Semeniuk headed to Vanier Cup

Vernon's Liam Semeniuk joins Calgary Dinos for Vanier Cup in Quebec City.

For 16-year-old Liam Semeniuk, third time is lucky.

After missing out on 2011 and 2012 trips to Vancouver and Toronto respectively with the University of Calgary Dinos’ failure to make it to the Vanier Cup, Semeniuk is with the team in Quebec City for Saturday’s 49th Vanier Cup between the Dinos and defending champion Laval Rouge et Or.

He will be on the sidelines performing his duties Saturday in a game that will be telecast on Sportsnet 360.

A Grade 11 student at Vernon Secondary, Semeniuk flew to Calgary Monday night and performed his equipment manager duties at a frigid, snowy practice at 7 a.m. Tuesday at McMahon Stadium. He then boarded a charter bus for Calgary International Airport and departed with the team for Quebec City at noon with a plane change in Toronto.

Going to Laval is nothing new for Semeniuk. Liam accompanied the team for their pre-season game at the end of August.

“I waited three years for this,” said an ecstatic Semeniuk.

Semeniuk and the Dinos were not expecting to see Laval so soon. 2013 was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Calgary as a multitude of starters either graduated or turned professional, but when the Dinos blasted the previously No. 1 ranked Western Mustangs 44-3 Saturday afternoon, Liam and the Dinos were headed back East where the season began.

For the past three summers Semeniuk has served as an equipment assistant for the Dinos. His varied duties include filming practice, helping collect laundry, running practice, setting up and collecting equipment before and after practice, to name a few.

“Liam has been instrumental in helping us over the last three summers in spring and fall training camps,” said head equipment manager Johnny Carr. “Even though he lives in Vernon, he still is part of the team. The last three years we promised him he could go to the Vanier if we made it and his school work was good.”