The St. Albert Valkyries shed more tears over the season ending than losing Saturday’s final to the West Edmonton Raiders.
Despite the sadness surrounding the 43-12 outcome in the first female midget spring league championship in Capital District Minor Football Association history, head coach Rob Patrick’s post-game message summed up the passion, effort and dedication the 14 Valkyries demonstrated during the ground-breaking campaign.
“There are a lot of positives that come from placing second in the inaugural season. Positives that go beyond the field and scoreboard. Having the largest roster in the league, having several players commit to playing high school football in the fall and friendships forged are all points of pride from the year regardless of the score of the final game,” Patrick said.
There was no quit in the Valkyries after fumbling on the first play and the Raiders scoring on their first play of the final at Larry Olexiuk Field.
“The team continued to work harder and didn’t quit. We lost the game but at halftime we vowed to win the second half and our toughness and effort led us to accomplish that,” Patrick said.
The Valkyries finished 3-2 in six-on-six full contact football.
“We started the season with a lot to prove and (Friday) prior to the game the message was, ‘One thing left to prove.’ It was a call for our team to prove to themselves that they will always work harder than anyone else and never quit and I think we saw that,” Patrick said.
The final marked the third game between the Valkyries (123 PF/106 PA) and Raiders (4-1, 184 PF/89 PA) after the 20-19 exhibition win for the Valkyries in the league’s April 5 debut and the last game before the playoffs was 44-6 for the Raiders on May 3 in St. Albert.
The four-team league consisted of student athletes in Grade 9, 10 and 11. Games were played with 30-minute halfs of running time with the field divided for two games at once and every offensive drive started at the 45-yard line
THIRD DOWN: The Valkyries’ team windup May 25 will include the presentation of the offensive and defensive player of the year awards.
The latest Valkyrie to register for high school football in the metro Edmonton league is Alyssa Chaabane with the Sturgeon Spirits, last year’s division three Gilfillan conference finalists.
Chaabane, whose brother Addison plays for Sturgeon, joins Julia Baniak and Althea Savoie with the St. Albert High Skyhawks, the 2018 division two Miles conference finalists and Tier III provincial north runners up as Valkyries taking the next big step in their football careers.