Parker Kellington and the prestigious U18 Team Alberta went home with silver medals at the Football Canada Cup Tournament.
Kellington was born and raised in Fort Saskatchewan. His love for football started at young age when he started playing for the Fort Sask Falcons Football program. During this time he won a Tier 3 division championship and was named to the all-Edmonton team Metro All-stars.
After seven years with the Falcons he moved on to playing Tier 1 football at his high school, Bev Facey in Sherwood Park. As the 2022 school year came to a close Kellington was selected to play on the U18 Team Alberta for the Football Canada Cup.
From July 7 to 17, provincial teams from all over Canada came together in Kelowna to face off at the 2022 Canada Cup. Kellington played on Team Alberta as an offensive lineman.
Kellington said that it was his first time visiting Kelowna.
"Being in the mountains and everything and being in a spot I've never been before, I wouldn't have done it if it weren't such a great team and such a great program. They definitely made it better. It wasn't just the scenery that made it so good."
Team Alberta spent the time between training sessions taking ice baths and visiting the city, with one of Kellington's highlights being a night where the team went bowling together.
"There were these little things that would be nice memories for the team to bond together, because during the games is where we're really tested on our ability to come together."
Their first game was on July 11 vs British Columbia.
"There's a lot of nerves with it," Kellington said. "We had some errors, and we were down a bit, but we kept using the phrase 'we bend, but we don't break.'"
The game was tight, with Alberta emerging as the victor with a score of 18 - 17. Their next game was three days later against Quebec, where Alberta won with a score of 23 - 13.
"It felt like a bit of a masterclass for us. We really hit our stride."
Team Alberta made it into the Championship match against Saskatchewan, where Alberta's winning streak ended with a score of 13 - 1.
"As a team, we never quit, and we gave it our all. We kept playing to the end even though Saskatchewan has a lot of talent and a very tough program, but we kept it close and had a good game overall."
Alberta ended up taking home an array of silver awards and the bragging rights as being one of the toughest U18 teams in the country.
Next season is the senior year for Kellington, and he hopes to get recruited for colleges, get scholarships, and advance his playing to the next level.
"With this sort of thing, there's never one path; it's not a linear rope. Hook yourself up with the best opportunities, you do your thing, and when the time is right, the path for you will come along."