It was another sellout crowd at St. Mary’s Cultural Centre as Yorkton Minor Football (YMF) hosted the sixth annual football night in Saskatchewan. The day offered local area youngsters a cheer leading clinic and a lineman camp as well as the evening banquet and program.
The event is a major fund raiser for YMF which has grown exponentially over the past six years, says YMF president Roby Sharpe.
Minor football in Yorkton started with the Kinsmen Tackle Football League. The local league initially rented equipment from the Regina Minor Football League for its players for $10 for each set of equipment. The local Kinsmen Club bought the helmets. Kinsmen tackle football continues to run in the spring each year, Sharpe notes.
Players only pay $40 to play football in the spring. “It’s unheard of. You can’t do that anywhere in the province for $40 due to the generosity of the Kinsmen and events like Football Night in Saskatchewan,” Sharpe points out.
YMF plays in the fall. Players ride to games in Regina on a Westerhaug bus. They play on the big field. “We still have the grassroots Kinsmen Spring League, but we play in the Regina Minor Football League too,” says Sharpe.
YMF has helped both local high school teams to develop players. “If you remember 10 years ago the Yorkton Regional High School couldn’t get a win. And now look at the Sacred Heart Saints. Both those programs are competing and winning at the highest levels in the province,” Sharpe points out. He ascribes the improved performance of both school teams to the generosity of Yorkton fans who support Football Night in Saskatchewan and YMF.
Speakers at the event were Rider quarterback Darian Durant and former YRHS Raider Gridder Jordan Matechuk.
A number of Saskatchewan Roughrider players, including those working at the linemen football camp, were in attendance.
Among the guests were several local football notables like Daniel Benner, currently an offensive lineman with the Winnipeg Rifles, Rob Zerr, former captain of the U of S Huskies, Allan Kyle, the Nehring brothers among others. “There are all kinds of old football guys here and it’s just nice to see them all out tonight,” Sharpe says.
He suggests Yorkton is simply awesome in its support of YMF and its programs. All local businesses seem so accommodating and generous which makes Football Night in Saskatchewan possible. “It’s such a great night which is made possible by our businesses and people kicking in and being so generous,” Sharpe closes.
Former Yorkton Regional High School (YRHS) and Saskatchewan Roughrider Trailblazer cheerleader Brittany Thies was in Yorkton Saturday to conduct a cheer leading clinic with area youth in conjunction with the annual Football Night in Saskatchewan celebration.
It was the fourth annual Raider Gridder Alumni Cheer Clinic, Thies reports.
The event, which teaches fundamentals of cheer leading, had about 50 girls take in the clinic this year.
While the clinic program remains the same from year to year, this year the event offered two tiers and one routine. Participants learned some stunts and did some dancing, Thies adds.
Participants were six to 12 years old. “It was the best group that we’ve had. The girls were so attentive and they loved every moment of it,” Thies suggests.
Thies is currently teaching in Regina but says she would love to come back home in the next couple of years.