I played my first competitive game in 1972.
I grew up the youngest of six boys. We were all athletes and three of my brothers played in the minor league so I followed in my brothers’ footsteps.
What do you love about football?
I love the structure. Football brings people together. It teaches players to be goal-oriented. Everyone can participate; and the price is right. The cost of playing football is very low compared to other sports.
How did football change your life?
I had great coaches. I had hair down below my shoulders and I thought I knew everything. But I had a coach that told me to smarten up. He told me “[Football] could be your vehicle to an education.” We had no money, so I didn’t know university was even an option. But I got a football scholarship. I got a full ride to a university education at Mayville State University in Mayville North Dakota.
What is special about the Bantam Bulldogs?
This is my 35th year of coaching in Lethbridge. I’ve been part of and I’ve seen success stories. We have Lethbridge players in the CFL and University of Calgary stars who are on their way. To see their success makes me feel wonderful. Our football league has extremely qualified coaching staff. Kevin Wiber, Sheldon Stanley, Brandon Carlton and Cody Wiersma are excellent coaches who put kids in positions where they can succeed.
What do you wish everyone could know about playing football?
We play a new kind of football and safety is first. Safe Contact is the new standard of Football Canada. All coaches must be certified in Safe Contact. We teach kids how to get the head out of football. Football creates a productive environment for kids. When parents sign up their children, we tell them “At the end of the season your child will be disciplined, driven and respectful and part of a team.” With football, players learn how to fail, then get up and keep going. And it’s fun.
The Minor football league season starts August 21. Parents will get all the information they need at lethbridgeminorfootball.org.