Emmarae Dale becomes first female player on Saskatoon Hilltops roster

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Dale is being thrust into a position that is known for its physical contact. It’s not like she’s playing wide receiver or defensive corner back, where contact may be more limited.

While there hasn’t been many full-contact or tackling drills yet, she’s ready to meet the challenge head on, she said.

“It’s definitely a little different from women’s football but, so far, it’s been good. It hasn’t been too, too bad.”

Coming from the Valkyries, things haven’t been all that different other than the “obvious fact” that she’s playing against men now.

“The pace is definitely quicker,” offered Dale, “but I’m excited to keep learning and growing as a football player.”


Dale comes from a true football family of six siblings.

Two brothers, Anthony and Donovan, both played for the Hilltops. Donovan also played U Sports football for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

Two other brothers played high school football.

So maybe this isn’t the first time Emmarae is tackling some male football players?

“I guess we had scrums growing up,” she said with a laugh. “We were just around football a lot. We’d do schoolyard stuff or little family games, but usually touch. We weren’t getting too competitive.

“That’s where I got my competitiveness, just from playing little games like that all the time.”

Dale, a College of Kinesiology graduate, is now working at the Ignite Athletics training facility.


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