A trio of Bert Church Chargers football players were on the Team Alberta U16 select team that travelled to Langley, B.C. just before Christmas to take on their provincial neighbours to the west.
Grade 10 Chargers Ben Klassen (quarterback), Kendrid Price (defensive back), and Rain Banick (defensive line) successfully tried out and played for the U16 Alberta squad that hammered Team B.C. 51-0 on Dec. 21, 2021, in an inter-provincial showcase game featuring the top Grade 10 football players from Canada’s two westernmost provinces. The weekend also featured similar games for Alberta and B.C. squads comprising players in grades 11 and 12.
“It felt great that I had the opportunity,” Price said. “This is my second year playing football as a whole, so for me to have improved that much to be able to be one of the best players in Alberta made me very happy.”
Alberta’s Grade 10 class showed little mercy as they pummelled their B.C. counterparts by more than 50 points. Price said the highlight for him personally was intercepting a pass from the B.C. quarterback.
“My favourite part was the moment we walked onto the field as a team, or as soon as I made that pick,” he said. “Everyone was super happy about it. Everyone was cheering and happy.”
Despite being relatively new to football, Price said his strength and skill is improving day by day. He added he wanted to thank his coaches for helping him find success in the sport.
“I believe one of the reasons I made Team Alberta was because of my coaches,” he said.
As for how the other Chargers players fared in the showcase, quarterback Klassen contributed to Alberta's touchdown haul with a rushing TD, while Banick helped out on the defensive line with five tackles and a blocked punt.
“I thought I did pretty well,” said Klassen, who was the Chargers’ first-choice pivot in the 2021 season, despite being a sophomore. The Grade 10 QB added he felt what he brought to the team was his leadership and knowledge of Alberta’s playbook.
“If another guy didn’t know the plays, they could lean on me and I could tell them what to do,” he said.
Considering they were mostly unfamiliar with their Alberta teammates prior to the weekend, both Price and Klassen said it was nice to have two Bert Church players alongside them on the trip to Langley, which also included three days of practice sessions in the lead-up to the game.
“It was very nice just to have some people to hang out with,” Klassen said, though he acknowledged Alberta’s players “started to click” right away.
“We were very good – both the offence and defence were very strong,” he said. “They were some of the best players I’ve ever played with.”