Local universities celebrate the return of OUA football
After COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the entire 2020 season, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Golden Hawks and the University of Waterloo Warriors hit the gridiron for their first OUA football game in almost 700 days.
Saturday marked the start of the 2021 Ontario University Athletics football season.
Laurier took a 37-6 win over the York Lions in their season opener at University Stadium.
“It’s absolutely electric,” said Laurier’s director of athletics and recreation Peter Baxter. “The players are ecstatic. They’ve gone through a lot in terms of perseverance with the pandemic, training online without their teammates for parts of the year.”
Baxter said each player is fully vaccinated on both teams and University Stadium can accommodate about 900 fans while keeping physical distancing and other precautions in place.
“It’s a very complex operation. Everybody must [have] proof of vaccination at the door and do a daily attestation that they’re safe to come in so we keep the safety.”
The Waterloo Warriors opened their season on the right foot, blowing-out the Windsor Lancers 42-14 at Warrior Field.
Waterloo and Laurier will play each other next week on Sept. 25.
The University of Guelph opens its season against Western University on Sept. 25.