They are three of the players that are expected to make the SRSS Sabres one of the leading contenders in the Winnipeg High School Football League this fall but first off these three Steinbach gridiron stars will take their considerable football talents onto the national stage this summer.
Quarterback Sawyer Thiessen, wide receiver Jayden Martens and linebacker Isaac Dokken have all made the U18 Team Manitoba line-up that will be competing in the Canada Cup national championship beginning this coming weekend at Kingston, Ont.
In addition, SRSS Varsity Sabres head coach Stephen Fedus will be one of eight Manitoba coaches leading Manitoba into the Canada Cup, which features eight provincial teams from across the province. Fedus, in his eighth season coaching Manitoba at the Canada Cup, is the offensive line coach for the team.
Although Fedus is not specifically coaching these boys at the Canada Cup, he is very familiar with their immense talents as their high school coach.
Fedus says for these players to have the opportunity to play in a national tournament like this is just so beneficial to them in their growth and development as football players. "We had nine kids from the Sabres try out for this team at various stages of the tryouts and they will all benefit from it."
Fedus says all three of these players are standouts and will come back even better players as they ready for the high school season in the fall.
He talks about each one of them:
"Isaac was on this team last year. Isaac is not only one of the best linebackers in Manitoba, but in all of Canada. We are expecting him to have a very successful tournament and upcoming season. He is an impact player that loves football, loves contact, loves competing and is very dedicated."
"Jayden has height and speed as a receiver and he is learning how to compete at a high level. We encouraged him to try out for this team and give it a shot, he has done very well. Sawyer and Jayden also work very well together."
"Sawyer is right up there as one of the best quarterbacks in the province. He is an intelligent player, and he can throw the ball. He is a very gifted athlete and he puts in the work."
Dokken and Martens will be both entering into grade 12 this year while Thiessen, who became the Sabres’ starting quarterback when he was only in grade nine, is only entering his grade 11 year this year, but will be a three-year veteran as a starting QB in the WHSFL.
There are eight teams competing in the Canada Cup at Kingston and Manitoba is seeded sixth in the field. Manitoba will play third ranked Quebec in their first game Sunday at 12 noon.
They are guaranteed to play three games throughout the course of the Canada Cup, being staged at Queen’s University, although they must beat Quebec to stay in the running for the championship.
Team Manitoba will also be in action on Wednesday and will play their final game on July 13.