Q: Tell us about your trip to the grey cup?
A: “I started playing football in grade 10 with Medicine Hat High school, but got more responsibility & talented in grade 11 & 12 which gave me more confidence. I was never really the best behaved kid back then, so I didn’t really care about too much, especially school, so that got me into trouble trying to get into university out of high school. After high school, I went and plays 3 years of junior, 2 yrs in Calgary for the Calgary Colts and one in Kelowna Okanogan after a bit of upgrading. I followed older brother’s footsteps to university in Calgary where I met Coach Blake Mill and he just molded me into a man and a professional. He helped me with my attitude issues and it was kind of university where I made that transition to make this a career as well as getting ready for the professional level. Going into my 3rd & 4th year, I played in the National Championship and gained professional interest with scouts and agents calling me. May 2011 I got drafted and now I am going into my 6th season of the CFL. We just won the Grey Cup which was amazing, because the older you get and the years kind of keep ticking by. You never are sure if you’re going to play in the grey cup or are ever going to get a ring, because you hear of people playing 10-12yrs without ever winning a grey cup!”
Q: What was it like to win the Grey Cup?
A: “Pretty cool when you see the green and gold confetti confetti falling and all of the sudden you are holding the grey cup in front of the cameras on the field. Someone is giving you a t-shirt and a hat that says ‘Edmonton Eskimoes 2015 Champions.’ You know it’s pretty surreal and it’s just like something you see on TV! Then you walk into the change room and it’s just like something you see on TV where the whole change room is piled up with champagne bottles everywhere and it’s just a big party.”
Quinn Skelton Interview
Q: How do you give back to the community?
A: “Seen a lot of kids go away and then come back after to raise families and becoming tax payers and contributing as positive people in the community. It’s definitely rewarding seeing that”
Q: What makes this schools program unique?
A: “There’s a lot of great programs that do a lot of great things in the province, but I think our consistency here in town. We have a very stable group of coaches and I know our coaches definitely put the kids first and prepare them for the next level while building better people in the mean time.”
Q: What makes your program unique?
A: I have surrounded myself with some really great guys. We have coaches with our program who have graduated from here and they are quite invested. I think that’s what makes our program quite a bit different is the culture. Out of our 7 or 8 coaches, 5 of them are grads. Our coaches are hugely invested! ”
Q: When did Nate start playing?
A: “He played from Bantam and was a good young athlete, but he didn’t have a lot of confidence then. He started playing for us in grade 10 and he was a pretty young kid with great potential. He actually broke is ankle before the provincial game in his grade 10 year and his brother Corey was on the team that year and he was on that provincial team.”
Q:When did you notice there was something special about Nate?
A: “His grade 11 year he started to mature athletically and then his grade 12 yr was very special. He was a one man machine in a lot of our games and he literally won a couple games for us just on his athletic ability. Grade 12 was a fantastic year!”
Q: Why do you think he was special and what made him have that year?
A: “Very competitive family with the older bros and both Corey & Trevor went on ahead of him and played for the University of Calgary Dinos. Real rough & tumble competitive family. He might have been the best athlete out of the group of the four boys. Great speed and just his athletic hand eye coordination. He’s a very good athlete!”
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: “I like Nate’s story in that it took him a few years to recognize his ability as an athlete because it came natural to him. Once he did that he really turned around as an athlete and made it to the CFL and won the grey cup are all results of the mental and emotional changes that he had as an athlete. I think that’s the most remarkable.” “Mental part had to line up with his physical part and from there he became a lot better athlete and person. Now he speaks to a lot of kids around the province about making changes in his life and I know the church is a big one for him to change things around. ”
Q: Last words?
A: “Just real proud of what Nathan has done and his accomplishments with the CFL and the grey cup championship. It’s really a pleasure to see him giving back to the game and supporting us at Hat High. He definitely makes himself available to the boys and helps out when he’s in town. He comes back and is still part of the program. He’ll lift weights with the boys and work out in the gym.”