There was a packed house throughout the day at Yara Centre on Sunday as the Saskatchewan Selects hosted the Manitoba Selects for the second annual Selects Bowl.
Over 300 players from Saskatchewan and Manitoba hit the field as the two programs battled it out in three exhibition games, which will serve as tune-ups for their trip down to San Antonio, TX next month for the 2019 International Pigskin Classic.
"It was just a tremendous day, the kids really enjoyed it and it really gave us an opportunity to see where we stack up -- we've got some work to do at all three age levels, we're certainly not as crisp as we should be, but over the next two months, before we leave for San Antonio, that's what we're going to work on," said Zeljko Stefanovic, Program Director with the Saskatchewan Selects.
The two programs came together for the weekend, practicing together on Saturday and then playing the exhibition games in the 10U, 12U and 14U divisions on Sunday.
The games give the teams an opportunity to square off with another team and see what areas they need to work on before travelling to Texas.
"That why this was set up," said Stefanovic. "Two years ago, we spent four months hitting each other, so this gives us an opportunity to see where we stack up -- Manitoba is pretty good, they brought it, their 10U and 12U teams are unbelievable, so we've got some work to do at those levels."
The Sask Selects are happy with their performance in the three games, but know that there are areas that still need some work.
"We played really good on both sides of the ball, we marched the ball and stopped them extremely well, it was good," said the Estevan product. "We also got to see what we need to work on and we'll iron that out before we go."
Eagles, who is in his fourth season with the Selects program, added that he was happy to finally hit someone that wasn't one of his teammates, "I've been getting yelled at a lot for hitting our guys, so it was nice to finally hit someone else."
This is the seventh season for the Saskatchewan Selects program, but just the second season for the Manitoba Selects. Stefanovic said he was really impressed with the progress that they've made.
"We had our way with them last year, but this year, wow, they've stepped up their game a tremendous amount," he said.
Both teams will travel down to San Antonio in six weeks and compete in the 2019 International Pigskin Classic on Feb. 23-24.