
Fans from across the country can also follow the tournament live on Football Canada TV. Visit https://footballcanada.com/event/2023-womens-u18-nationals/ for the complete schedule, results and links to tickets and live stream.