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Football Day in Olds is back on today

Plans call for the Oct. 16 event to go ahead rain, snow or shine, depending on the latest COVID restrictions
MVT stock football
File photo

OLDS — The Olds Amateur Football Association (OAFA) is planning to hold Football Day in Olds on Oct. 16, barring any more COVID-19 restrictions.

Organizers haven’t been able to hold it for the past couple of years, due to COVID restrictions, Huskies head coach and OAFA spokesman Dennis Yurchevich said during an interview.

Currently, the plan is to stage games involving three levels of football -- peewee, bantam and high school -- all at Normie Kwong Field.

Plans call for the Peewee Huskies to host the Innisfail Cyclones, the Bantam Bulldogs to take on the Springbank Phoenix and the École Olds High School Spartans to tangle with the Strathmore Spartans.

Players would begin taking to the field for warm-ups at 8:30 a.m. and the last teams would leave the field at about 6 p.m. Exact start times for each game were still being worked out at press time.

Yurchevich said prior to the latest COVID restrictions, organizers had planned a big day, including a concession stand, pizza stand, coffee, and face painting, with a goal of attracting a big crowd of spectators.

But then he became a little uncertain what would be allowed. 

It was recently announced that outdoor private social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 20 people, with two-metre physical distancing between households required at all times. 

On the other hand, it was also announced that outdoor sports activities can go ahead with no restrictions.

As of last week, Yurchevich was looking at contacting Alberta Health Services for guidance on exactly what will be allowed.

He noted that football players for all six teams plus coaches and other officials alone would total 180, not including referees and not including any spectators.

“So we’re still trying to wrap our heads around this and see if we need to apply for a special exemption or how this actually works.”

Yurchevich said organizers would really like to make the day a big one, with a large crowd.

“It’s the last regular season game of the year for both the Huskies and the Bulldogs as we prepare to move into playoffs the following week,” he said.

“We’re just really hoping to get the word out there and we were hoping to try to attract as many people in town as possible.

"All of these teams are travelling from out-of-town, so how does that work with telling out of town parents who have to drive their kids here ‘no, I’m sorry, you can’t stay for the day and watch the game?’”

Yurchevich said organizers had initially planned to hold Football Day in Olds in mid-September, but a scheduling conflict forced them to move it.

He conceded that the weather may not be the warmest – or driest – on that day, but regardless, the plan is to go ahead with the event, one way or another.

So far, it’s been a pretty good season for the Huskies and Bulldogs.

As of last week, the Huskies had a record of 3-1, with two games left in the season and were in second place in their division.

The Bantam Bulldogs finished the season with a 2-1 record.

In addition, they hammered the visiting Hanna Hawks 42-28 during the Oct. 2 weekend.


Doug Collie

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