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Buried football honours players from lost season

For Raider Gridders missing senior season in 2020
football bury
Former Raider Gridders gather during halftime of game Friday for a special ceremony.
YORKTON - The Yorkton Raider Gridders lost their 2020 season to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning graduating Grade 12 players lost their final year of high school football. 

So Friday night in the game held under the lights at Kinsmen Century Field those players who missed their final season were remembered with a special ceremony. 

The players, at least those home for the Thanksgiving weekend signed a football which was buried on the Yorkton sidelines at halftime so they will always be with the team in years to come. 

“I’ve seen it done in the States. It was actually done with a baseball team,” said Yorkton high school head coach Roby Sharpe. 

Sharpe said most players were around to sign it, although a few were off at college, and simply weren’t available to ink the ball. 

For the coach it was also a reminder of what might have been. 

“For me it was the best football team we’d ever had,” he said, noting they had graduated only two players from 2019 so were veteran –laden. 

The team was rated third in the country, and Sharpe said he felt they should have been number one. 

“We weren’t the best 5A team in Saskatchewan but in the country,” he said. “A global pandemic was the only thing that could stop us.” 

The players honoured included;  

Val Declines, Sam Hove, Vicaas Junek, Teagan Werner, Kenten Effa, Braeden Miller Loving, Jaxon Boyda, Milos Mandic, Maddox Stechyshyn, Darian Derbowka, Keane Szabo, Kaidyn Malysh, Garret Ellis, Tannon Keltie, Noah Bymak, Logan Walters, Reece McCormick, Dominic Lepowick, and Katelynne Hoffman.