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Saturday , 31 July 2021

Hopes for spring football season out there, but restrictions stand in the way

There is potential for a spring football season, but structured games against live opponents are still dependent on more restrictions loosening.

Bonnyville Bandits (bantam) coach Robbie Cole says there is a tentative schedule if the provincial health restrictions move into further steps.

“It’s basically all hinging on what the government puts out. I mean, it’s tough right now, you’re allowed 10 I believe outside but they still gonna be three meters apart. And there’s a ton of rules you got to follow, it’s a little tough to put a practice together for football, considering you need 12 aside,” said Cole.

“I think going forward, we’re gonna play it by ear for the next few weeks. If we get something that’s going to happen, I’m kind of an all or nothing guy. I don’t want to have kids out here just running around three times a week, you can’t really do much for drills and stuff, right?”

If the province were to move into Step 3 of loosening restrictions, there would further easing of youth sport and recreation activities, but that exactly entails is unknown, and with the growth of variant COVID cases the conversations around relaxing rules are declining.

In an interview earlier this March, St. Paul Bengals coach Todd Tanaschuk talked about the plans for a spring season in the Wheatland Football League.

“The problem with that is football ends with everybody piling on top of each other,” said Cole.

“Once we get the green light here, or if we get the green light, we’re gonna let the word out and try and get something rolling quick and I know we got a five-week season kind of planned to be done by June 22 or June 26. Depends on the scheduling and when or if we get the OK.”

Cole said he hopes for Grade 9 players and those on the cusp of graduating, that they get something rolling soon.

“They’ve been waiting to be the alpha dogs in their team class for a while, right. So if you get screwed on it, it’s kind of tough. We’re allowing our Grade 9’s that would have played last fall to play this spring, so they still get to kind of have their yeehaw moment.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.