The Edmonton Wildcats Football Club can be traced to the formation of the Alberta Junior Football League. The four teams of that inaugural autumn of 1948 were the Edmonton Maple Leafs (now the Edmonton Wildcats), Edmonton Southside Athletics, Calgary Westend Tornados, and Calgary Northhill Blizzard. The original team colors were green and gold until 1958.
As the Edmonton Maple Leafs, the team experienced early success, and in 1951 hosted the National Final for the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), losing to the Hamilton Tigers, the forerunners of the Hamilton TigerCats of the Canadian Football League.
In 1952 the Edmonton Football Association was formed. It sponsored two teams in the Alberta Football League, one being the Edmonton Maple Leafs who change their name to the Edmonton Wildcats. You might be interested to know that although for many years the Wildcat logo has featured a mountain lion or cougar, the original name “Wildcat” referred to an oil worker. As well, 1952 marked the second appearance of the Edmonton Wildcats in the national final in Windsor Ontario, resulting in a narrow loss to Windsor A.K.O. In 1958 the team’s colors were changed to blue and white.
In 1960, the Edmonton Wildcat Football Club incorporated as a self governing society. Due to the construction of the Commonwealth Stadium in 1976 on the site of the old Wildcat practice field, the Wildcats took up residence at Tiger Goldstick Park in Southeast Edmonton. 1976 was also the initial year of the Prairie Junior Football Conference.
The founding members were the Edmonton Wildcats, Edmonton Huskies, Red Deer Packers, Calgary Mohawks, Calgary Colts, Medicine Hat Rattlers, Saskatoon Hilltops, and the Regina Rams.
The Wildcats have been successful in three appearances in the national final. In 1967 they defeated the Burlington Braves in Regina. In 1977, the Wildcats defeated the Hamilton Hurricanes in Hamilton and in 1983 defeated the Ottawa Sooners in Windsor. The Wildcats also made an appearance in the National Final in Nanaimo, BC, in 2006, and lost in a close game to the Vancouver Island Raiders. This was following the team’s first undefeated regular season in team history. The team also finished atop the PFC in 2007 with a record of 6 – 1 – 1, but were defeated by the Saskatoon Hilltops in the PFC final. In 2009 the Wildcats made it back to the National Final, the Canadian Bowl, but again lost to the VI Raiders.
In 1994 the conference dropped its “junior” designation and is now known as the Prairie Football Conference. As well the team moved to its current location at Rundle Park. The “Wildcat Lair” has been established as the permanent home of the Edmonton Wildcats with a fully equipped clubhouse complete with locker room, weight training facilities, and meeting rooms (outfitted for video support). Lights were added to the adjacent practice field in 1998 providing for a first rate football training facility.
The Prairie Thunder from Regina joined the conference for the 2000 season, and more recently in 2002 the Winnipeg Rifles started play as the newest member of the PFC. The PFC consists of 6 teams: Edmonton Wildcats, Edmonton Huskies, Calgary Colts, Prairie Thunder, Saskatoon Hilltops, and Winnipeg Rifles.