Estevan football has reached another milestone.
For the second straight year, players from the Estevan Comprehensive School Elecs will play in the prestigious Ed Henick Senior Bowl.
Defensive linemen Stefan Seipp and Chris Strongeagle will represent the Elecs in the game, which brings together the best graduating players in Saskatchewan to play for Team North and Team South.
The game will be played May 21 at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon.
Michael Bittman became the first Estevan player ever to be selected for the game last year.
Making the team is not an easy task, as players have to attend two camps and survive two sets of cuts against the top players from across the province. That said, both players were confident about playing in the game.
“I felt that I had a good shot. There were lots of guys who came out and tried out, lots of good competition,” said Seipp.
“I thought I had a pretty good chance,” added Strongeagle. “There were a lot of other good players there.”
Seipp, who was named the Elecs’ MVP last season, said he feels honoured to represent his team and community by following in Bittman’s footsteps.
“I’m kind of excited. I’m happy to represent our football community and my coaches that got me this far and helped train me,” he said.
“It’s really great for our program to continue to have athletes succeed. We should continue to have a successful program.
“It’s nice to be named MVP by my team and then getting to represent them, kind of being at a higher level.”
Outgoing Elecs head coach Marco Ricci said the achievement is a credit to both the Elecs and the minor football program and is helping the program build momentum.
“I think it continues to validate the things that are happening down here in Estevan, especially when these guys are all coming out of the minor football system. It’s a kudos to EMF and now the high school program. It gives us recognition of the stuff that’s going on here.”
Ricci said Seipp’s competitive nature is part of what makes him effective at defensive end, linebacker and the various other positions he played last year.
“He’s pretty tenacious and when he’s on that field, he’s got a motor that just doesn’t quit, which is something you really want in a football player,” said Ricci. “He did exactly what we asked of him. He’s come a long way from his first year.”
Strongeagle, meanwhile, recently committed to the University of Regina Rams and playing in the Senior Bowl should help him get accustomed to playing the game at a higher level.
Strongeagle’s mom, Samantha, said that Rams head coach Frank McCrystal encouraged him to play in the Senior Bowl.
“He’s still pretty green when it comes to football and any play will definitely help him out so he has a little idea of what he needs.”
She added that Strongeagle is very thankful to Ricci for helping him get to this point in his career.
“If it wasn’t for Marco, I don’t think he would be getting as far as he did. Marco pushed him in playing with ECS and made him confident in what he can do.”
With Seipp being an end and Strongeagle playing on the line, Seipp said he’s excited that the pair will not just be playing in the game, but playing together.
“I think it’s kind of sweet because I play defensive end and he’s a defensive lineman, so he’ll be right beside me most of the time. It’ll be great to have a couple of Estevan boys side-by-side.”
Ricci added that the various camps Strongeagle and Seipp have attended this spring, along with playing in the Senior Bowl, will help give them a leg up in the future.
“They have fortunately had lots of opportunity to play some football the last little while. (Strongeagle) has a great opportunity to be a real force in the university league.”
Seipp is trying out for the Regina Thunder junior team this weekend.