Saskatoon Hilltops

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Saskatoon Hilltops
Team logo
Established1947 (1947)
Based inSaskatoon, Saskatchewan
Home stadiumSaskatoon Minor Football Field at Gordon Howe Park
Head coachTom Sargeant
General managerLane Bannerman
LeagueCanadian Junior Football League
DivisionPrairie Football Conference
Coloursroyal blue, gold
League titles21 (1953, 1958, 1959, 1968, 1969, 1978, 1985, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
WebsiteOfficial website

The Saskatoon Hilltops are a junior Canadian football team based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Hilltops play in the six-team Prairie Football Conference, which is part of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) and compete annually for the Canadian Bowl. The team was founded in 1921 as a senior team in the Saskatchewan Rugby Football Union, which it played in until 1936. Two years after WW II the team reorganized in 1947. Beginning in 1953, the Hilltops have won 21 Canadian Bowl championships, the most of any Canadian junior football team in history. The Hilltops are the only CJFL team to win five consecutive Canadian Bowls, having done so between 2014 and 2018.[1]

The Hilltops play their home games on the Saskatoon Minor Football Field at Gordie Howe Sports Complex.

Executive committee[edit]

Going for Touchdown October 10, 2008 playoff game
Cheerleaders
Position Holder
President Terry Postey
President Elect Chris Hengen-Braun
Past President Eric Nimilowich
Vice President Rod Janzen
Team Manager Lane Bannerman
Treasurer Greg Peacock
Secretary Cliff Powlowski
Operational Director Jeff Shyluk
Operational Director Janice Kozun
Operational Director Jerry Rice
Operational Director Walt Smith
Media Coordinator Chris Hengen-Braun
New Clubhouse Coordinator Al Gibb
Sponsorship/Program Coordinator Gerald Dewald
Golf Tournament Coordinator Spero Kokonas
Alumni Game Coordinator Gabe Mackesey
Roughrider Luncheon Coordinator Walt Smith
50/50 Coordinator Craig Cupid
Gate Personal Craig Allan/Ron Krieger/Don Lavallee
Head Coach Tom Sargeant

Coaching staff[edit]

Kilburn Park in Buena Vista is the practice field of the Saskatoon Hilltops
Position Holder
Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Tom Sargeant
Quarterbacks Shane Reider
Running Backs Andre Lalonde
Defensive Backs Brent Turkington
Offensive Line Donnie Davidsen
Defensive Line Dave Fisher
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Jeff Yausie
Receivers Barclay Schlosser

Recent History[edit]

2014 Season[edit]

The Hilltops entered the playoffs with 6 wins and 2 losses which resulted in a first place standing. On October 19, 2014 their first play off game against the Winnipeg Rifles was finalized with a 43 to 13 score in favour of the Hilltops.

Final Score on the new scoreboard at the playoff game between the Winnipeg Rifles and Saskatoon Hilltops on October 19, 2014 at the Saskatoon Minor Football Field

The Hilltops proceeded to the Prairie Football Conference finals on Sunday October 26, 2014, defeating the Calgary Colts 27–7 at Saskatoon Minor Football Field. On Nov 8, 2014 the Hilltops completed their successful playoff run with a victory over the Langley Rams at MacLeod Stadium with a final score of 39–14.[2] This was the first of five consecutive Canadian Bowls.

2017 & 2018 Record-breaking Seasons[edit]

The Hilltops entered the 2017 season having completed their third "threepeat": the first being three consecutive Canadian Bowl Championships in 2001, 2002 and 2003; the second 2010, 2011 and 2012; and the most recent 2014, 2015 and 2016. Only three other teams in Canadian Bowl history had the opportunity to win four championships in a row: the Regina Rams (1993, 1994 and 1995); the Edmonton Huskies (1962, 1963 and 1964); and the Montreal AAAs (1925, 1926 and 1927).[3] The Hilltops only loss during the 2017 season came mid-season, in the last two minutes 29-26 at the hands of the Regina Thunder. Their final regular season win over the undefeated Edmonton Huskies earned the Hilltops a matching 7–1 record, but the head-to-head victory gave the Hilltops first place in the PFC and home field advantage for three consecutive playoff games.

The Hilltops defeated the Winnipeg Rifles and the Regina Thunder before managing a convincing 48–0 win over the Vancouver Island Raiders to make it to their fourth consecutive Canadian Bowl, which was played on Nov 11th in Windsor against the Windsor AKO Fratmen, the oldest CJFL team in continuous operation. The Hilltops emerged victorious in this historic game, winning 56-11, finally achieving the "fourpeat".[4]

The Hilltops completed the 2018 regular season with a perfect 8-0 record scoring 402 points while yielding only 70. Throughout the entire regular season the Hilltops trailed only once, in the fifth game 17-16 to the Regina Thunder with 2:28 left in the first half, regaining the lead before the half ended, and going on to a 48-24 victory. In the playoffs, the Hilltops silenced the Winnipeg Rifles 58-5 and defeated the Edmonton Huskies 28-9.

