Summer break will be a little shorter for Cochrane's own Jesse Groot.

The local product made the U18 Team Alberta Blue as a 16-year-old at the linebacker position, and will compete in the Western Showcase from July 19-27 in Sherwood Park.

"I'm super excited, looking forward to it, it's going to be great." Says Groot.

Initial tryouts for the team were held in May, while the final selection camp took place from June 11-12, with Football Alberta selecting the top 80 players from around Alberta, and creating two separate teams, one going to the Canada Cup, and the other to the Western Showcase.

"The first set of tryouts were in Calgary out there early in the morning they started, I think it was 9 a.m., and I got through. Everything was super organized, they came in, told everybody where they were going in their station and, from there it was just play best football you can, and I think that's what I did. I played to the best of my ability." Says Groot.

Going up against other high school players older than himself Groot says that going up agaisnt that level of competition was a great learning experience.

"It was a great experience, it was always a learning experience, and to learn from those older guys and getting to be friends with those older guys. It was obviously a very, very high level of competition, especially me being a bit younger but you just got to match that level of competition and then eventually become better than them. You just got to have heart, and keep playing."

Now that he's made the team Groot says that the work doesn't stop there.

"There's a big e-mail that I got saying be in shape. If you're not accessing the gym they put some super helpful workouts with just body weight, workouts that will help you excel for the tournament. And other than that like I just came back from the gym. You got to be ready for this like it's some. It's all on you. They're testing you, to see if you will succeed in football for the future."

The Western Challenge itself will be a similar schedule to what University football players might see.

"We'll be up there for the Western Challenge for two weeks and every day, it's two or three practices per day. Obviously with the team and team building events as well." Says Groot.

To add to the excitement Groot will be joined on team Alberta Blue by fellow Cochrane High School Cobras, Tate Pickard (defensive back), and Nathan Jasmin-Cara (offensive line).

"It's amazing. That's all I could ask for to make memories with those guys, especially going into one more year of high school with them, and they're older than me. I'm very good friends with them. They welcomed me very politely into the program when I first started, and that's where the friendship really started and I'm really excited to see what goes on when we're there.”

Fellow Cobra Ethan Clazie (receiver) made the Canada Cup roster.

The 5'10" Middle Linebacker hadn't played organized football prior to entering High School, and credits his coaches with helping him become the football player he is now.

"I'd like to thank the coaches of our Cochrane Cobras. They're amazing. They run a great program, it's the best program in all the sports that I’ve played. Super nice, super strict when you need them to be and super tame and nice off the field. Also, I'd like to thank my Calgary Cowboys coaches, for the spring league in Calgary and they were super. They treated me amazingly. They taught me, and I excelled in my football knowledge even more over the spring. They got me ready for the team Alberta tryouts, and the high school season they were amazing.”

Groot says that his goal is to play at the university level here in Canada.

"My dream is to play university football. That's my overall goal right now. That's what I have written over the top of my bed every morning so I can read it and remember."