Vernon Panthers AA Boys football players Caden Danbrook, Liam Reid, Zachary Smith and Brayden Szeman were welcomed to the University of Calgary Dinos by head coach Wayne Harris on Tuesday Jan. 28.(Contributed)

Vernon Panthers AA Boys football players Caden Danbrook, Liam Reid, Zachary Smith and Brayden Szeman were welcomed to the University of Calgary Dinos by head coach Wayne Harris on Tuesday Jan. 28.(Contributed)

Vernon students earn football scholarships to University of Calgary

Caden Danbrook, Liam Reid, Zach Smith and Brayden Szeman all core pieces of dominant Panthers team

The common room at Vernon Secondary hosted a momentous occasion last week as four of the high school’s senior football players inked scholarships to the University of Calgary.

Receiver Caden Danbrook, kicker Liam Reid, quarterback Zachary Smith and offensive linesman Brayden Szeman were welcomed to the Calgary Dinos by head coach Wayne Harris on Tuesday Jan. 28.

“It is not very often that four players get signed from the same high school,” said Harris. “It is obvious the Panthers are a very special team, that they put in a lot of hard work and are great team players.”

The four players were instrumental in the Panthers’ back-to-back Boys AA provincial championship titles in 2018 and 2019.

“School District 22 looks forward to hearing about the young men succeeding in their academics at the U of C and on the field as Dinos,” said district communications coordinator Maritza Reilly.

Illustrating just how dominant the team has been, the Panthers have been undefeated in their last two seasons. They went 10-0 in 2019 and outscored their opponents 381-42 in the process.

Not even the toughest competition in the province seemed able to cut into the team’s scoring differential. The Panthers beat the Langley Saints 43-14 in the championship-deciding Subway Bowl at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver on Nov. 30, 2019.

The team they’re heading to is a powerhouse in its own right. The Calgary Dinos topped the Canada West football standings last year with an 8-2 record. They won the Hardy Cup 29-4 against Saskatchewan, and then won the won the Vanier cup to become league champs for the first time in 24 years.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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