Tisdale Trojans sending players home

TISDALE — The Tisdale Trojans season has officially ended, with the league postponing the season due to the ongoing pandemic and health restrictions.

The league postponement includes suspending all local team activities. 

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“We just wanted answers one way or another and it’s just nice to finally have an answer,” said Dennis Kubat, Tisdale Trojans’ head coach.

While teams were given the option to continue hosting players with billets, Kubat said the Trojans coaches decided to send the players home.

“Every team was given the decision: they could go home or they could stay. We thought it was best for our boys to go home,” Kubat said. “Bringing in the boys’ mental health, bringing in school, bringing in education, bringing in billets – we just thought it would be best for our organization to send them home.”

The SU18AAA season typically ends around March.

Kubat said throughout the season they took the positives with restrictions and spent the winter practicing.

“We were only allowed eight on the ice, so practice was totally different, more just skill development based than anything,” he said.

“We took the positive out of the situation and took the chance to get better, and hope one day to be playing. Although it doesn’t look like it’s going to work that way [this year], we were still able to develop a lot.”

To keep numbers limited, the coaches split players into three teams. Since off-ice workouts are a part of the Trojans training, one team would be assigned to train at the gym during the 45-minute practice while two others shared the ice.

The provincial government recently announced they will be giving the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) $1 million to help them and their teams survive the pandemic. This includes the Nipawin Hawks, Melfort Mustangs and Humboldt Broncos, but does not include U18AAA teams like the Tisdale Trojans.

Kubat said he wouldn’t expect the U18AAA league teams to get funding from the province, since they don’t rely on the sponsorships as heavily as SJHL teams do.

“It’s not like we have to rely all on community sponsorship, a big portion of the money that we make from our program is from the parents paying to come to our program,” Kubat said. “I wouldn’t expect any money from them.”

The Trojans last practice took place Jan. 26.

The team is expecting to lose an average amount of about eight members this coming year through graduation.

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