A local football player will soon compete against some of the best in the country. Grade 11 St. Joseph Catholic High School student Gabriel Speerin has been named to the Football Alberta Provincial U18 Team roster.
The team will represent the province in the Football Canada Cup in Calgary this summer. Speerin says he’s honoured to see his name on the list.
“It was just an amazing feeling to know that all the work paid off, and that all the time I put in the off-season and during times that I didn’t need to put in time but I put in the extra work, it happened to work out for me.”
The St. Joe’s Celtics linebacker moved from Sexsmith a year ago, and says he’s been able to elevate his game since. He credits his mother with constantly pushing him, and coach Trevor Prichard for helping him on and off the field.
“He motivates me so much to be better as a person and just better as a football player. It’s nice to have him put in all the extra time… just to see me improve when he doesn’t have to do any of that. It’s really nice to know that a coach actually cares about you that much and wants to put in that extra time for you.”
The process to get on the provincial team took five tryouts, which will be followed by two more training camps in Red Deer and Calgary. The first game of the tournament will be on July 16th against British Columbia. Speerin says he’s looking forward to seeing where he stacks up nationally.
“There are quite a few guys that are an insane amount larger than me, but it’s mind over matter and if you actually believe you can beat someone in any said rep, then you can do it; you just have to put the work in.”
The teen also hopes his time on the team will help him get noticed by post-secondary schools. He also expects it to be a learning experience from which he can bring back to his home team.