The 111th Canadian Bowl championship game was played in Saskatoon on November 17th, between the Hilltops and the British Columbia Football Conference Champion Langley Rams.[5] Despite a spirited effort by the Rams, the Hilltops led from start to finish with a balanced passing and running attack combined with a stout defense, over-powering the Rams in the final score of 58-21. When all was said and done, the Hilltops finished the season with a perfect 11-0 record, outscoring the opposing teams 546-105; and eight fifth-year Hilltops inaugurated a group of CJFL graduates: Adam Benkic, Bobby Ehman, Adam Ewanchyna, Connor Guillet, Cody Peters, Jason Price, Jordan Walls and Kirk Simonsen, who are the only players in CJFL history to win the national championship in all five years that they played junior football. Head Coach Tom Sargeant also claimed his 12th Canadian Bowl championship.[6] The 2018 Hilltops were ranked number one all season, with 12 players earning Prairie Conference All Stars of whom 7 were named Canadian All Stars at the Champions’ Banquet.[7]

Canadian Junior Football League Championships[edit]

Hilltops championship mini van

The Hilltops have won 21 of the 24 Canadian Junior Football Championship Games they have played in, the most recent being the 2018 Canadian Bowl versus the Langley Rams.[8] Throughout the 2017 and 2018 seasons combined, the Hilltops lost only one game, in mid-season of 2017, with the team's Head Coach, Tom Sargeant, stating it was the strongest team he could remember. Finishing their 2018 season at 11-0, the Hilltops completed their fourth perfect season in team history, going 12-0 in 2003 and 1978 at 12-0 and 11-0 in 1958.[9]

Canadian Bowl Championships[edit]

Year Champion Finalists
2018 Saskatoon Hilltops 58 Langley Rams 21
2017 Saskatoon Hilltops 56 Windsor AKO Fratmen 11
2016 Saskatoon Hilltops 37 Westshore Rebels 25
2015 Saskatoon Hilltops 38 Okanagan Sun 24
2014 Saskatoon Hilltops 39 Langley Rams 14
2012 Saskatoon Hilltops 23 Langley Rams 21
2011 Saskatoon Hilltops 29 Hamilton Hurricanes 1
2010 Saskatoon Hilltops 34 Vancouver Island Raiders 23
2007 Saskatoon Hilltops 26 St. Leonard Cougars 3
2003 Saskatoon Hilltops 59 Victoria Rebels 0
2002 Saskatoon Hilltops 20 St. Leonard Cougars 18
2001 Saskatoon Hilltops 45 Okanagan Sun 11
2000 Okanagan Sun 36 Saskatoon Hilltops 28
1996 Saskatoon Hilltops 38 Windsor AKO Fratmen 7
1991 Saskatoon Hilltops 48 Ottawa Sooners 7

Armadale Cup Championships[edit]

Gordie Howe Bowl is the home of the Saskatoon Hilltops
Year Champion Finalist
1985 Saskatoon Hilltops 29 Ottawa Sooners 11
1978 Saskatoon Hilltops 24 Ottawa Sooners 4

Leader-Post Trophy Championships[edit]

Touchdown October 10, 2008 playoff game
Year Champion Finalist
1969 Saskatoon Hilltops 28 Ottawa Sooners 7
1968 Saskatoon Hilltops 27 Ottawa Sooners 19
1960 Montreal Rose Bombers 22 Saskatoon Hilltops 20
1959 Saskatoon Hilltops 46 Toronto NK Knights 7
1958 Saskatoon Hilltops 18 Notre-Dame-de-Grace Maple Leafs 14
1953 Saskatoon Hilltops 34 Windsor AKO Fratmen 6
1948 Hamilton Wildcats 14 Saskatoon Hilltops 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zary, Darren (November 18, 2018), "The Saskatoon Hilltops are not only champions - they are history makers", The StarPhoenix, retrieved November 18, 2018
  2. ^ Piller, Thomas (Nov 8, 2014), "Hilltops win national championship", Global news, retrieved November 8, 2014
  3. ^ "Canadian Bowl from Wikipedia", Canadian Bowl, pp. wikitable, November 18, 2018, retrieved November 18, 2018
  4. ^ Zary, Darren (November 17, 2017), "Saskatoon Hilltops do the fourpeat, win fourth straight Canadian Bowl", The StarPhoenix, retrieved November 18, 2018
  5. ^ Tiel, Marissa (November 17, 2018), "Langley Rams capture Cullen Cup", Kelowna Capital News, retrieved November 17, 2018
  6. ^ Zary, Darren (November 17, 2018), "Saskatoon Hilltops hammer Langley Rams to claim fifth straight Canadian Bowl", The StarPhoenix, retrieved November 17, 2018
  7. ^ Sorokan, Keenan (November 18, 2018), "Hilltops beat Langley Rams for fifth-straight Canadian Bowl", CKOM news, retrieved November 18, 2018
  8. ^ Zary, Darren (November 17, 2018), "Saskatoon Hilltops hammer Langley Rams to claim fifth straight Canadian Bowl", The StarPhoenix, retrieved November 17, 2018
  9. ^ Steinke, Darren (November 24, 2018), "Hilltops' fifth years hammer home "drive for five" – Stanks' Sermon", Saskatoon Hilltops, pp. Results–Recap, retrieved November 24, 2018

External links[edit]