Innisfail Minor Football earns shot at Kraft Celebration Tour

Innisfail Minor Football Association is one of 20 community organizations across Canada to become finalists in the fourth annual Kraft Celebration Tour and 10 will each walk away with $25,000 from Kraft.

Innisfail Minor Football Association is one of 20 community organizations across Canada to become finalists in the fourth annual Kraft Celebration Tour and 10 will each walk away with $25,000 from Kraft.

The top 10 organizations will be chosen by online voting.

If Innisfail wins, they will use the money to purchase new equipment, including a scoreboard.

Innisfail Peewee head coach Wally Genz was thrilled to find out his association reached the top 20 earlier this week.

“I literally jumped a foot in the air,” said Genz, who coached the Innisfail Cyclones and won the provincial championship in 2011.

“Last year was a historic year. Everything just fell into place,” he said about the small-town football association with an underdog reputation.

Genz said the association isn’t as well equipped as others and winning the Kraft Celebration Tour would have a big impact locally.

“Every community has their own reasons for wanting the $25,000. We did it on behalf of Innisfail Minor Football, but we do so much cross training with our football program to where it benefits hockey, lacrosse, basketball, soccer.

“Almost all of minor sports in Innisfail will be able to benefit.”

A panel of judges chose the 20 finalists from 419 nominations from sports organizations, schools and recreation facilities, and communities across Canada.

The 20 finalists are paired to compete in online voting matches. Innisfail Minor Football Association goes up against Mitford Pond, of Cochrane, on July 11.

People can vote at kraftcelebrationtour.ca.

TSN will also help celebrate the wins with live SportsCentre broadcast from the winning communities.

Genz said Central Alberta football is like one big family and hopes football players and fans from across the region will come to Innisfail for the broadcast if it wins.

It will be up to voters so association members are spreading the word to vote for Innisfail as many times as they can on July 11.

“This weekend in Innisfail we’re going to hit the town and we’ll also reach out to other areas.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com