A busy offseason is coming to a close, and with it the Regina Riot’s 2017 recruiting class is coming together. Head Coach Olivier Eddie, who took over the position from the retiring Shawn McCall in February but had served as Offensive Coordinator and Special Teams Coordinator previously, has been busy working with his staff to bring in the best prospects available. This year that included adding some recruits from less-than-conventional recruiting areas, including a few from out-of-province.
“We were fortunate enough to host the 2016 Women’s National Championship in Regina this past summer” said Coach Eddie, speaking about the recruiting process. “During the championship, we were able to build relationships with coaches and players from other teams in the tournament. Afterwards, we ended up fielding multiple calls from athletes in other regions.”
This lead to the Riot landing two key recruits – Megan Lowry from Guelph, ON, as well as Emilie Belanger from Montreal, QC. “When someone calls and says they want to move across the country to play for you, what else can you say but, ‘yes’” said Eddie. Belanger is a two-time Team Quebec athlete and two-time Team Canada athlete in women’s football, who also played rugby at the University of Concordia. Lowry is also a former rugby athlete, playing for the University of Guelph and as a member of Team Canada.
The Riot also landed many new recruits from closer to home. This list includes numerous U-Sports (formally CIS) athletes, as well two recruits from in-province rival Saskatoon Valkyries. “These are exactly the type of athletes that we aim for,” said Coach Eddie, when describing his ideal recruit. “We want women who have played at a high level and understand the level of commitment it takes to become elite.”
While there are many fresh faces in this year’s recruiting class, the Riot are also happy to welcome back some more familiar names. Adrienne Zuck, Angie Douville, Bonnie Riffel & Ashleigh Henrion are all returning to the team after taking some time off to fulfill other commitments. “Welcoming back four veterans who missed the 2016 season is going to make a significant difference for us,” said Eddie. “They add to an impressive list of returning players, and the depth this creates allows us to elevate the way we operate.”
The full list of recruits to date, in alphabetical order, is as follows:
If you’re a current or former female athlete interested in playing for the Riot this year, it’s not too late. Connect with us by going to the Contact page on our website and sending a message, and we’ll be sure to tell you when and how to try out.