2017 High School Team Previews (AB): Hunting Hills Lightning are aiming to “compete for a league championship”

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will be posting high school/Cégep team previews from June to September as part of our comprehensive season coverage. Canadafootballchat.com (CFC) has tapped into our network of coaches to produce team previews for the 2017 season. The #CFCteampreviews highlight top returning players, team strengths, and toughest opponents.

CFC also will bring you the national high school football rankings known as the #CFC50. Last year’s final rankings were the most controversial to date…and we heard about it. Whether you agree or disagree, we love hearing from you. For an explanation of how the rankings are computed, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

Hunting Hills Lightning (CAHSFL – Tier II ASAA, Red Deer, AB)

The Hunting Hills Lightning have high expectations for themselves after going deep in the playoffs last season. They lost the conference final game to Tier I Notre Dame-Red Deer and lost in the Tier II south final to Foothills from Okotoks.

“Our goals are to compete for a league championship in 2017 and return to provincials,” said Lightning Head Coach Kyle Sedgwick.

But it won’t be easy for them, as they’ll be facing stiff competition within their conference.

“There are four very good teams in our conference,” he said. “Each program has some high-level players.”

On offence, the Lightning like to spread things out, but on defence, they prefer a simplified approach.

“We are traditionally a mix of spread style offence with a traditional tight end set,” Sedgwick explained. “Defensively we rely on keeping things simple and getting bodies to the ball with speed.”

The best way to describe their team is “athletic.”

“We are usually not very big, so we rely on speed and athleticism on both sides of the ball,” he said.

Both of their quarterbacks are 12th graders, Layton Barisenkoff and Brandon Rees, and they had significant playing time last year.

There are some elite players on offence and defence who are expected to continue where they left off last season. Offensively, REC Jordan Lenius (Grade 12) was a league All-Star last year and was one of the top receivers in the league and RB Logan Clarkson (Grade 11) is a solid multi-purpose offensive threat.

Defensively, LB Kallen Vickery (Grade 12) was a league All-Star last year and a member of Team Alberta U18 this summer, LB Dolan Hills (Grade 11) was also a member of Team Alberta U17 this summer and DE Kolton Densmore (Grade 12) is a returning starter on the defensive line.

They have nine offensive starters returning and eight defensive starters returning.

These are some of the key players who won’t be returning: LB Edward Kim, QB/REC Eric Thomson, OL Kayden Walper, OL Cohen Littlechild-Bull and RB Sympho Nkuela.

Grade 10 running back Luc Lukalu has the potential to be an “X” factor and “could have a breakout year as a rookie.”

Hunting Hills Lightning (CAHSFL – Tier II ASAA, Red Deer, AB)
Head Coach: Kyle Sedgwick (9th season)
2016 Record: 5-1
Key Returnees: REC Jordan Lenius, RB Logan Clarkson, LB Kallen Vickery, LB Dolan Hills, DE Kolton Densmore
Key Losses: LB Edward Kim, QB/REC Eric Thomson, OL Kayden Walper, OL Cohen Littlechild-Bull, RB Sympho Nkuela


If you would like your high school team previewed, please contact [email protected].




How is the #CFC50 evaluated?

The #CFC50 rankings considers all conference and non-conference games (in Canada and the United States) while scrimmages are not evaluated (there is no such thing as an exhibition game – those are non-conference games).

Leagues included in rankings: British Columbia AAA Varsity, Alberta Tier One, Saskatchewan 12-man 4A, Manitoba AAA Varsity, Ontario OFSAA Bowl AAA qualified teams, Quebec Juvenile Division 1, New Brunswick 12-man, Nova Scotia Tier 1.

The #CFC50 is a relative ranking that considers top tier leagues from all eight high school playing provinces (minimum one team represented from each province).  The CFC Scouting Bureau consists of CFC Reporters, CFC Scouts, and also selected local reporters and scouts who submit local ranking results on a weekly basis.  This is the eighth year that Canadafootballchat.com has ranked the top high school teams in Canada.

Join the conversation online #CFC50 #CFCpreivews



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