May 25th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 21
Crowsnest athletes to face B.C. rivals in ABC Border Bowl
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
From left to right, Devon Clarke, coach Chris Ney, Conner Ney and Ty Anderson, Pincher Creek Bantam Mustang players who are attending the Rising Selects Team at the ABC Border Bowl.
Pass Herald Reporter
They worked hard, made the cut and soon a few local athletes will get a chance to pit their gridiron skills against cross border rivals.

“For kids in Alberta, there’s no other showcase like this for them,” said Chris Ney, head coach for the Alberta Rising Selects team.

On May 28 in Vernon B.C., the best grade 9 and 10 football players from Alberta and B.C. will compete in the ABC Border Bowl.

The ABC Bowl gives rural youth a chance to get noticed for scholarships and placements from universities, colleges and junior teams.

“These kids are all fighting to get noticed,” he said.

Ney said it is particularly hard for rural athletes to advance because of a scarcity of recognized football programs in smaller communities. He said 22 scouts will attend the game in Vernon. More will be watching from home.

“It’s a great opportunity for the boys,” he said. “I’m excited for the privilege of being able to coach them.”
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The closest football program to the Pass is in Pincher Creek. Ney said this has convinced some athletes to consider other sports options because parents don’t always have the funds or desire to make constant trips. It’s something Ney would like to change.

“There are a lot of talented athletes out here,” he said. “I would love to see a football program in the Pass. I know a lot of parents I’ve spoken to don’t want to drive out to Pincher for a football program. Who knows what’ll happen in the next few years?”

Crowsnest Pass boys Devon Clarke and Ty Anderson will be playing for the Alberta side along with Conner Ney, Tanner Jones, Nathan Baker, Tyson Holloway, Tysen Teneyke and Jaeger Hann from around Pincher Creek.

Anderson is a talented defensive lineman who played for the Pincher Creek Bantam Mustangs.

“He’ll play anywhere you ask him the play,” said Ney. “I get really encouraged. He’s getting the shot he deserves. He’s a really good kid.”
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Clarke plays halfback and outside linebacker. This is only his second year playing competitive football.

“Every time he steps on the field he gets a million times better,” said Ney. “In today’s culture, he came late to football but when you have those natural athletes, they can be plugged in later.”

Tryouts were held in March. Players from as far north as Athabasca and as far south as the Pass were selected.

The team has only had two official practices, which presents Ney with special coaching challenges.

“The playbook is limited because you’ve only got so much time to teach it,” he said. “But I will say we have a good group of kids and our playbook is probably 45 plays and six different formations and the guys all picked it up.”

The ABC Border Bowl will be broadcast live and for free at
May 25th ~ Vol. 85 No. 21
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