Samantha Matheson’s return to Saskatoon Valkyries a family reunion
After an injury riddled season that kept her off of the field, Samantha Matheson spent the first couple downs of her return to football building back the confidence that she’s shown in previous years as a standout running back with the Saskatoon Valkyries in the WWCFL (Western Women’s Canadian Football League).
“I was definitely nervous at the beginning of the game,” Sam said. “I had to get back into the swing of things for sure, but, once I hit my stride I went, ‘Oh, I know how to play this.'”
It’s been easier to get back into the groove with family on the sidelines. With Sam injured last season, the Valkyries called upon her younger sister Mckenna to fill the void at running back, which she did admirably.
However, with Sam’s return, Mckenna opted to try out a new position. She’s still on offense, but now lines up as a wide receiver.
“I kind of wanted to take a step back, give (the running back job) back to her, try out something different, that’s why I moved to receiver this year,” Mckenna said.
“So I’m glad she’s excelling immensely in it, and I’m excited that I get to try a brand new position. It’s definitely different, catching now, but, it’s really fun and it’s really exciting.”
“I think she’s a much better catch than I am,” Sam said. “So, she can have receiver and I’ll stick with running back.”
Besides lining up as a receiver, Mckenna is also on the kick return team. It’s here that Sam’s sisterly instincts can make it difficult to be stuck watching from the sidelines, waiting to get onto the field on offense.
“If someone hits her I’m just like, ‘Oh, I’m going to get on that field, and I’m going to get you back,'” Sam said. “That’s my little sister, don’t hurt her, she’s going to go get some touchdowns.”
The Valkyries are back in action on May 11 when they take on the Regina Riot at SMF Field.
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