SASKATCHEWAN, Canada – Six Montana football players will suit up for an all-star game Tuesday night in a battle between the United States and Canada.
The 20th annual CanAm Bowl pits graduating 6-man athletes from the United States and Canada against one another. The American team is made up of athletes from Montana, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming.
Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap head coach Jake Stevenson will lead Team USA, which owns a 15-4 advantage in the game’s history.
“We’re looking at is as just one game for this group to hang their hat on,” Stevenson said of Tuesday’s kickoff. “We’re not worried about the streak. The kids know that they are playing for their country now and if the streak stays intact then that would be a bonus to all of the hard work they’ve put in throughout their careers and this week.”
Shane Ketchum (Box Elder), Kade Woodhall (Denton-Geyser-Stanford), Gavin Spinler (North Star), CJ Stevenson (Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap), Kendell Carpenter (Denton-Geyser-Stanford) and Quaid Russell (Custer) will compete for the United States. Brock Miller (Richey-Lambert) and Lane Stickel (Terry) were also invited to compete but had to decline due to injury.
Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. (MST) as the Montana contingent puts in their final preparations.
“I think the excitement level is just being contained right now as we all hang out and relax before the game,” Stevenson said. “I think the butterflies will get moving when we start taping around 6:30 p.m. I have a feeling the excitement will be out the roof when we kick off. This is an extremely coachable and talented group and I think they will do very well tonight.”
Stevenson has led Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap in big games during his tenure as Titans’ head coach. The program has gone to the Montana 6-man quarterfinal round on numerous occasions, but acknowledges Tuesday’s game is extra special.
“The game of football, as we all know as coaches, is teaching life lessons to these young men as they grow up through the game,” Stevenson said. “Having that opportunity and those experiences with those kids is quite an honor. When I got the call to be able to be the head coach of this team, I jumped at the opportunity knowing that I was going to get to work with some of the best kids in 6-man football in America.”
Richie Melby – MTN Sports