Saskatchewan

'They've met us halfway': Regina high school athlete weighs in on cancellation of fall sports games

Andrew Sweeney was instantly disappointed when he first heard the news he wouldn’t be able to compete in high school football his senior year. However, knowing that he’ll still be able to practice three times a week with his teammates offers the 17-year-old wide receiver some comfort.

The Regina High School Athletic Association says team practices, intramurals can still go on

Intercollegiate and inter-school sports competitions will not take place in Regina this fall. (Heidi Atter/CBC )

Andrew Sweeney was disappointed when he first heard he wouldn't be able to compete in high school football during his senior year. 

"It would have been really nice to play with my friends and have those last year memories in high school because I'm never going to get that back," said the Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School student. "It's just something that would have meant a lot to me if we would have had that competition."

Last Friday, the Regina High School Athletic Association (RHSAA) announced the cancellation of fall sports competitions, after discussions with the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA). That includes football, soccer, cross country and volleyball.

However, not everything was lost. The RHSAA said the SHA is allowing the organization of extra-curricular sports within schools, meaning team practices and intramurals can still go on.

"Participating will be predicated on agreement from administration, athletic directors, coaches and student athletes," read a news release from the RHSAA, noting all participants must adhere to the public health guidelines in the province's reopening plan.

While he’s not able to compete in high school sports this year, Andrew Sweeney (right) said he’s still getting his football fix by playing outside of school in seven-on-seven games with the Saskatchewan Selects. (Andrew Sweeney/Facebook)

Knowing that he'll still be able to practice three times a week with his teammates brings Sweeney some comfort.

"I think we're just happy they've met us halfway," he said. 

But still, the 17-year-old added, a lot of Miller seniors were looking forward to a redemption season.

"Last year, we didn't do very good. This year, we were hoping to do really good — and we were practicing a lot," Sweeney said, noting more than half of the roughly 50 students on the team are in Grade 12. "This was our year that we really wanted to shine, so it's disappointing that we can't prove ourselves."

Aside from the memories and camaraderie, Sweeney said he was also hoping to catch the eye of university scouts with the goal of getting a scholarship toward a business degree. With no games, the wide receiver is now unsure if there will be anyone coming out to watch him play. 

"I'm going to have to take that into my own hands," Sweeney said. "I'll just look back at last year and go through my film and try to get the best stuff I can out of there." 

Hopeful for winter sports

Although the RHSAA has made its decision on fall sports, it said the final call on competition in winter sports — such as hockey, badminton and basketball — will be made at a later date.

Given it's his last year to play high school sports, Sweeney said he's going to try out for all he can — including basketball, which he's never done before. And best case scenario: he'll be able to compete in some capacity his senior year.

"I'm not sure exactly how good I am compared to everybody else, but I am tall — I'm 6'1" — so maybe that will help me a bit and make up for my lack of skills," Sweeney said with a chuckle.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessie Anton

Reporter/Associate Producer

Jessie Anton is a Regina-based journalist with CBC Saskatchewan. She’s been sharing stories from across the province on television, radio and online since 2016, initially getting her start in the rural weekly newspaper world. Email her: jessie.anton@cbc.ca.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now