Wednesday , 5 October 2022
It was all smiles after the game, as the Cold Lake Fighter Jets huddle for a memory they'll not soon forget.

Fighter Jets “built, not bought” super squad are national champions

The cherry on top of a perfect season.

Fireworks, hundreds of fans, and a winning football team — the Cold Lake Fighter Jets are CMFL champions after defeating the GTA All-Stars 35-18 at Saturday’s final.

It’ll take awhile for it to kick in, but finally. We did all that work. Three years of grinding,” said GM and safety Damen Schaub after the game. 

After a start full of jitters, Cold Lake settled down, and got a big interception from Schaub to set up a 14-10 lead at halftime.

That was the separation the team needed to earn breathing room in the second half and parlay that success to victory.

“That was very big, not even just for the game, but for him personally,” said league MVP Teague Sherman. “We talked about the next play. There was a mistake. The next play came back, pick, that’s what we do. We always pick each other up. We bend, we don’t break.

“I don’t know last the last time I won a championship in general, this year, we got two. It’s a great end to a good season. We had doubters all year. [We] Talked about bought not built. Absolutely not. We came to Cold Lake to have fun, enjoy this beautiful city and play football on a Saturday night underneath the lights.” 

It’s a team built with teenagers to players in their mid-40s. They come from the Lakeland area, they come from Ontario. From far and wide and all sorts of different backgrounds, this year’s Fighter Jets did something special: a perfect 9-0 record almost ten years to the day the Lloyd Vandals won, which many of the players also suited up for.

“We came, we saw, we conquered. We knew we were the best in the nation. You feel? We came to execute. That’s all we did. We gelled on the field, off the field, got together to watch the film that we needed to practice.” 

After allegations three years ago that warranted the team’s season ended due to paying for player’s flights, there were teams that maintained the Fighter Jets were doing something this year. But those claims were without merit the AFL determined.

It was a rallying cry the team feed off of: built, not bought.

“It was just all business. We came in, we knew what was gonna happen all year, we just did our job. This is what happens when you do your job and nobody got bought. Nobody got bought. Built baby, not bought.” 

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.