Along with the rest of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, the Briercrest College Clippers won't be able to play games this season in any of their sports.
The ACAC canceled the winter sports season late last week.
Briercrest athletic director Stan Peters said he is disappointed about the season not happening, but thankful their teams get to practice and go to classes together in a world where not every team can.
“A lot of the colleges in our league, all of their classes are online, so they don’t get any connection with their profs or with other students, so we’re really thankful for that,” Peters said.
Hundreds of students attend the Caronport-based college and seminary, and while they’re disappointed there can’t be a season, they fully agree with the decision to put student-athletes and coaches safety first.
“We’d love to be able to figure out a way to have competitions, there hasn’t actually been many leagues that have been able to figure it out,” Peters said.
The Clippers fit into a unique place in the sporting landscape. Their closest level of competition is in the ACAC, which is entirely based in Alberta, other than Briercrest. The closest competition in their league is Medicine Hat, although Clippers teams would frequently take part in exhibition games against American-based teams for exhibitions pre-COVID.
While the border is closed to American or even out of province teams, the door remains open for exhibitions involving the two major post-secondary institutions in the province, the universities of Regina and Saskatchewan.
“It’s evaluating now, what are the opportunities in front of us? Where are the potential places that we can compete in? They are limited in Saskatchewan,” Peters said. “So we’ll be talking with the two provincial universities to see if there’s a safe way of doing anything.”
Peters said the pandemic, and keeping the campus safe, has affected their efforts in recruitment.
“We’re starting to figure that out, how to do that safely and well to bring people on campus and take a look,” Peters said. “It’s going to be hard to train with prospects. We’re going to have to rely on video and old film.”
Peters said he feels bad for high school seniors this year who are going to be involved in a double recruitment year.