1968 Saskatoon Hilltops Football Club

Accomplishments: Canadian Junior Football Champions, 1968.

With leadership from veteran line-backers Don Seaman and Mark Abraham along with rookie quarterback Dave Pickett, the Hilltops set their sights on the Canadian championship.

Although Pickett was a rookie he learned and adapted quickly through instruction from head coach Al Ledingham. Pickett had a stellar season, resulting in him being named Rookie-of -the-Year and All-Star quarterback of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan League.

There was a strong rivalry between the Hilltops and the Regina Rams, so when they met in the two game total point league final it was a hard fought battle. The Hilltops won the first game convincingly, 35-15 but fell short in the second game 17-13. With a combined total of 48-32 the Hilltops advanced to the Western Canadian semifinal against the Edmonton Huskies.

The semifinal went right until the very last minute, but with the Hilltops defence stopping all breaks into the end zone they defeated the Huskies 12-7. The Western final was an easier matchup and the Hilltops blanked the Vancouver Meralomas

The Hilltops were off to the Canadian finals held in Edmonton versus the Eastern representative, the Ottawa Sooners. This was the first time National T.V. cameras were covering the game. The championship game was a struggle due to injuries, but the Hilltops pushed through adversity to capture the Canadian Junior Football championship with a 28-19 win over the Sooners. Pickett was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, quite an accomplishment given his rookie status. Seaman also had an outstanding performance during the final to cap off his Hilltop career. Seaman was awarded the Manitoba-Saskatchewan All-Star Linebacker all four years of his career, the Dr. Bert Oja trophy for the league’s top linebacker twice and the Hilltop graduate of the year in 1968.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1971.

Back Row: Tom Dutton, Len Bell, Brian Sopatyk, Owen Charmbury Max Abraham, Wayne Perkins, Don Seaman, Don Bjarnarson, Dick Chinn, Len Hamm, Al Rankin

Fourth Row: Jim Seaman, Bob Korpan, Chuck Porter, Tony Saretski, Clarence Garvie, Kay MacDonald, Al Ledingham, Paul Schoenhals, Barry Mooney, Keith Kozak, John Storey

Third Row: Stan Polak, Gord Remmen, Archie Thompson, Dave Pickett, Doug Rudolph, Garry Reid, Dave Bowler, Darryl Chambers

Second Row: Walt Fingler, Ben Mitchell, Don Bentham, Brian Jones, Gord Simle, Hal Lackie

Front Row: Mel Hitchings, Doug Tastad, Gerry Phillips, Rick Wakeman, Gerry Karpenko, Glen Ponomarenko, Mark Schoenhals, Lyle Johnson, George Calder, Bob Falkner