Roughriders attend Northern Sask. Football spring Camp

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Derrick Moncrief demonstrates a drill during the Northern Sask. Football League spring camp at the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse on May 6, 2023

For the second time in as many weeks, there was a Saskatchewan Roughrider presence in Prince Albert.

Linebacker Derrick Moncrief and kicker Brett Lauther were in attendance at the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse for the Northern Saskatchewan Football League spring camp

The Northern Saskatchewan Football League features teams from northern communities that compete in the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association (SHSAA).

Ryan Karakochuk, the coordinator of the Northern Sask. Football League says the spring camp has been a success.

“It’s been great. The players are starting to get more energetic and comfortable playing football. For a lot of them, it’s their first time suiting up. Definitely having the Riders here and the coaches from down south has added extra spice today.”

The Northern Sask Football League has been in partnership with the Roughrider Foundation for several seasons. 

As part of the partnership, Rider players have attended camps in northern regions of the province, including Prince Albert and La Ronge. On some occasions, players from the league have traveled to Mosaic Stadium to watch a live CFL game.

 Karakochuk says having the partnership with the Roughrider Foundation has been beneficial to the league over the years.

“They’ve been good. We’ve had a partnership with the Riders for about six or seven years. They bring so much energy, and they are obviously role models. Now that guys are going to watch Rider games, it’s another feather in our cap.”

It was the second time Derrick Moncrief has been in Prince Albert in as many weeks. Moncrief took part in Sports On Central on Saturday, Apr. 29.

He says he has enjoyed working with young football players.

“It’s been awesome. Some kids it is their first time. It’s been awesome to teach them the fundamentals of football in this great city of Prince Albert. I’m elated.”

Moncrief had always wanted to be a professional football player. He looked up to both Roman Harper and Kevin Turner who were both NFL players that grew up in his hometown of Prattville, Alabama.

Moncrief says he remembers the days when he was a young football player looking up to his idols and that he wants to do as much as he can to give back to the game now that he is a professional football player.

“It’s everything for me. I remember when I was coming up. There were two players from my hometown that played in the NFL. I remember looking up to those guys and envisioning myself being in the NFL and professional sports and trying to get back. That’s the biggest thing we can do, we can spend money and stuff like that, but there’s nothing like spending time with the kids.”

With opening day for Roughrider training camp in the not so distant future, Moncrief says working at the camp has made him excited for the upcoming CFL season.

“I was running one drill and I thought I was in training camp. I had to really back off and remember that these are only kids and they are trying to learn and have fun. It’s definitely time for me to hit that switch so we can win the Grey Cup.”