Four months of preparations all lead to this week for the Saskatchewan Selects.
The Moose Jaw-based football program has over 200 players in San Antonio, Texas for this week for the 2019 International Pigskin Classic.
“We’re going down there to win, so hopefully the kids have learned a lot over the last four months and now they get a chance to show off their skills,” said Zeljko Stefanovic, Founder and Program Director for the Selects.
The Selects have four teams — 10-and-under, 12U, 14U and Varsity — down in San Antonio for the tournament. They will have meetings and practices over the next two days before kicking off the tournament on the weekend.
Throughout the winter, the players practice at Yara Centre in Moose Jaw where they work on skill development, but Stefanovic said now the focus is on winning.
“Our kids are up for the challenge and we’re a heck of a lot better than a lot of people give us credit for, so the kids are going to show very well,” said Stefanovic.
“There’s a lot of football being played over a three-day period.”
The Varsity team will have the opportunity to play the tournament opening game on Friday night, which will be played under the lights against MB Elite from California.
Second-year Varsity player Eden Duncan said the team has put in some good work and will be ready for the match-up.
“I’m excited to go down and play against the Americans,” said Duncan. “We’ve got a good defence, our offence is going to put up points, we’ll win again and it will be fun.”
Stefanovic said they’re going to be going up against some stiff competition throughout the three-day tournament.
“It’s going to be pretty tough, there are teams from Mexico, Texas, California, Indiana, West Virginia, this is selects football, it’s not just selects football for us but it’s selects football for them, they put all-star teams together from around the U.S. and come to this tournament,” said Stefanovic.
“Texas, California and Florida are probably the three best football states in the U.S. and we’re going into the heart of it, but our kids have been up for the challenge.”
The 10U, 12U and 14U Selects will hit the field for games starting on Saturday and the tournament wraps up on Sunday.