Marci Halseth ready to rise to the occasion with second nod to Team Canada

In a province where football is synonymous with a way of life for so many of its residents, Marci Halseth (formerly known as Kiselyk), is part of an exciting sporting movement which sees movement helping contribute to the gridiron mythology. Having starred with the Saskatoon Valkyries of the Western Women’s Canadian Football League (WWCFL), one of the most exciting hallmarks in her career has involved winning the gold medal with Team Saskatchewan at the 2016 Canadian nationals, generating cultural currency.

In action with the Saskatoon Valkyries

As the event also represents part of Jeff Yausie’s swan song in elite female football, it only added emotion to a meaningful moment in the province’s sporting lore. Proud to contribute towards his coaching legacy, while helping Saskatchewan reach new historic heights, it has also added to a memorable time for Halseth, whose year also encompassed capturing the WWCFL title.

“I have been fortunate to have played in several national championships in a few different sports, but before this have always come away with a silver medal (in basketball, football, and flag football). As such, it was extra special to be a part of the championship team this year! It really was a great experience to play in front of a home crowd and to be able to take home that banner at the end of it all.

Women’s football in Saskatchewan has progressed to the point that many athletes spend 12 months out of the year training and preparing for the upcoming season, and it’s awesome to see that hard work pay off on the national stage. I’m very proud of our athletes, and grateful for the excellent coaching and great support we receive.”

Among the most unique aspects of being part of Team Saskatchewan is the fact that rivalries become replaced by camaraderie. With players from both the Valkyries and the Regina Riot holding roster spots, it is a fusion of the two finest female football teams in the entire WWCFL. In recounting the experience of sharing the same jersey as the elite members of the Riot, a sense of mutual respect rises to the surface,

2. As a member of both Team Saskatchewan in 2012 and Team Canada in 2013, I’ve already been able to play quite a few games with the athletes from the Riot. I love playing with them! These women bring a competitive fire and a love for the game that is tangible and fun to be around. I really enjoyed getting to play with quarterback Aimee Kowalski again, because it felt right away like we were on the same page.

They also have a few defensive players who hit really hard. On the sideline throughout the national tournament, after watching big hits, I repeated a sort of mantra: “I’m so glad she’s on my team this time.

Because the Valkyries and the Riot play each other three times a season in physical, exciting games, our rivalry can get quite heated. Knowing the names and the stories of the people I’m playing against sometimes feeds that fire; I respect these women as football players and I want to do my best to beat them in one-on-one battles. However, after the whistles we’re generally pretty supportive of one another, and we try to keep our play mostly clean.”

Undoubtedly, this remarkable string of accomplishments has served as a springboard for Halseth to showcase her skills on a grander scale. As the sun set on 2016, heralding the arrival of a New Year, Halseth gained the opportunity to be part of Team Canada for a second team in her sensational career.

Part football icon and part enthusiast, Halseth’s drive to reach new heights embodies what is good about the female game. With the 2017 IFAF Women’s World Championships taking place on home soil, in the cosmopolitan Pacific city of Vancouver, it represents more than just a watershed moment in Canadian female sporting history.

It allows for proud players such as Halseth to celebrate their patriotism, recognizing Canada’s sesquicentennial by showing their world-class abilities in an event that is poised to inspire the next generation of Canadian female footballers.

“I’ve had the honour of representing both Team Sask and Team Canada as a captain, and was pleased to be able to do it again this time around. However, the great thing about our provincial team was that so many of the athletes were already great leaders on their own teams. Having so many mature, competitive, and hard-working athletes really made for an easy camp and set us up well to be successful in the tournament. I really felt as though this team was captain-by-committee, and I witnessed on-field leadership from many different people.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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