Genesis Place to host Alberta Football League playoff match-up
Genesis Place Recreation Centre is set to host Alberta Football League (AFL) playoff football action on Aug. 11 when the Calgary Wolfpack take on rival Calgary squad, the undefeated Gators.
The bout was rescheduled to Airdrie after the recent flooding in Southern Alberta prevented competition on Calgary fields.
“Genesis Place just fit the specifications, and they’ve been great,” said Jon Scratch, who plays linebacker for the Wolfpack.
“It’s gonna be nice that we can play in Airdrie and show Airdrie what the AFL is all about.”
Scratch, who is a graduate of George McDougall High School in Airdrie, played high school football before finding a role with the Vancouver Island Raiders, a junior football team based in Nanaimo, B.C. after he graduated high school.
With his time concluded, he found he still wanted to play football.
“I came back after junior and still wanted to play. I couldn’t give up football,” he said. “It’s great – it’s really competitive football, but at the same time, we’re all grown adults and have full-time jobs. It’s great to still be able to play.”
The Alberta Football League is an amateur Canadian league featuring seven teams competing from the start of June until the end of September.
The league was established in 1984 to provide alternatives for players who did not reach the Canadian Football League. Every September, the AFL champion team faces champions of other semi-professional leagues across Canada to determine a national champion.
Wolfpack defensive back Robbie Sakires, 32, came to the AFL after a few stints with the Regina Rams and two appearances at Saskatchewan Roughriders free agency camp in 2006 and 2007. He, along with Scratch, now coach Airdrie midget football with the Northern Raiders.
“It was a blessing in disguise (to come to Airdrie). It’s been nothing but great,” Sakires said. “I’d rather coach in Airdrie any day, any time. The city has that smaller mentality and the people are pretty laid back. I’ve been really blessed to be here.”
The Wolfpack will face off against the Gators on Aug. 11 at Genesis Place starting at 4 p.m. Tickets will cost $5, and anyone younger than 14 will get in free. The game will feature a barbecue and beer gardens near the field.
“We’re definitely confident (going into the game),” said Sakires.
“The Gators have deserved everything this year. Their record stands (as proof) right now. I think it’s gonna be a hard, physical game.”