Saturday , 19 June 2021

St. Paul high-schooler commits to playing football at Acadia

Image submitted: Owen Breast signs his letter of intent to play with the Acadia Axemen next year last Wednesday.

One of the St. Paul Lions top football players from last season is getting the call to continue his career out east.

Owen Breast, Grade 12 student as St. Paul Regional High School committed to the Acadia Axemen last Wednesday.

“It was surreal, to be honest. I really couldn’t believe it until I saw the letter of intent. I don’t know, dreams come true,” said Breast.

After St. Paul snuck into the Provincial Final by upsetting the Stettler Wildcats, Breast got the attention of the Axemen’s coach and conversations started from there.

“It was just the bigger platform I guess that brought me the opportunity to play there,” he said.

Breast had wanted to play post-secondary football for a long time, but didn’t think he’d get the opportunity. He said it wasn’t on his radar.

St. Paul football coach Todd Tanasichuk said it’s good for their football players to see another player moving onto the next level.

“He was a pretty regular performer for us. He was our main offensive weapon. He was solid on defense. He caught their eye,” said Tanasichuk.

Breast was the main ball carrier this season for the Lions but played stoutly at the linebacker spot. Acadia isn’t quite sure where they’re going to slot the athlete quite yet.

“He’s versatile. Owen had started with us back in Grade 7 so he’s gone through 6 years of football. Linebacker was his main forte.

“He picked up a lot of speed over the last year. I think doing track with the high school team in the spring helped him and he got a lot faster. In the fall when we played in Bonnyville, it was pretty evident that he was going to be a weapon for us,” said Tanasichuk.

Breast said his coaches can take a lot of credit too.

“They were just pushing me to get better because they’re really big on that. Them constantly pushing me every practice and their dedication to the players and the team overall,” said Breast.

Breast has lived in St. Paul in his life and it absorbing all he can before leaving to the Atlantic coast.

“[I’m] Excited, nervous, kinda scared, but anxious, but really happy I get to go and play football.”

He plans on taking a Bachelor of Sociology before entering law school.

But Tanasichuk says don’t rule anything out, since Jeremy Fagnan, a Bonnyville boy, performed at the CFL east regional combine earlier this month.

“I said, ‘well maybe we’ll see you in the CFL one day’ and he kind of chuckled. But I said don’t sell yourself short man. You didn’t see this happening and it’s happening. Work hard. If you don’t give yourself an opportunity – it won’t happen,” said Tanasichuk.

“Sure, it’s a longshot…but it’s opening people’s eyes to kids in rural areas and saying ‘Hey, they can play.'”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.