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Cougars and Rams eager to compete as Canada West announces resumption of league play

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: May 14, 2021 5:00 a.m.

U of R athletes Sierra Parris-Kruger Cougars womens’ volleyball and Travis Semenok Rams’ football look forward to competing in 2021.
U of R athletes Sierra Parris-Kruger Cougars womens’ volleyball and Travis Semenok Rams’ football look forward to competing in 2021. Sierra Parris-Kruger image courtesy Arthur Images, Travis Semenok image courtesy Piper Sports Photography.

Canada West has confirmed the resumption of conference competition for the 2021-22 season.  The season will start in the fall using an alternative format focusing on regional play where possible.  It is anticipated that normal league play will resume in 2022-23. 

The alternative formats will affect the University’s basketball, football, hockey, soccer, and volleyball teams. Our championship sports athletes in cross-country, swimming, and track and field are expected to be able to compete in their regular formats in 2021-22 as these sports don't have a traditional "league" schedule like the team sports do. 

The announced resumption of competition comes as welcome news to the University’s varsity athletes who have been able to train and practice, but not compete since 2019-20 when Canada West cancelled competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

One of those athletes is University of Regina Rams linebacker Travis Semenok who in his fifth and final year of U SPORTS eligibility says he is beyond excited about the announced return of Canada West competition.

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Number 39 Rams linebacker Travis
Semenok. Photo courtesy Piper Sports

 

“Last year it was difficult dealing with the uncertainty of whether there would be a season and very disappointing when it was cancelled,” Semenok said.  “There was a lot of uncertainty about competition being cancelled this year as well so I was ecstatic when I heard the news that we would be returning to competition this fall. 

“Because we’ll have had more than a year to work out and practice I think our team will be in really good shape and physically ready for the season.  What I think may take some adjustment is getting used to strapping on the pads and actually hitting and getting hit during a game.” 

When asked about what being unable to play last year was like Semenok said that it was his teammates and the comradery in the locker room that he missed the most. He also missed being able to compete every week and is really looking forward to getting back out on the field. 

“I really wanted to finish my U SPORTS career competing and this makes the last year or so of training and practice all worthwhile. During my time with the Rams we haven’t made it through to the finals so ultimately my goal this year is the team’s goals of making it through the Hardy Cup semifinal and then to bring home the Vanier Cup.” 

University of Regina Cougars women’s volleyball player Sierra Parris-Kruger agrees that she and all of her teammates are looking forward to returning to competition this year, “Not being with my teammates every day for practices and games over the last year was so isolating and I really missed the competition. I missed competing against other teams and being challenged, going through winning and losing, travelling to games, just the whole experience really.

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Number 15 Cougars’ women volleyball
libero Sierra Parris-Kruger.
Photo courtesy Arthur Images.

“It also made it more difficult to be motivated to train and practice so getting an opportunity to play this fall is so exciting and a sign things may be getting back to normal. Even though the season won’t be a normal one we really appreciate Canada West working so hard to let us play this year.” 

Parris-Kruger says she is confident that all of the universities and Canada West are doing their best to ensure that competition will be safe and whatever protocols needed, such as wearing masks, will be followed, “I feel the season can be held safely and actually I’m more worried about injuries affecting players because we haven’t played for so long so having the alternative league format this year may actually be a good way for us to ease back into competition.”

 

Canada West will be finalizing the specific schedules for each sport over the next couple months and they will be posted to the Cougars’ and Ramswebsites when released.

 

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