Football is a game of numbers. The Saskatoon Hilltops are No. 1.
They’re first in Prairie Conference titles.
They’re first in Canadian junior championships.
They’re the first football club to have a female player.
In Canadian Junior Football League history, Andrew Busby is first in career receptions. Sheldon Ball is first in career pass efficiency. Rod Janzen is first career punting average. Tom Sargeant is first in seasons coached. Nine Hilltops have been named defensive player of the year in Canada. No team has more.
A flashback: It’s the spring of 1947. Len Richardson, who is the general manager of Ambassador Motors on 2nd Avenue, and his friend, StarPhoenix sports editor Cam McKenzie, say Saskatoon should have a junior football team. A meeting is held. A committee snaps to it. The Hilltops are born.
They practised on the field behind Tech Collegiate on Spadina Crescent. Their dressing room was in the nearby Arena.
The Hilltops started their first season with a doubleheader in early September, playing the Dales in Regina on Saturday and the Maroons in Moose Jaw on Monday.
That was 75 years ago. The Hilltops have the longest-running junior football program in Canada. They’re No. 1.