After going through his redshirt freshman year in Saskatoon, Logan Wilk is ready for more.
Following his final year as a member of the Yorkton Regional football program, he accepted the invitation to join the university ranks.
He was given the redshirt freshman tag and didn't get a chance to dress or play. It wasn't a bad experience however.
He's even more anxious to try for a spot on next year's team now that he knows exactly what it feels like to be a part of CIS football; with guys who are way bigger and way stronger then he is, he said.
He is hoping to be able to dress for at least one home game next year.
Most of his redshirt year he spent watching game tape and practicing.
"There's not as much pressure on you when you're a redshirt."
It comes with time, he said, adding that he hopes next season will bring him a little closer to where he wants to be, as a starting lineup member on the roster of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team.
He didn't get to play a single down, or even dress, but knowing what's involved in the university game already has him excited for the start of his second year.
Being redshirted took some of the pressure off of him, he said, and gave him a chance to learn the basics of the game at a higher level then what he was used to here.
He said one day in practice he got hit so hard he fell over and landed on his backside.
"I didn't think that was even possible," joked the 330-lb guard/offensive lineman.
He's excited to go back for year two partly because of how the team is regarded in and around the city.
"The city really backs us. It's unreal. I've never seen college like that before. It was a good experience. I'm slowly fitting in."
In preparation for next season, which is still a good six months away, he said he's training hard each day to get himself out of a red shirt and into a green shirt.
"I'm hoping to play a few games at home next year," he said, before adding that the team already has "some pretty good linemen."
RJ Skinner Fellow YRHS graduate, RJ Skinner seemed like he was on pace to claim a spot on the Manitoba Bisons football team then a foot injury just before Hallowe'en weekend sidelined those plans and took him out for the rest of the season.It was not the way he hoped his second year on the team would pan out but the thought of being scouted for his third year and a pain-free foot have him ready to go for what should be a good season next season with the University of Manitoba club.
"I was fighting for a spot on the team," he said in an interview on the grounds of the home of his high school club, the Yorkton Regional High School.
When he first started playing organized football in Yorkton, it was usually in front of a handful of friends and family.
In his first season with the university, he, like Wilk, was given the redshirt tag.
When his University of Manitoba Bisons team took to the field this past season in Saskatoon, he was in front of 5500 people.
"It's a whole different ball game," says Skinner long after his second year with the CIS school came to an end on Hallowe'en weekend.
The Yorkton Regional High School product has been through the university circuit for two years now, hasn't seen much action due to injury, but is looking to take control of a roster spot for his third year.
The Bisons finished with a record of 2-6 but according to Skinner "our record doesn't reflect our team (at all)."
Skinner had playing time at Regina, at home against Alberta and again in the home game against the Rams.
He said he can't wait for things to get started with his third year, a campaign in which pro scouts are usually eyeing the third year players on the team.
"This will be a big year," he said as if it's about to begin tomorrow morning.
"You assume your position on the team," he said. Coach Brian Dobie has inspired confidence and even though it's only the middle of the off season, the YRHS product already seems confident about what his third year on the team might bring.
"He's a good guy. He genuinely cares about the team."
Skinner acknowledged that the stakes will be high when everyone gears up once school starts up again.
He had his way when high school ball started each year, not quite the same in university, he admits."There were 25 guys that came in (to school) with me. They'll be in their third year (too)."I'm obviously concerned about doing the best I can as a Bison. That's my ultimate goal."