Kelowna Secondary School’s Rocco Williams and Max Gainey will be gearing up for Team B.C. at the U-18 Canada Cup kicking off next week.
The local natives are two of four players from the Okanagan putting on their football pads for the sixth-ranked Team B.C.
“My dad played and won the Canada Cup for Team Alberta in 1998 and my grandpa used to coach Team Alberta as well, so it runs in the family,” said Williams, a defensive linesmen.
Not only do the players get to represent their province, but they get to do it in front of their family and friends, as Kelowna is hosting the tournament for the first time since its inception in 1995.
“I am so excited that all of the players and their families get to come to Kelowna and experience this beautiful place,” said Williams. “I want to make my city and province proud. I would encourage everyone to take some time to explore and support all of the fruit stands because they are my favourite.”
Gainey is excited for the opportunity as well.
“The tournament should be a true experience of a lifetime, as I most likely will never play in such a tournament again,” said Gainey. “The fact that I get to do it in my hometown in front of friends and family truly means a lot to me. Playing in the Canada Cup has given me the opportunity to represent my province against elite competition throughout Canada and gives me a chance to showcase my skills in front of university scouts.”
The other two Okanagan players are Braden Khunkhun and Joe Murphy from Vernon.
It’s the first time the football U-18 Canada Cup has been held since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All eight teams are expected to arrive in Kelowna on Saturday with the tournament starting on Monday, July 11. The tournament is a week long, running until Sunday, July 17 with every game behind held at the Apple Bowl.