In­ter­na­tional pro­gram shines on field

The Drumheller Mail - - Sports - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

Drumheller Com­mu­nity Foot­ball has grown in its scope and suc­cesses in its short his­tory, from sim­ply field­ing a team to a place where stu­dent-ath­letes are given a chance to learn and de­velop.

The pro­gram has seen suc­cess on the field, but just as im­por­tantly has seen play­ers go on to suc­cess­ful ca­reers, in var­i­ous fields, tak­ing their lessons from the field to their pro­fes­sional lives. Many have also con­tin­ued play­ing foot­ball at the Col­le­giate and mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Univer­sity level as well as ju­nior foot­ball.

Some of this goes be­yond the bor­ders of the prov­ince, or even the coun­try.

A grow­ing com­po­nent of the pro­gram is the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the in­ter­na­tional stu­dents who come to the val­ley to study at DVSS. For many, this is their first ex­pe­ri­ence with Amer­i­can style foot­ball, but they are ex­celling on the field.

This year the Ti­tans have two play­ers from Korea on the squad and they are play­ing well. Myung Ju Jung is a line­man and is in his third year. Sam Jung is a line­backer and kicker, this is his first year play­ing for the Ti­tans.

Sam played bas­ket­ball last year as well. At home in Korea, he says soc­cer is the most pop­u­lar sport, but he also played bas­ket­ball in Korea.

Myung Ju says he is en­joy­ing play­ing foot­ball and that he has fun. As a line­man, he likes the hit­ting.

“It gets the stress out,” he laughs.

He says there is not much in­ter­est in foot­ball in Korea, but it is grow­ing, but he has a chance to prac­tice with some play­ers there.

He says there are about 8-10 uni­ver­si­ties in Korea that now have teams. Many of the play­ers are com­ing back af­ter their mil­i­tary ser­vice to play.

Coach Ken Fournier says in­ter­na­tional play­ers have made a big dif­fer­ence in their pro­gram. Over the years they have had play­ers from Mex­ico, The Czech Repub­lic, Bel­gium, Turkey, Brazil, the UAE, China, Nige­ria, and Ja­pan.

“They bring lots of en­ergy and ex­cite­ment and they have the op­por­tu­nity to go home and play fur­ther,” said Fournier.

He says the sport is grow­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally and for these play­ers to get this ex­pe­ri­ence in Canada, and then go home, it gives them a great ad­van­tage. He adds that not only do they con­trib­ute to foot­ball but to other pro­grams in­clud­ing soc­cer and bas­ket­ball.

Sam is in Grade 11, so he will have an­other sea­son of bas­ket­ball and foot­ball. Myung Ju is in Grade 12 so this will be his fi­nal sea­son. He is plan­ning to con­tinue his stud­ies at the Univer­sity in Cal­gary so he is un­sure if he will con­tinue to play. He does want to one day coach.

“If I get a chance, I will try,” he said.

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