Wildcats Head Coach Darcy Park appointed to U16 Western All-Stars

Wildcats Head Coach Darcy Park appointed to U16 Western All-Stars

Allie Stanton

August 31, 2017

On August 16, 2017, Head Coach Darcy Park of the Edmonton Wildcats was appointed as Head Coach of the Football Canada U16 Western All-Stars. This comes after a gold medal performance at the Football Canada U16 Western Challenge, held in Lethbridge this past July 1-8, 2017. The U16 Western All-Stars team will be heading to Texas in January 2018 to battle it out against Team USA at the International Bowl.

The Wildcats Communications volunteer Allie Stanton sat down with Darcy on August 30, to ask him some pressing and not so pressing questions about what this next experience with Football Canada means to him and what he is looking forward to this coming January.

How does being named the Head Coach of the U16 Western Canada All-Stars make you feel?

It’s very exciting, and a nice change. The chance to work with Team Alberta and High School coaches and then winning the tournament in Lethbridge was great and now working and coaching with coaches from across Western Canada is going to be exciting.

What does this team mean for the football program in Alberta and Western Canada?

When you go down to Texas it is a great experience for the players and the coaches. You get treated really well in Texas, and this was before when we were just going down as Team Alberta. And now that we are going down as the Western provinces it means our level of competition and players are going to be that much better, and they are going to be much more excited. Prep time may be scarce leading up to it, but it’s going to be great having people bring their experiences in and see how we can build a team fast.

What is it like coaching in the AT&T Stadium on game day?

It is incredible! I feel like a twelve-year-old again. When you go down there, Football USA treats us like we are in the “big time”. The players get excited to be there, but the coaches get into the coaches room and we are all equally as excited. The big score board is on, and it’s just such a great experience.

With the roster being announced, which players are you excited to work with and coach?

It’s a fantastic roster, and the kids from our area that were chosen and that we are excited about are Eli Hetlinger (Quarterback at Harry Ainlay) and Ajou Ajou who is a Receiver (Brooks, Alberta).  There is also Running Back Jaden Caston (Henry Wise Wood – Calgary, Alberta) who I got to coach when I coached the Alberta Running Backs, watching him develop and grow in the little time we have together is going to be neat, but I also want to see how he will be able to compete at the next level.

What are some of the main differences between American Football and Canadian Football?

The biggest thing is the size of the field, and the number of men on the field so that is something that the skill position players will have to get used to because they don’t have as much time to set up their routes as a receiver.  The no motion rule is something that we have to spend a lot of time hammering into our team because only one player is allowed in motion in American rules, and players cannot be moving towards the line of scrimmage. In Canadian football, we try to move as many guys around as we can.

What food are you looking forward to trying while in Texas?

We have a little restaurant in Arlington, called Papasitto’s has the best Mexican food I have ever had – it’s unreal!  We have gone there a few times before, and I am hoping to get our Football Canada staff there too.


The Wildcats organization is very proud of Coach Park, and we cannot wait to watch him this coming January as his Head Coach journey continues with the U16 Western All-Stars with Football Canada.