Team Alberta selected for Football Canada Cup

High school football all-star squad will head to Canada Cup in July

When Team Alberta heads off to the Football Canada Cup in July, it has a reputation to uphold.

Alberta won its last title in 2007 and has finished runner-up the last two years.

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“It was a different thing for us,” said Football Alberta technical director Tim Enger about the selection process that he and head coach Bryan Brandford went through this time around.

“The eligibility for national championships went down one year, so we had to pick from Grade 10’s and 11’s.”

When the 40-man team was announced Monday morning after a selection camp at Foote Field this past weekend, the results came as a pleasant surprise.

“It was real interesting,” said Enger. “We didn’t really notice a drop in the talent level. We’re pretty excited about the quality of athletes we continue to see.”

Among the group that attended the selection camp at Foote Field, a handful went on to the Eskimos high school camp, running this week at Clarke Park.

The camp, highlighted by the Green and Gold Game on Friday, includes Team Alberta members Dexter Brown, Jordan Arkko, Logan Laforce, Tanner Doll and Mike Spagnolo.

“It was a good feeling,” said Doll, a linebacker out of St. Albert, on making the provincial squad.

“It’ll be a new experience. It was fun playing against good players. It’s jam-packed this whole week and you’re getting a lot of reps.”

Doll intends to do all he can to maintain Alberta’s reputation on the national stage.

“The people that come before you, you have to respect that,” said Doll. “If you’re not going to bring it every day, you’re putting them down. It’s an honour to come after those people.”

Brown is trying to find an identity.

“Oh, yeah, it’s a thrill,” said Brown, a running back for Sherwood Park’s Archbishop Jordan who made the team as a receiver. “Being on Team Alberta and going for a national championship is pretty cool.”

He’s taking a shot at quarterback at the Esks camp.

“I’m all over the place,” said Brown with a chuckle. “It’s a good camp so far.”

The national championship is going to be a week-long event, held July 10-18 at Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

No other province has been as successful with its all-star high school football team as Alberta.

The Wild Rose team has won six times since the event first started in 1995.

“We’re quite happy with that record,” said Enger.

There’s been a smattering of players that have come through the program and gone on to play in the CFL.

But the most fascinating graduate of the Team Alberta program is offensive lineman Dan Federkeil, who has gone on to play with the Indianapolis Colts.

“A lot of times, when the national championship is held in Alberta, the kids balk at being part of the team because there’s a lot of expense involved for them,” said Enger.

“In 2001, the national championship was being held in Medicine Hat. Dan lived almost across the street from where the national championship was being held and so he didn’t mind paying for the expenses.”

After starring for the University of Calgary Dinosaurs, Federkiel signed on as a free agent with the Colts. He has a Super Bowl ring, started four games in the 2009 NFL season, but was on the injured list when the Colts appeared in this year’s Super Bowl.

“It’s a fun project,” said Enger. “It’s good to see the level of talent in the game and the number of athletes that have chose to play football.”



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