The Calgary Booster Club, in partnership with the Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association (CSHSAA), has named this year’s recipients of the Harry Hood Memorial Football Scholarship.
The award – which was established in 1956 – is given annually to top student athletes in Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 football. It is named after Harry Hood, who played for the Calgary Stampeders from 1948 through 1952 before passing away due to cancer in 1954. Hood spent much of his time coaching high school football and believed strongly that football contributed greatly to positive growth in young people.
Here is more information about the 2023 winners from each division:
Division 1 – Noah Czuczman
A multi-sport athlete and the dedicated captain of the William Aberhart High School football team, Noah Czuczman has earned the respect of his teammates, coaches and teachers.
When he’s not lining up on both sides of the football as a defensive player or an offensive weapon, Czuczman can be found sweeping rocks with the curling team, making a splash in the pool with the dive team or participating in a number of track-and-field sports.
Dr. Tamara Delong – the defensive coordinator, special teams coach and linebacker coach for the football team – described the Grade 12 student as a “wonderful human being” who truly loves football.
“During the three seasons I have had the pleasure of coaching Noah, he has always shown outstanding leadership by being one of the first – if not the very first – player to practice, leading by example by always having the utmost respect for coaches and learning both the defense and the offensive playbooks,” said Delong.
“With his true love of the game, he shows up to practice as a pure example of excitement and both physical and mental football readiness. Noah has a genuine love for football which gives him so much passion and compassion in the ability to help teach and coach other players to further both their own football abilities and the ability of the team.”
Delong noted that, with the team short a defensive line coach, Czuczman stepped up to help with coaching when needed.
Head coach Marlon Mohammed made similar observations of a dedicated and integral part of the team over the last three seasons.
“Noah possesses remarkable athleticism, exceptional football skills, and a strong work ethic. He consistently pushes himself to reach new heights, both in practice and in games,” said Mohammed.
“He is not only exceptional athlete but also an outstanding student and a person of impeccable character.”
Looking ahead, Czuczman hopes football will continue to play a significant role in his life well into the future.
“There is nothing I love more than being part of a team,” said Czuczman, who has also volunteered as a snow shoveler and a junior football coach while juggling his own athletic and scholastic schedules.
“I intent to continue my passion for the game with the goal of play U Sports football and eventually coaching football so that I may pass on my love for the game to future generations.”
Division 2 – Josh Martel
Josh Martel has a long-standing love for the gridiron that has enriched his life in countless ways.
“Football has always been my passion, ever since I first strapped up my helmet on the torn up atom practice field when I was just seven years old,” said the Grade 12 student from Bishop Carroll High School.
“Being a student-athlete has taught me invaluable lessons on time management, responsibility, and dedication.”
Added Martel: “Along with the teaching of hard work and leadership, football has also provided me with repeated opportunities to work with a team and remain humble and gracious, regardless of the outcome.”
The quarterback has an active athletic schedule. In addition to playing football, he competes in swimming, basketball, badminton and track and field.
His first love, however, is football.
“Football is such a key part of my life now, and I hope that I will be able to continue with this passion of mine into university and into the future, whether that be playing, coaching, or simply watching for the love of the game,” said Martel.
The coaching staff at Bishop Carroll have certainly enjoyed watching Martel compete.
“I can unequivocally say that Josh is one of the finest quarterbacks and overall football players I’ve been afforded the opportunity to coach in my career,” said David Holowaychuk, the school’s athletic director and head football coach.
“Our team and program wouldn’t be where it is today without this young man’s presence. He is a consummate leader to our younger athletes, helps with film and game breakdowns, always is the first at practice and one of the last to leave. If you were to put together a list of characteristics you would want in a student athlete, Josh possesses them all.”
Defensive Coordinator Michael Mahoney described Martel as a role model with an impressive academic record.
“Josh has consistently displayed a remarkable aptitude for leadership. His teammates not only respect his football prowess but also look up to him for his strength of his character,” noted Mahoney.
“Josh’s contribution to our team off the field sets him apart. He often takes time to mentor younger players, instilling in them the values of hard work, dedication, and team spirit.”
Division 3 – Emerson Joy
He’s an honours student, an active volunteer and – as his name indicates – a joy to coaches and teammates alike.
Emerson Joy is also a football player who lets his work speak for itself.
“Emerson’s commitment to sportsmanship is a true reflection of his character. In an era where social media often encourages grandstanding and flashy behaviour, Emerson remains grounded. He doesn’t engage in excessive self-promotion, trash-talking, or showboating. Instead, he prioritizes teamwork, respect for opponents, and celebrating with his teammates,” said Mike Schwieder, the head coach at St. Mary’s High School.
“He is known for his polite and unassuming nature, always willing to lend a helping hand to fellow students. His leadership within the school community is evident through his willingness to tutor students when time permits between his rigorous practice schedule. Emerson’s coachability is a standout trait, as he readily applies techniques and strategies shown to him, unafraid of the learning process.”
On the field, Schwieder described a dedicated and relentless competitor.
“His ability to chase down opponents, fight through blocks, and contribute to the team’s success makes him an invaluable asset to any sports program,” said the coach.
In addition to football, Joy plays basketball and track and field, and has helped with coaching Grade 10 football players.
“From my earliest years, a passion for athletics – particularly football – has been my guiding force, shaping both my identity as an athlete and as an individual,” said Joy.
Each award recipient receives a $1,000 scholarship, sponsored by the Calgary Stampeders, and a plaque from the Calgary Booster Club.