The Saskatoon Valkyries dedicated their 2019 winning Western Women’s Canadian Football League (WWCFL) season to a coach they lost less than a month prior.
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They got by their last opponent, the Regina Riot, on June 29 at Mosaic Stadium — the same field where they learned of the tragic passing of Justin Filteau. The Valkyries coach was one of three people killed in a plane crash near Medicine Hat, Alta., while trying to get to their game in Regina on June 2.
Saskatoon went into the WWCFL championship game having outscored their opposition this season 273-20, but the Riot were two-time defending champions.
By halftime, there was just one major, which came from Valkyries running back Sam Matheson.
“Our defence was really the powerhouse for us, especially during the first half,” Matheson said.
“But we talked at half, we came together, we said, ‘We need to do this for ourselves, for our team. We need to get back into this game and win it for Justin.’”
The team returned in the second half prepared to finish strong and dethroned the Riot by a final score of 25-3. They won it for Filteau.
“The adversity that our team has experienced and then overcome, on this field, it means so much — more than words can even express,” Valkyries defensive back Ehjae Chan said.
“For us, to be here, to have played in this game, and to have pulled through, we really felt coach Filteau here today. This game was 100 per cent for him.”
Yesterday we presented our game ball from the June 2nd game to Ron Filteau. We signed that game ball and every player touched it before every game we played after that day. It was an honour to have Justin's dad at our game yesterday to celebrate the win together. #ForFilteau #ForeverAValkyrie #heartofavalkyrie #wwcfl
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