July 5, Regina, SK – The Western U16 Regional Challenge opened Wednesday at Liebel Field in Regina, SK with lively action from teams representing British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It was Team BC and Team SK that had the better on the day, each securing a spot in Saturday’s gold medal game.
Team BC and Team Alberta got things started with a game high in skills and emotions. Both teams were neck to neck going into the halftime break, Alberta enjoying a narrow 11-6 lead. However, after spectacular plays on both sides of the ball, Team BC edged out their opponent in a 20-17 win that propels them to the title game on Saturday.
British Columbia’s Max Pratt (offensive) and Kobe Kidd (defensive) as well as Alberta’s Heaton Yip (offensive) and Cooper Troy (defensive) were awarded MVP honours for their all-around great performances in the semi-final clash.
The second Western Challenge semi-final featured Team Manitoba and host Team Saskatchewan in another tackle showcase. Both teams produced and converted their chances in the first frame, neither of them managing to create separation with the opponent and went to the locker rooms at half tied at 21 a piece. Saskatchewan found another gear coming out for the second half and outplayed their neighbours, rising to a 49-21 final score.
Khaleel Hosein (offensive) and Brady Penner (defensive) were selected as Manitoba’s MVPs, with Marcus Adams (offensive) and Ryker Hanson (defensive) earning the honours for Saskatchewan.
With Wednesday’s semi-finals now in the books, Saturday’s Western Challenge finals day will see Team Alberta battle Team Manitoba for the bronze medal at 11 am CT, and a gold medal title game between Team BC and home team Saskatchewan at 2 pm CT. Watch all the action live on Football Canada TV and visit https://footballcanada.com/event/2023-western-challenge/ for the complete rosters, schedule, and results.