Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Valkyries in the news

Mathesons make football family affair in Mother of a win

By: Don Rice for The StarPhoenix, May 11, 2015

A dare from a daughter to her mother several months ago led to a one-of-a kind Mother’s Day experience for the pair. Second-year Saskatoon Valkyries running back Samantha Matheson and her mother, rookie linebacker Crystal Matheson, became the team’s first mother-daughter duo to suit up together during their home opener Sunday.

Saskatoon thoroughly dominated the Winnipeg Wolfpack with a 75-0 shutout at Saskatoon Minor Football Field.

“I was pretty surprised when she said she would actually play,” said Sam who challenged her mom to join her tackle football team in a phone conversation the two had over the winter while Sam was working in B.C. “I was not actually expecting that, but I’m super happy that she came out. She was nervous at first, but now she’s killing it. She was a little beast out there — I love it.”
Second-year running back Sam Matheson (left) and her
mother, first-year defensive back Kris Matheson (right).
Photo: Liam Richards, The StarPhoenix

Kris, a softball player for many years, had never played any form of football — tackle, touch or flag. She decided to attend a couple Valkyries practices and see how they went. She loved it so much, she kept on playing.

In their very first practice together, the two faced the dilemma of what to do when they had to tackle one another. The 20-year-old veteran daughter Sam got the better of her less experienced 39-year-old mother Kris.

“I thought I would be nice — because I pay the bills to fix her — so I backed off, and she sent me flying,” Kris said. “I was quite sore after that.”

Kris showed she learned from that experience registering two tackles and an assisted tackle in her first Western Women’s Canadian Football League game. Meanwhile Sam, who has a background in rugby, racked up three rushing touchdowns, of 30-, nine- and six-yards, and was second on the Valkyries with 100 yards rushing. She had two other touchdowns called back due to penalties.

“Sam is a special back. She has very quick feet and her ability to cut on a dime makes her incredibly hard to tackle,” said Valkyries head coach Jeff Yausie. “I think the neat thing to see when (Kris) was out there is she’s fearless. She got her nose in there right away and made some good hard tackles.”

The Matheson’s had their own cheering section in the stands with over 20 friends and family members including Sam’s sisters (Kendal, 17 and Makenna, 15) and brother (Ethan, 13) as well as proud father Adam Matheson. One family friend held up a sign periodically cheering Sam on one side and Kris on the other.

“I’ve got two more daughters,” said Adam. “I can’t wait to see if we can get all four of them playing together. They’re rugby players, both of them, so it would be a natural progression for those two.”

The Valkyries, who scored six touchdowns in the first quarter alone and led 53-0 at half, saw Julene Friesen also score three touchdowns (46- and 73-yard runs, 55-yard pass) as well as single rushing majors for Stacey Boldt (17 yards) and Carly Dyck (25 yards). Marci Kiselyk scored on a 30-yard pass and Dyck hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass.

The Valkyries next travel to Regina to face the Riot on Sunday night at 7 p.m. at Mosaic Stadium.