The Marion Graham Falcons football team finished the regular season with a 4-2 record, and just like every Saskatoon high school team each season, they welcome new kids into their senior program.
Normally, those kids have played football before. For Brad Heit, he waited until his senior year to join the team.
“I played it a little bit in minor hockey when I was younger, but it’s nothing like this,” Heit said.
“These are all my friends from quite a long time ago and so it’s really nice, to be honest.”
Prior to this season, Heit’s focus was speed skating.
He represented Saskatchewan at the Canada Winter Games earlier this year and is hoping to one day become a member of the national junior team.
As a result, his parents took a little while to come around to him picking up football in Grade 12.
“It’s a very different sport from what he’s been doing. Skating is very calm and focused and football is so high adrenaline and high energy,” Karen Heit said.
“It’s been a great thing to finish off his last year in high school.”
Falcons’ head coach Brandon Leatherdale, who is a former member of the Saskatchewan Huskies football team, sent Brad’s parents an e-mail to help get them on board.
“He has been so focused on speed skating for as long as he has that he hasn’t had an opportunity to get back to Falcon athletics,” Leatherdale said.
“So in the end, they thought, ‘you know what? He’s a 17-year-old boy who hasn’t done a bunch in the school, who’s really enjoying it and really loves it.’ They put their fears aside and let him play.”
The chances for injury in a contact sport are high, but Heit said if it happens, he’ll deal with it.
“It’s all about putting yourself out there,” Heit said.
“I love playing football. I love speed skating, too. I’m allowed to enjoy both, so I’m going to do both.”