With snow still on the ground, Lakeland area football players are starting to train for brighter days, like when the 2022 Alberta Football League season kicks off.
The Cold Lake Fighter Jets held their first of several winter camps at the C2 on Friday.
It’s shaping up to be a complete, normal season for the club after disruptions and a shortened 2021 year that saw four games.
Coach and president Dan Jubinville said these winter camps, while getting players in shape for the coming season, also act as great recruiting tools.
“There’s definitely going to be recruiting. We are probably going to have a squad of 45-50 guys this year,” said Jubinville. “Once we get into the main camps, that’s when you’ll see a lot more of the guys. But you know what, all this helps, it gets everybody ready, and the guys that aren’t here should be doing stuff after hours.
“We are actually trying this year to switch some of our practices and some of our pre-season warmups and training camps in and around [the area]. We’re going to be in Lloyd and Cold Lake and Bonnyville to try and give the guys that are driving a chance for us to drive to them just to keep it a little bit more fair,” he added.
The Cold Lake Fighter Jets began in 2019. Now one of seven teams leaguewide, the Fighter Jets will kick off the 2022 campaign against the Edmonton Elite on June 4 at Tom Varughese Field in Cold Lake.
There are six regular season games schedules, concluding with a road game against the Central Alberta Buccaneers on July 23.
The league boasts former professional ball players, including Teague Sherman, who is returning to the Fighter Jets after joining the club late in 2019.
The defensive back who played parts of six seasons in the CFL, said he hopes capable football players will try out.
“It’s just a great way to continue playing football. A lot of people don’t know, there’s other leagues out there past high school and university,” said Sherman. “But this is just a great opportunity to not only be physically active, but take out some energy, some aggression, especially with everything going on in the world and might be a good place for people to come get a release.
“It’s definitely competitive. The more you put pads on in general – everybody gets competitive. There’s no way anybody can play soft when you put pads on, so it’s a lot of fun,” said Sherman.
Dates are listed for upcoming March winter camps to be hosted at the Cold Lake Energy Center.
- March 11, 2022 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm
- March 18, 2022 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm
- March 26, 2022 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm