Newcastle senior Nathan Wilson played in the CanAm all-star game for six-man football. He is the first player from Newcastle to receive an invitation to the game. (courtesy photo)
As Nathan Wilson stepped onto the football field for his last six-man football game, he noticed a few differences from his home in Newcastle.
The field stretched out 100 yards as opposed to 80, and the goal posts sat at the front of the end zone instead of the back.
But this wasn't a trip to one of Newcastle's rival fields. Wilson had earned the Bobcat's first invitation to the CanAm Bowl in Hague, Saskatchewan, an all-star game for high school football players in six-man leagues in Canada and America.
“It was pretty nerve-racking,” Wilson said. “I tried working my butt off. That way, if they wanted to get another person from Newcastle they would be like, ‘oh yeah, that Newcastle worked hard.' So I tried to kind of set the bar high.”
Wilson estimated about 100 people attended the game, with 20 fans cheering “loud and proud” for the American all-stars.
The small support for the red, white and blue was a unique experience for Wilson. At Newcastle, he had at least half the crowd cheering for his team.
“If you did something good, you got used to the crowd kind of pumping you up,” he said. “We would do something good and it would be quiet, and then the Canadians would do something small and that crowd would get to cheering real loud.”
Wilson also noticed a few changes to the American version of six-man football.
Read the full story in this weekend's Graham Leader