British Columbia Secures Bronze Medal in 2024 U16 Western Challenge

by Braydon Stachel

July 6, Regina, SK – BC secures the bronze medal at the 2024 U16 Western Challenge, beating Manitoba 23-8 at Leibel Field in Regina.

The Bronze medal match opened with a defensive standoff, with neither team managing to score until the last moments of the first quarter. Team Manitoba conceded a safety with 1 minute and 39 seconds left, giving BC an early 2-0 lead. The second quarter saw BC’s left-footed kicker, Patricio Leon, split the uprights with 7 minutes and 13 seconds left, extending BC’s lead to 5-0, which remained unchanged going into halftime.

The third quarter started with BC furthering their lead when Patricio Leon threw a corner route pass to Cody Hagel for the first touchdown of the game. Despite a failed two-point conversion attempt, BC led 11-0 with Leon eclipsing over 100 passing yards.

Manitoba finally got on the board with 1 minute and 7 seconds left in the third quarter, taking a safety after their defense held BC in their end zone, bringing the score to 11-2. The fourth quarter saw Manitoba mounting a challenge, with impressive plays from QB Jack Jaworski and WR Braeden Sinclair. Manitoba scored their first touchdown with 5 minutes and 44 seconds left, when Alex Haywood ran the ball in from the 6-yard line. Despite a failed two-point conversion, the score tightened to 11-8.

A crucial interception thrown by Jack Jaworski gave BC a fresh set of downs on Manitoba’s 1-yard line. Patricio Leon capitalized with a QB sneak for a touchdown, followed by a successful field goal conversion, expanding BC’s lead to 21-8 with 2 minutes and 31 seconds left. BC’s defense forced Manitoba into another safety with 48 seconds remaining, sealing their 23-8 victory and securing the bronze medal.

MVPs of the Game

  • Team Manitoba:
    • QB #14: Jack Jaworski
    • DL #99: Jaxson Fury
  • Team BC:
    • QB #1: Patricio Leon
    • DL #75: Fin Meberg

Watch the full game for free HERE

Full game stats can be found HERE

Journey to the Bronze Medal Game

BC’s path to the bronze medal match began with a challenging semifinal against Alberta. Despite a strong effort, BC fell to Alberta with a final score of 28-7. Alberta’s ground game dominated, putting up 314 yards compared to BC’s 50. BC’s lone touchdown came on a 23-yard pass from Patricio Cuesta Leon to Cody Hagel. Cuesta Leon had 104 passing yards, and Hagel led the receivers with 62 yards. Defensively, Sahjivir Gill and Jaipaul Bains stood out with interceptions, while Owen West had a game-high seven tackles.

Manitoba’s route to the bronze medal game saw them facing a tough Saskatchewan team. Manitoba was shut out 38-0 in their semifinal, with Saskatchewan’s Marcus Adams scoring four touchdowns. Manitoba managed only 28 rushing yards and 124 total yards. Jack Jaworski completed five passes for 72 yards, with Alex Haywood leading the receivers with 49 yards and also contributing as the leading rusher. On defense, Michael Kenny led with 6.5 tackles, and Machray Long had an interception.

About Football Canada

Football Canada is the national governing body for amateur football in Canada. Established in 1884, its mission is to foster the growth of football in Canada and provide leadership, coordination, and resources to help young athletes achieve their full potential. Football Canada oversees various national championships.

About Football Saskatchewan

Football Saskatchewan is the provincial governing body for amateur football in Saskatchewan. It is dedicated to promoting and developing football at all levels within the province. Football Saskatchewan provides support and resources for players, coaches, and officials, ensuring the growth and success of the sport. By organizing events like the U16 Western Challenge, Football Saskatchewan helps young athletes showcase their talents and fosters a love for the game. The organization is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all participants, encouraging teamwork, perseverance, and excellence.

About the U16 Western Challenge

The U16 Western Challenge is an annual football competition that brings together the best young talent from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Hosted by Football Saskatchewan, this year’s event runs from July 1st to 6th, with games taking place on July 3rd and July 6th.

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