November 13, 2022

HS Provincials: Royals advance to six-a-side title game

There will be a buzz in the hallways of Millwoods Christian the next couple weeks, as the Edmonton school’s six-a-side football team gets to set to defend its Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA) title.

On Saturday at Emerald Hills Stadium in Sherwood Park, the Millwoods Christian Royals punched their ticket to Alberta Bowl 2022 by defeating the Holy Redeemer Rebels 48-14 in the ASAA East Final. The Royals will now face the J.C. Charyk Hawks for the provincial six-a-side championship at Shouldice Park in Calgary at 1 p.m. Nov. 25.


Under the direction of head coach Rob Harrod, a former CFL wide receiver who spent two seasons with the Green and Gold (2000 and 2001), the Royals are making their fifth appearance in the provincial championship game over the last nine seasons and looking to capture the ASAA crown for a second straight year and third time in their history.

Royals football has become a great source of pride at Millwoods Christian, a K-12 school with an enrolment of just under 950 students. There will be a school-wide watch party at Millwoods Christian on Nov. 25 when the Royals take the Hawks, with staff and students cheering on as they stream the game live.

“People who’ve been around football understand the excitement about high school football,” says Harrod, who launched the team in 2008.  “Right from the get-go I think we really brought something special to the athletic program at our school.”

With just half of the number of players that are on the field in regular three-down football, the six-a-side version of the game allows schools the size of Millwoods Christian to partake in varsity competition on the gridiron. Many team members will play on both sides of the ball, and they must be able to fill many more roles much than just specializing in one or two facets of the game.

“I think six-a-side develops a very versatile athlete, a very versatile football player,” Harrod says.

The Royals are one of four teams to win the provincial six-a-side championship multiple times since it was added to the Alberta Bowl lineup in 2011. In a way, the Royals are heroes at their school: young Millwoods Christian students dream of suiting up for the Royals when they get to high school age. After the Royals’ defeated J.C. Charyk 60-48 in the Alberta Bowl last year, Millwoods Christian held a parade to celebrate its football team’s ASAA championship.

“The whole school was into it,” Harrod says. ““It was awesome, it was so cool to do.”

And they hope to do it again in a couple weeks.