The Senior Titans are back on the field working on skills, but are still holding on to hopes there will be some sort of season.
Coach Ken Fournier said they were allowed to have 10 player groups out practicing, and that will continue despite changes in restrictions.
“We are usually never out this early in the spring, so there are other factors with the weather and conditions on the field,” said Fournier.
The Bantam and Pewees are also starting camps this week and looking forward to a possible season. While Fournier hopes they will be able to play, with restrictions it is looking less likely.
“If we are kicked back to Stage 1, the odds of us getting to Stage 3 before the end of the school year is nil,” Fournier said.
He laments for the team, especially the senior Grade 12 players, who have lost an important part of their high school football career. With gathering restrictions, the possibility of a banquet is even slim.
“As a coach, it is really hard for us to see them go through this. It is not just high school. Some of these guys have worked right from the peewee level all the way up. This is seven or eight years for some of them, and they don’t get to showcase their final year,” said Fournier. “It’s a tough pill to swallow because they have really been working hard. We have a good core of Grade 12s right now. They have already missed their opportunity last fall and it is not looking very good for the spring,” he said.
He said the disappointment goes beyond the players.
“It is the community, our football community. It’s the fans, our support system, our sponsors, everybody has been working towards this. Our goal was to win and we want to be the best we can. What we achieve along the way is what we get, and we are happy with that. That’s why we continue to play at a high level because the results are there,” he said.
The program has also been a leader in having rural players recruited to the next level, whether it be junior football or university. And while there are a few players that are taking that step to the next level, this could also prove to be challenging.
“The kids who are in Grade 12 right now are going to have a really tough time because now they are going to university programs with crowded rosters because the university and junior players are allowed an extra year,” he said. “They are going into a crowded competitive locker room, and they are going to be younger than everybody else competing for these spots.”
He adds this could affect recruiting for years to come especially from smaller towns.