A grade 11 student at Winkler's Garden Valley Collegiate caught 6 passes for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns as a slot receiver to to help Team Manitoba beat Team Saskatchewan in the High School Challenge Cup in May.

Elected as Team Captain prior to the game, Peyton Heide says the game in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan was the best competition he's come up against.
"We made a 30-man roster of players from three teams in our league to bring out to a Foam Lake," explains Heide, currently playing for the St. Vital Mustangs in the Rural Manitoba Football League (RMFL). "I was lucky to a part of that. Thing is, the Saskatchewan team is made up of 23 of their teams and their best players, all seniors. I think we only brought out about 8 or 9 seniors from our whole league. It was mainly grade 11s. We even had some grade 10s playing. This was against an all-senior team from Saskatchewan."

Heide says it was a nice change to be able to bond with players that he normally line-up against in the RMFL.

The final score of 44-33 in favor of Manitoba doesn't reflect the game that was tight from start to finish.

The defining moment came late in the fourth quarter said Heide.

"They had the ball, they were down 1 point and had a chance to go down, score a touchdown and pretty much win the game. Simple as that. With how their offense had been going, personally, I was not expecting us to come out with that one. But our defense came up with a massive stop on 3rd and 1. They ran straight down the middle, we got the tackle, and that's when all of us on the sidelines - we know. All the offense running out, we were jumping around, giving high-fives to everybody."

On their next drive, Team Manitoba ended up scoring a touchdown and 2-point convert.

"We never looked back from there. It was great! First time in 20 years for Manitoba to win. So, it'll be hosted in Manitoba next year. That's how it works."

Heide, who lined up as a slot receiver, was introduced to the sport by his dad, an avid NFL fan

"We would always throw [the football] around, always play in the basement when I was younger. I just remember we had our pylons set up down there. He was calling me out on routes - Blue 42, Red 15s, all that. Probably got my first jersey when I was 3. I was named after his favorite football player, Peyton Manning. We were a football family."

Heide also plays flag football.

"Flag football is really more about getting ready for tackle, getting your skills and getting conditioned. We do lots of conditioning. Thanks to Coach Funk for that. I’d probably say I like tackle more. It's a bigger team, more traveling and it seems more competitive."


Peyton with his mother Amanda after the winPeyton with his mother, Amanda, after the win.

Heide credits his parents for driving him to Winnipeg, the nearest location that offers his favorite sport.

"During April I was going in five times a week, for two different teams at the time. Now I'm done to two times a week. When tackle starts up again - probably in August - we'll go four times a week and that'll go till probably the end of November. At the start of December, I'm in a new league. It's a year-round thing. I love it."