Didsbury native fits in as quarterback of Airdrie team
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Apr 24, 2014 06:00 am
In order to suit up as the starting quarterback for the Airdrie Northern Raiders midget football team, Didsbury’s Duncan Little has to make an hour-long drive from his house to take to the field at Shouldice Park on a weekly basis.
But for the 16 year old, it’s something he is used to.
“I’ve been playing minor football with the guys in Airdrie for the last seven years, and I go to high school at Saint Francis in Calgary, so I’m pretty used to the travel time at this point,” Little said. “I can see why some people might think its crazy to travel that much, but Airdrie was the closest place with a minor football program when I started,” he explained.
“It just felt like the right fit ever since I’ve come here, as it’s exciting to play with the guys from Airdrie and they all want to work hard to get better every day.”
Northern Raiders Head Coach Steve Kemp is certainly happy to have Little as his team’s quarterback, as the Didsbury native has helped to lead the team to a 2-1 start in the Calgary Midget Football League heading into a game on April 23 (after press time) against the Calgary Falcons.
“He’s mainly known as a pocket passer, but he has a running ability that is really underrated,” Kemp said.
“He’s 6’5” and 200 pounds, and when he gets that big frame moving, he’s really hard to bring down.”
“As a result of that, I think he opens a lot more space for other players to make an impact on offence,” he added.
In addition to being the quarterback for the Raiders, Little plays the same position for the Saint Francis Browns in Calgary and is a power forward for the school’s basketball team.
“I like playing basketball a lot, but being a quarterback is something that I love the most,” Little said.
“I just love the intensity of playing in that position, as you always have the pressure on you to do well in certain situations.”
“For me, it’s good to have that pressure both here with the Raiders and when I play for Saint Francis,” he added. “I think it helps you get to better, especially when you are in those big-play situations.”
Although Little will be aging out of the Calgary Midget Football League after this season, he hopes to help his team earn its goal of winning a Division I title before he moves on.
“We got a couple of wins to start off the season, and I think that really helps us out confidence wise,” Little said.
“We’ve started to build on some things in the last couple of games, and when we start to get things rolling, it’s really hard to stop our team.”
The Northern Raiders will be back in action on May 1 at Shouldice Park in Calgary, when the team will take on the Calgary Cowboys at 6:30 p.m.