An alumnus of Stettler’s minor football program is going into the big leagues.
Twenty-five-year-old Offensive Linesman Theren Churchill was drafted by the Toronto Argonauts as the ninth overall pick in the 2020 Canadian Football League entry draft on April 30.
“It feels great, definitely unexpected on Thursday night,” said Churchill.
“I got a call late in the first round, where I was not really expected to go. I was expecting to sit there for a few more hours.”
Churchill got his start in football at around 10 years of age in Stettler and it was a game he quickly developed a passion for.
“He was really passionate about football,” said Stettler high school head Coach Norbert Baharally.
“Younger Theren was passionate about most sports growing up. We’re a small community, so as a high school coach you keep an on the younger programs coming up.”
Churchill entered the program in Grade 10 and remained until graduation. In his senior year, Stettler entered the 2011 Tier III provincial playoffs as underdogs against Cochrane, but according to Baharally, Churchill and the offensive line were a big part of the reason Stettler stole the victory.
“Due to him and the work with the offensive line, we created holes for our running and just dominated them,” said Baharally, who coached Churchill for six seasons, three at the midget level and three as part of the high school program.
“He never gave up, was always focused, always determined. He knew he wanted to get to the next level, and he wasn’t afraid to work for it. “
Churchill has since spent a couple years playing junior ball with the Huskies in Edmonton before playing three seasons for the University of Regina Rams.
“It’s been a lot of football focus since graduation,” said Churchill.
Despite being drafted to the Argonauts it will be some time before he makes his way to the team, due to the ongoing pandemic and the associated restrictions.
“I’ll be talking to the coaches here sometime this week,” said Churchill.
“What I’m thinking is as soon as the country kind of clears, or the CFL approves practices or team meetings in person, I’ll be heading out that way.”