REGINA - Not many players get to extend their participation in the game of football once their high school game is over. Zenon Orobko, former Warrior football quarterback, threw the game winning touchdown in the Regina Thunder’s back-to-back victory over the Saskatoon Hilltops on Sept. 18. The game was played at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.
Orobko signed with the Prairie Junior Football League’s Thunder in 2020, however the prolonged pandemic resulted in a non-season for the team. 2021 has provided a return to normal for all sports teams and Orobko couldn’t be happier.
The undefeated Thunder handed the Hilltops their second loss in another thriller. Leader Post sports reporter, Rob Vanstone, tweeted that this was the best football game he had seen at Mosaic Stadium, in his story saying, “A late pass from backup quarterback, Zenon Orobko to Isaiah Woodly, was the difference Saturday as the Thunder edged the Hilltops 30-27.”
Orobko took over after starting QB Shewchuk suffered a right shoulder injury, late in the third quarter, with the Thunder leading 23-20 at that point.
“I’m still having trouble describing the feeling. Sokul and Isaiah and the entire team are so talented that all they need is the ball in a position to make a play, and we did that all night long,” says Orobko.
Orobko says that losing Carter Shewchuk at the end of the third quarter was a gigantic blow. He believes Shewchuk is the best quarterback in the league.
“This team is so gritty that we just bounced back. My favourite experience was how much everyone believed in each other,” said Orobko
Although he feels like he struggled his first three tries where the team needed to move the ball. However, Thunder twitter was lit up reporting on his success at centre from thereon in resulting in the win.
Orobko has played in every Thunder game this season.
“It’s not something I expected as a 19-year-old rookie. Mosaic Stadium is surreal to play in. It is great to have both experiences at the intimate facilities of SMF and Liebel Field, and then to play at Mosaic where the pros do it.”
Family members were on hand at Mosaic for the thrilling victory, including dad Pat who was once suited up for the Hilltops himself. Other fans followed the game on Access and Twitter, reveling in the excitement of this hometown player seeing continued success on the football field.
Coach Kyle Clark, of the UCHS Warrior football team, says, “We always knew that Zenon was a special talent, and we are so excited to see him excelling at the next level. It's also great for kids that are currently in the program to see a former player from Unity making a difference in the CJFL. We are all very proud of Zenon.”
The Thunder play next on the road in Edmonton Sept. 26, with the schedule ending against Calgary on Oct. 24 and then playoffs to follow.