TISDALE — Four members of the Tisdale Middle & Secondary football team – including two who will make Canadian women’s gridiron history – earned spots on provincial teams.
Tilka Chapman and Shayden Magnus have been named to Team Saskatchewan for the first ever 2022 Women’s Under-18 Tackle Football Championship. The event will run July 3 to 9 at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium.
“I am very excited about the chance to be in the very first Women’s U18 National Championship and make female football history,” Chapman said. “Meeting all these new girls, and representing my province is an honour. The ability to pave the way for other girls and grow interest in the sport is something I will always try to do, and I’m very glad I can do it with this team.”
In addition, Tyson Schwanke and Ambrose Abiara were also selected to represent Saskatchewan. Schwanke and the U18 provincial team will be playing at the Football Canada Cup. Abiara is on the U18 Team Saskatchewan Futures Team, which competes at the Western Regionals this summer. Regarding the four Tornados cracking provincial rosters, TMSS head football coach Keenan Carrier said:
“Not only are these great individual honours, but this also speaks volumes to our program. These four players all have one to two years left to play with the Tornados. I can't wait to see them return to our main camp at the end of August and be able to show the players around them what they have learned in their experiences. The amount of highly competitive football that they will be playing this summer will be evident when they come back to our team and begin to dominate at practice and during our regular season.”
Support from family, coaches and teammates certainly played a role in the Tisdale players’ success. Magnus, the daughter of Shane and Amanda Magnus, said of her parents:
“They have been incredibly supportive in my journey with sports. We’ve driven three to four hours to go to female football camps plus coming to games every weekend in the fall. My older brother, Konnor, played Tornados when he was in high school, so he has been one of my biggest role models, aside from my coaches and the vets.”
Tilka Chapman & Shayden Magnus
Magnus is a Grade 10 student. Carrier said this was her first full year of football.
“Shayden is a player who improves every single time that she straps on the pads,” the head coach said. “It has been a pleasure to watch her grow into the football player that she is now. She will never miss an opportunity to better herself on the football field, be that at practice or during a workout.”
At the national championships, Chapman, Magnus and their U18 teammates will be competing against provincial squads from Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick. It will be Magnus’ first experience competing in girls football.
“It’s really cool to know that there are people working to make female football a more popular sport,” she said. “It will be a great opportunity to help build women’s football as it isn’t very common here in the northeast.”
Last fall Chapman, the daughter of Jessica Steadman and Keith Chapman, made history as she helped the Moosomin Generals win the first ever Prairie Girls Football League championship. Carrier also noted that she plays for the Regina Riot in the Western Women's Canadian Football League.
“Tilk is a leader through and through. She is determined to make herself a better football player every day,” he said. “I am excited to see her be a dominant force in this tournament.”
Schwanke, the son of Kristen and Mark Schwanke, is excited for the Football Canada Cup. It will be held in Kelowna on July 9-17.
“I’m looking forward to playing teams from across Canada and representing Team Sask in Kelowna,” Schwanke said. “I'm improving my game and meeting kids from across Saskatchewan. It has been a cool experience so far."
Last fall he was a standout Grade 11 offensive lineman for the Tornados. “When Schwanke gets on the field, it is clear that he is the biggest and strongest player out there,” Carrier said. “Once he gets his hands on a defender, it is game over for them. We're excited to see Schwanke get the opportunity to play against the best competition that the nation has to offer at this level.”
The son of Israel and Omotayo Abiara said making the Team Sask Futures squad was a surprise to him.
“I’m mostly excited about getting to go out of the province to represent Saskatchewan, Tisdale, my family, and myself,” he said. “This is a unique opportunity that’s the first of its kind for me. Football being at the center of that, is something I can’t wait to experience.”
Abiara is a Grade 10 student. Carrier said, “in his one year of football, he has become a receiver that teams must coach around. His athleticism alone puts other players in awe. … Ambrose's work ethic alone will ensure that he is a player to watch for years to come. The sky is the limit for him.”