The stars have aligned for the return of football at Dalhousie.
First, a new league started up in the maritimes – the Atlantic Football League. Then, Dalhousie decided to bring back homecoming celebrations for the first time since 1995.
It seemed only right to bring back a team to Dalhousie too, which hasn't seen the gridiron on Wickwire Field since the late 1970s.
"What a great way to get school spirit ignited," says Jim Wilson, who graduated from Dal in 1987. "With homecoming and a football team, well, that's a beautiful combination."
The first tryout for the new club football team happens in the middle of a heat wave -- September 1 on Wickwire Field.
"I guess we'll find out if tigers melt," adds Mr. Wilson, founder and president of Wilson Executive Search.
There are actually tryouts all week. As well as tomorrow's noon-time tryout, there's one at 10 p.m., September 2 at 12 noon, September 3 at 6 p.m. and September 4 at 5 p.m. Tryouts continue through the second week of September. Hey guys, remember to hydrate!
There appears to be a lot of interest among potential players. More than 100 athletes expressed interest in the fledgling team at a meeting in April. The coaching team -- Mike Tanner, Rick Rivers, Bob Lewington and Stuart MacLean -- is expecting about 70 young men between the ages of 19 and 24 to turn out Wednesday.
Through the spring and summer a team of alumni have worked diligently to raise $50,000 in seed money for Tigers football. There are new goal posts and lines on Wickwire Field, named for Ted Wickwire, a football legend from the 1950s. Spiffy gold-and-black uniforms and new gear for 55 players has been purchased.
It's a volunteer effort by many, including the coaches, who also coach football at Citadel High School, and the team executive, who are all Dal students.
Interested in checking out the team? Early morning practices begin September 7. The first game, an away game against the UNB Red Bombers, is set for September 18 on the UNB Fredericton campus. The first home game happens October 2 when the Tigers face the Holland College/UPEI Hurricanes.
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