Preseason date with Saskatchewan set

The preseason schedule for the Wilfrid Laurier University football team has been announced


File Photo by Heather Davidson
File Photo by Heather Davidson

The preseason schedule for the Wilfrid Laurier University football team has been announced and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies are on the docket. Laurier has not faced them since the 2005 Vanier Cup where the Hawks came on top by one point in the 23-24 game.

Head coach Michael Faulds expressed his excitement about the game in August.

”It’s going to be really exciting for our team,” he said. “We’ll fly over to Saskatchewan and play a preseason game against a really good team from Canada west.”

This grudge match holds a different standing because it’s a preseason game. According to Faulds, these games are more about evaluating talent and the running system than the scores.

“When its preseason you’re really just go out there trying to improve and test and see where some of our younger players are going to be,” he said. “So it’s the type of situation that sometimes you won’t even play your best players because you already know what they can do. It’s more for those second and third string guys to see who is [the] most game ready.”

Despite the mindset of the players and coaches, fans want the hard-hitting battles of the regular season or even playoffs. However Faulds said he believes risking injury before the season starts is counterproductive.

“Obviously everyone in the stands will be wearing the green and Saskatchewan is a really great football province, but a both teams are just going to want to leave the game healthy because this game doesn’t count in the standings,” he said.

After the 2005 game Laurier and Saskatchewan have been on different paths. The Huskies haven’t dropped below a .500 record, while the Golden Hawks have just made strides to get to a record of 4-4.  However, the discrepancy in the past decade does not worry Faulds.

“You have take every season as a new season — you take every game as a new opportunity. We’re not ones to look at the past. Obviously it’s cool to look at the 10-year anniversary of a great football team here at Laurier, but were trying to put our own stamp on the 2015 season,” he said.

No one on the current roster has played a snap against the Huskies, something Faulds does not believe changes much.

“You just prepare them like any other game. So really every single year you’re going to have 30 players that don’t have experience against anyone because there all new to your school,” he said.

Faulds wants his players to do two very simple things. If these are done correctly then wining will happen in the process, he said.

“You want to have your guys communicate well within the system and be able to execute at a high level,” he said.

The kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Aug. 21 at Griffiths Stadium.

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