It's my Parting Shot to answer, in plain English, the question on a lot of outside observer lips this football off-season…
Why are so many Saskatoon Hilltops NOT moving up the ranks to the U of S Huskies?
First thing…never say “moving up the ranks” to someone affiliated with the Toppers, either coaches or directors. Those folks believe the best junior football organization in Canada doesn’t have to take a back seat to the U of S…or any university program for that matter! Meanwhile, several junior teams openly act as a “feeder” system to a nearby university squad…especially in Ontario.
However, junior football has an age limit…at 22 years old…while U Sports allows a football player to play as many as five seasons within seven years after graduating high school.
In other words, a Saskatoon Hilltops athlete can play five years of university football after playing no more than two years with the Toppers.
That’s why Scott Flory and the Dogs recruited Hilltops star pass rusher Riley Pickett…but passed on receiver Sam Mike, fullback Colin Stumborg, linebacker Tom Schnitzler and defensive back James Vause. Despite each one of those four being four-time Canadian Bowl champions with the Toppers, they only have two or three years of eligibility remaining! Mike and Stumborg went south to the Regina Rams while Schnitzler and Vause headed west to U-B-C.
And, that’s not enough for Scott Flory and the program he’s building at the U of S. He wants five-year commitments…and that will preclude several very good junior Hilltops from becoming Huskies!
That's my Parting Shot. I’m Les Lazaruk in Brandon…