After 30 years without any representation in the sport, Estevan Comprehensive fielded their first football team last year, much to the joy of fans of the game.
But a Carlyle element has also taken hold, as six students from Gordon F. Kells high school took part in the season this year, as they had last, and are set to continue being represented on the team next year.
Part of an agreement between the schools, the local players transited for games and training to Estevan regularly this year, providing an opportunity to take part in a sport that otherwise would not be available to them.
"Everyone seemed quite happy with the arrangement," said Shelley Slykhuis, the mother of one of the players. "Football isn't a sport a smaller, rural school can easily support, just because of the number of people a team needs."
"Thanks to this arrangement though, now kids who are really interested in football can go out to take part in the sport."
The Estevan Steelers, as they are known, were knocked out early in the season this year.
The showing hasn't managed to calm the desire of the students to play however.
"Well, they hadn't done great in the season this year, but individually there was a lot of growth," Slykhuis said of the feisty team. "Considering how far the students have to travel, you know that they have a real honest desire to play the sport."
This strong desire to take part in the gridiron sport has led all six players to indicate that they plan on returning to the Estevan team for next season.
Plus, with new students coming up all the time, it is possible that the local representation on the team will increase as time passes.
"There was just a lot of excitement this year thanks to the availability of the game," Slykhuis said. "I think that it is very likely we'll be seeing many more students wanting to take part in the game as time progresses."
"I'm just really impressed with how dedicated to the game the students from around here are," Slykhuis said. "I think each and every one of them should be congratulated for making such a huge effort."
With an hour drive to Estevan and back, after school training and games can keep the kids out of their homes from morning classes until later in the evening.
"The students all have a lot of spirit and drive," Slykhuis said. "They sacrifice so much of their time to be on the team, and they have to maintain their grades as well."
"All-in-all it's a great thing to see happen," Slykhuis said. "It is also a great example of inter-school cooperation that an arrangement like this one could come together."