Esterhazy football club hoping to be back for 2021

·4 min read

Officials with the Esterhazy Warriors Football Club say they lost an entire season due to Covid-19 in 2020, and hope to be able to offer a program this year, but are waiting to see if current Covid-19 restrictions in Saskatchewan will be lifted before considering opening registration for 2021.

General Manager and Head Coach of the senior’s team, Tyler Metz, says they have a few other restrictions to abide by due to being a multi-sponsored team.

“As of right now we’re in a holding pattern. We’re just waiting to hear more information once the government releases it. We’re a multi-sponsored team, which means we have Esterhazy as the base of our operations but we also involve a few different schools and the towns that surround those schools. That does add a few more policies and procedures just because of the additional measures from each school.

"As of right now some of those protocols are put in place by the school divisions, which is completely understandable. It’s all been as positive as it can be with the different school divisions and with the Government of Saskatchewan,” said Metz.

He says they are in a similar place as they were in last fall with restrictions from both the school boards and the government.

Metz explains the Warriors will be meeting shortly to discuss registration and how to move forward when restrictions begin to lift.

“Our management group is getting together shortly to discuss registration. We’ll make a decision then. Our goal as a team is to get the children and players on the field, and it’s such a positive thing for them to have that positive outlook on their life. We want them on the field, and ultimately we’re going to decide that with our management team with the thought in mind that we want the students out there playing.”

He says that last year the organization was unable to do anything due to the restrictions.

“We never even started our season because of the protocols that were put down and the added variables from both the Government of Saskatchewan and the school divisions. Being a multi-sponsored team made it very challenging. I want to keep this very positive though because everybody we dealt with was really good. We just wanted to be able to do practices and we could have, but we didn’t because we felt it would have been very restrictive and we felt we wouldn’t be able to accomplish what we wanted.

"None of our athletes stepped on the field last year. It’s very disappointing, no doubt. I understand why the decisions were made though and we’ve had fantastic support from everybody involved. It’s sad that the graduating players never got to play their graduating year. There are lots of players out there who are very very passionate about this game and they always look forward to it. So it was kind of disappointing.”

While the team was able to cut back on costs due to the lack of play, Metz says there were still some expenses the Warriors had to pay.

“Everbody assumes that just because we didn’t play ball that there are no expenses, but there are a few that still go through,” said Metz.

“There are some expenses that still go through and we usually do some fundraising and whatnot but we weren’t able to do that either. There are still some expenses but nothing that is going to impact us in the short or long term. We’re very fiscally responsible in our program and there was some grant money available through Football Sask. that we applied for and it sounds like we’ll get it. We’ll be able to carry on into next year but it will be okay.”

Metz says team officials want to make sure the players get some activity and will adapt to the restrictions to keep the players on the field where possible.

“If things loosen up and there are things we can do, we’re going to do it. We will do whatever we can to get the kids out there and active.”

Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator