Waterloo Warriors return to the field after year off
Fourteen months after a steroid scandal shut down the University of Waterloo's 2010 football season, the team is back on the field.
Training camp for the Waterloo Warriors kicked off Monday, and both players and coaches say they're optimistic and eager to restore the program's reputation.
Bob Copeland, director of athletics for the University of Waterloo, says "The whole university community is excited about the return of Warrior football, and we hope to make our campus community proud both on and off the field."
That may require more than one good season though, with the memories of the team's suspension still fresh.
Back in June 2010, wide receiver Dustin Zender was one of the most vocal opponents to the suspension of the whole team, calling the university's decision "cowardly."
Now he's back on the team and says he has no hard feelings, "The past is the past, everything happens for a reason. We're looking forward to the future now with the new team that we've got."
But fans are left wondering, after a significant amount of time without playing other teams and a new roster of players, how competitive the team can really be.
Luke Balch, quarterback and wide receiver, says the team's confidence is high and the season opener against the University of Western Ontario will be a good test.
"We're feeling good. I mean we got another two weeks of training camp to come together as a team, and to go play Western. I mean they're kind of at the top of the food chain right now so it would be good to see where we're at when we play against them and we're going to go in there and play a competitive game."
Before the season even starts, head coach Dennis McPhee already has big ambitions for the new team.
"I'd like to win the Vanier Cup. That's what we want to do. That's what we're going to go out to do. We're going to try to win the Vanier."
First though, they'll have to play their opening game against the Mustangs on Labour Day.