The fall football season is going ahead in Sylvan Lake but it will look a bit different from the norm.
The traditional football season will not be occurring this year for Sylvan Lake Minor Football (SLMF). Taking its place will be “fall camps.”
Jeremy Braitenback, president of SLMF and head coach for the H.J. Cody Lakers, said for the most part the fall camps will look much like the normal spring camp.
“What we are looking at doing, for the Lakers in particular, is move our spring camp to the fall and hope for a spring season,” Braitenback said.
The Lions and Bears football teams have announced their intention to hold fall camps. The Tigers are still deciding on what they want to do, according to Braitenback.
The camps will be run a little differently, to follow COVID-10 protocols and requirements handed down by Alberta Health Services.
The changes, require extra planning and effort for players, parents and coaching staff.
“One of the things we have to follow is keeping the cohorts to 50 people, this includes the coaching staff,” Braitenback said.
“Some of our teams have more than 50 people when you include the coaches. So we are looking at options that include splitting a team in two to better follow the cohort groups.”
Some of the other rules the teams will have to follow include: coming ready to practise in full gear; extra sensitization of equipment, balls and gloves; and all clothing and equipment used needs to be washed each day after practise.
Braitenback says locker and change rooms will not be available to players, in accordance to AHS guidelines.
“There are a lot of limitations in place… but I think three weeks of football now is a good amount to start with, and have us in shape for a spring season,” he said.
Sylvan Lake Minor Football is looking at options to hold small scrimmages in the cohorts during the camps, so long as the numbers stay below 50 people.
“I know a lot of people are disappointed or upset, but we are trying to make it a positive experience for all our players.”
Braitenback is hoping a spring season is on the horizon for football, but recognizes “a lot if up in the air” at this time.