Pinehouse football player makes history
by Derek Cornet
The La Loche Lakers football team was back on the field Sept. 16 following a bus rollover that left a half-dozen athletes injured.
The Buffalo Narrows Eagles travelled to La Loche for La Loche community school’s home opener of the 2014 Northern Saskatchewan Football League (NSFL) season. Coach Stephen King described the match as one that went back-and-forth in points and the biggest lead either team had was six points. The Lakers opened the game with the first point, but were down by six after the Eagles made a 98-yard touchdown.
“The kids were all relatively competitive,” King said. “It was fun for the players and the spectators.”
La Loche ultimately fell 32-26. King went on to say the school had 13 players dressed for the game and had a few new additions. While some students who were involved in the bus rollover Sept. 4 weren’t able to participate because of the injuries they received, others are back on the squad. King said having players hit the field again would make for positive outcomes and allow students to heal by getting back to what’s normal.
The contest also served as a fundraiser for La Loche player Dianna Janvier who lost her leg – amputated as a result of the crash. Janvier is still recovering in Saskatoon and the $225 raised through a 50/50 draw will assist both her and her family. King noted even though Janvier couldn’t be at the game, everyone was thinking of her.
“We spray painted the number 15 on the field, so there was a tribute to her,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Green Lake Spirits were schooled by the Pinehouse Lakers Sept. 15 after a devastating 80-19 loss. The contest marked the inaugural game for the Spirits who joined the NSFL this season.
Pinehouse – who remains undefeated after three of four games – also has on its roster the first female player in the league to make a touchdown. Grade 12 student Geena Smith joined the Minahik Waskahigan High School football team last year and said she did so to prove a point.
“When they announced boys and girls would be able to join the team, a couple people in class laughed,” Smith said. “I wanted to prove that girls can play too.”
During the Sept. 15 match, Smith – who previously became the first female player to earn a point on a conversion – repeated history and was the first female player in the league to score a touchdown after making a long catch in the end zone. After she scored the touchdown, she said her team surrounded her and wanted to toss her in the air.
“I had no clue about football when I started except that you get hit,” Smith said. “I was happy when I made the touchdown because I made history, but I already knew the team was going to win.”
Smith noted her teammates are currently enjoying its three-game winning streak and have high hopes for winning the league championship in November.