Categorized | Sports

Fort Macleod youth leads Lethbridge Rams to Bantam football title

the boychucks

Dale, Mitchell and Charlie Boychuk of the Tier 1 Bantam football champion Lethbridge Rams.

Mitchell Boychuk gets the job done on both sides of the ball for the Lethbridge Rams.
When the Bantam football team has the ball, 14-year-old Mitchell is behind center at quarterback, calling signals and directing the offence.
When the Rams line up on defence, the six foot one, 155-pound Mitchell is at defensive end, hunting down quarterbacks and running backs.
It’s an unusual combination of football positions, but Mitchell made it work this season as he helped the Rams to the Tier 1 southern Alberta championship.
“I’d have to say I like quarterback better, but it’s pretty close,” Mitchell said.
Now in Grade 9 at F.P. Walshe school in Fort Macleod, Mitchell took up football five years ago at the suggestion of his father, Dale Boychuk.
Since there is no football in Fort Macleod, it was natural for Dale to encourage his son to play for his old team — the Rams.
Dale Boychuk signed up too as an assistant coach, and later drafted oldest son Charlie as a line coach.

mitchell boychuck

Mitchell Boychuk of Fort Macleod quarterbacked the Lethbridge Rams to the Tier 1 Bantam football championship

Football is in the Boychuk blood. Todd plays center for the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Rams and Tanner is an offensive tackle and defensive end for the Pee Wee Rams.
Charlie Boychuk, who graduated last June, played defensive tackle and center two seasons with the LCI Rams, and Dale was a quarterback, running back and middle linebacker with the team from 1973-’76.
Mitchell started his Pee Wee football career with the Rams as a linebacker, but when he was in Grade 5 tried quarterback at the suggestion of his coaches.
“It felt natural,” Mitchell said. “I kind of had a natural feel for the ball.”
Mitchell proved a natural at quarterback with good footwork and a strong, accurate arm, and he liked the responsibility that comes with the job.
“You have control over the offence,” Mitchell explained. “You’re kind of the captain, you run it. It makes me feel like a leader.”
The Rams are primarily a running team, playing a power I offence, with Mitchell putting up 10 to 15 passes a game and sometimes scrambling for yardage on the ground.
In Grade 7 Mitchell took on the added role of defensive end. The coaches tried Mitchell on the line for a game, liked what they saw and he’s been there ever since.
As a quarterback who has a target on his back, Mitchell enjoys the opportunity to be the hunter.
“You’re the first guy to get in on the play so you have the highest opportunity of getting the tackles,” he said of playing defensive line.
Last year in Mitchell’s first season at the Bantam level, the Rams went 6-3 and lost to Cardston in the Tier 1 semifinal.
This season the Rams are 8-1 and beat Cardston 15-7 to win the Tier 1 championship.
“They had beaten us earlier in the season,” Mitchell said. “It was good to come back and beat them.”
The Rams have a mostly veteran lineup made up primarily of Grade 9 players in their second and final year of Bantam eligibility.
“We have a really good team this year,” Mitchell said.
The Rams meet the Calgary Cowboys in the southern final, with the winner advancing to the provincial championship against the winner of the other semifinal between Cardston and Edmonton Chargers.
Mitchell plans to continue his football career next year as a member of the LCI Rams.
If his high school career goes well, Mitchell hopes to play at the junior or university level.
“It’s probably one of my more favourite sports,” Mitchell said of football.
No matter whether he’s playing quarterback, or hunting them down

Comments are closed.