The Red River Cup in Winnipeg wrapped up Wednesday with the two teams from Saskatchewan missing the gold medal game.
Tyrell MacLean, who was one of the coaches for Team White from Saskatchewan, had suggested in an interview Monday that a team from this province would make the gold final.
“That did not happen,” he said in an interview Thursday evening. “Both teams, (from Saskatchewan), could pull off the wins that they needed on Monday.”
And the stronger of the Manitoba teams could have done the visiting teams a favour with a win, but that didn’t happen either, said MacLean.
“It was incredibly disappointing,” he said, adding both Saskatchewan teams were so close to winning Monday.
“Team White was tied 6-6 and they, (the opposition), scored with less than a minute left,” said MacLean.
Team Green was deadlocked 22-22 “and they gave up a score with under a minute left,” he said.
It was a case where both teams were in the contests, “but couldn’t finish it off,” he said.
The bronze medal game was then an all Saskatchewan affair with nine players among the 40 players selected to make-up two teams for the Red River Cup from Yorkton.
The nine players were; offensive line Alyssa Sander, Shay-Lynn Pelletier, and Katelynne Hoffman, Austen Dubreuil, quarterback, Brooke Hannotte, running back, Camryn Dubreuil and Katelyn Dixon-Appelton on the defensive line Caelan MacLean, linebacker, and Makayla Pelletier, defensive back, and their coaches will need to adapt on the run.
Local coaches involved included Chris Sander, Daryl Zimmer, Jeff Hannotte, and Tyrell MacLean.
In the end team Green won over White 46-30.
MacLean said team White was pretty banged up by the end of the final game.
“I looked over once and we had one extra person,” he said, even though they were playing only six-a-side football.
MacLean said in five days they played three mini games, the full playoff games and practiced, and the injuries simply mounted ranging from concussions, to a dislocated elbow to a torn ACL.
In spite of some disappointment in terms of finish, MacLean said it was still a great event.
“The experience was amazing,” he said, including playing the gold and bronze games on the same field the Canadian Football League Winnipeg Blue Bombers play.
The experience was such that the Red River Cup will be back in 2020 for a second year.
“Planning started during the week,” said MacLean, adding next year “Saskatchewan is going to host, (likely Regina).”
The organizers are also looking to move to two divisions U16 and U18, from the single category they used this year, and move from six-a-side to nine-aside. MacLean said that move is something he certainly supports.
“If we want to grow the game for female football, for everybody ... we’re going to eventually have to evolve to 12-aside,” he said.