Top Red Dogs athletes move on to Team Alberta

By Jamie Harkins

May 11, 2017 8:42 AM

Red Dogs players Kyle Theiss, left, and Chopper Hippe have made Team Alberta U18. Jamie Harkins/Meridian Booster

The Lloydminster midget Tier 1 Red Dogs season may have come to an end this past Saturday, but two of their athletes have a lot more football to play.

Offensive lineman Kyle Theiss and linebacker Chopper Hippe made Team Alberta under-18, which will represent this province in the Football Canada Cup at Wolfville, Nova Scotia’s Acadia University from July 6-15.

The players made the roster by competing in several evaluation camps that cut an initial mass of over 400 players down to 110 for a mid-January Superweekend event before the final 40-man roster was determined at a main selection camp late last month in Calgary.

“I tried out just to get my name and Lloydminster out there,” said Hippe, 16. “I knew if I made this team it would help me progress and everyone else in Lloydminster progress into post-secondary football.”

The Football Canada Cup will feature eight provincial teams competing for the U18 national championship. The annual tournament is a premier pre-university football showcase that allows its athletes to display their ability before junior, college and university coaches from across the country as well as make a top-40 squad that will represent Canada in an annual series against USA Football.

Team Alberta will play three games within a week-long span at the tourney in an attempt to gain a spot in the gold or bronze medal game on the final day. The club finished in fourth place in 2016 suffering a 38-14 loss to Team Ontario in the bronze-medal game.

Theiss said he expects fast football at the Canada Cup. He said they’ve put in a lot of hard work to make it onto the 40-man roster and learned a ton from their coaches along the way, so the plan leading up to the tournament is to keep pressing to be the best.

The boys will be practising twice with the team before the competition including a June 19-21 camp in Red Deer and a July 4-6 practice in Edmonton. Team Alberta is scheduled to fly to Wolfville immediately following the second practice.

“It’s going to be exciting especially since it’s so nice out in Nova Scotia,” said Theiss, 17. We “just got to go out there and play our best.”

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