The provincial stage is set for some of Airdrie’s talented up and coming football players.
Following a try-out held at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park from July 3 to 4, a dozen Airdrie athletes will be making the short drive north July 17 to compete in Football Alberta’s 2021 Summer Series in Red Deer. The games will pit select U16, U17 and U18 teams against each other from multiple regions in Alberta, including southern Alberta, northern Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton.
Airdrie players that will take part in the U16 showcase games include Jayden Broadhead, Rain Banik, Maclan Brown, Jake Hertz, Seth Horwood, Gabriel Osenda, Talan Paulter and Ben Klassen.
Broadhead, who will be Airdrie’s lone representative on the Calgary Metro Dinos U16 team, said he was excited to learn he had made the line-up.
“I was pretty surprised to make the team, because there were a lot of kids there,” the 14-year-old defensive back said. “I was just being confident and working with my team, playing aggressively.”
Broadhead said he has been playing football since he was 10 years old, first lining up with the Airdrie Storm atom and peewee teams. He said he enjoys the sport’s physicality, adding he has ambitions of one day playing in the CFL and beyond.
With the showcase game this weekend, the future George McDougall Mustang said he’s most looking forward to being able to play again, after a lengthy hiatus from football due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Hertz, a 14-year-old linebacker, said he was also excited to learn he had made the showcase game. He will play alongside Horwood, Brown, Banik, Osenda, Paulter and Klassen on the Calgary Metro Colts U16 roster.
“I worked pretty hard and listened to what the coaches said,” he said. “I applied that [to my game].”
Like Broadhead, Hertz said he enjoys football’s physicality, as well as how much of a team sport it is. He said he has played for six years, and is looking forward to joining the football team’s practice squad when he attends George McDougall High School next year.
As for the U17 and U18 age groups, Airdrie will be represented in Red Deer by Khaleel Rahim, Paul Condon and Micai St. Lewis and Adam Mosher.
With a sizeable cohort of local players set to participate in the provincial showcase games on July 17, Broadhead and Hertz agree the city’s football landscape looks strong.
“It kind of puts Airdrie on the map a bit more [to make these teams] and shows we have some pretty good talent here,” Hertz said.