November 25, 2022

Alberta Bowl: Titans face friends and family for Tier 1 title

For a couple hours Saturday night, friends and family will be foes when the battle lines are drawn across Hellard Field at Shouldice Park in Calgary for the Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA) Tier 1 Brian Fryer Division championship game.

The last of six provincial title games taking place this weekend as part of Alberta Bowl 2022 kicks off at 6 p.m., pitting the Harry Ainlay Titans against the Raymond Comets, two teams that lack not for familiarity.

The head coaches, Harry Ainlay’s Tyler Greenslade and Raymond’s Connor Ralph, are close friends who played linebacker together with the University of Alberta Golden Bears a decade ago. The Titans’ offensive coordinator, former Green and Gold pass-catcher Brock Ralph, is Connor Ralph’s cousin. Brock Ralph’s brother Brett Ralph is part of the Comets’ staff. Brett Ralph is also among the more than half a dozen Golden Bears alumni that will be on the sidelines for the Brian Fryer championship game.

“Football’s a small community and there are always different connections, but it’s always refreshing to be able to play somebody that you have a mutual respect for, and that’s certainly what we have for everybody in the Raymond outfit,” says Greenslade, who was teammates with Brock Ralph for four seasons with the Golden Bears from 2011 to 2014.

“It’s not something that happens all the time so it’s always nice to play a game against some people that you grew up with. We’re looking forward to Saturday.”

Harry Ainlay’s players and Raymond’s players also know one another, from regular meetings on the gridiron. The Titans and Comets have played in four of the last five pre-seasons, including this August when Harry Ainlay won 25-15 in Raymond.

“They’re an extremely well-coached and talented team and a good program and there’s some familiarity and consistency in their game,” says Greenslade, whose team is 3-1 against the Comets since 2016. “We know if we ever schedule (a game against) them we’re going to have a really competitive game.”


Harry Ainlay hasn’t lost in 2022 and appeared at No. 1 in all nine editions of the Football Alberta Tier 1 rankings this year. The Titans won the Metro Edmonton High School Carr Division championship with a 40-14 victory over the Salisbury Sabres at Commonwealth Stadium on Nov. 5. They defeated the Sabres again, 42-21, in the Brian Fryer North championship last Saturday (Nov. 19) at Clarke Stadium to advance to the Alberta Bowl for a fifth consecutive post-season. Now Harry Ainlay looks to three-peat as ASAA Tier 1 champions.

“We need to limit their explosiveness on offence, take care of the ball ourselves on offence, play our game and trust in the process like we have all year and just go out and compete,” Greenslade says.

This will be the third all-time meeting between Harry Ainlay and Raymond in the Alberta Bowl Tier 1 championship game, with each having won once: Connor Ralph was a player for the Comets in 2010 when Raymond defeated the Titans 49-14 in the championship final. Harry Ainlay avenged that loss the following year, beating the Comets 21-16 to claim the provincial title in 2011.