New era for Clan football

Sep 19, 2002, vol. 25, no. 2
By Marianne Meadahl

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Football captains (left to right) Scott Plummer, Ibrahim Khan and Neil McKinlay trade their U.S. football (left) for the rounder Canadian version now that they compete in Canada. The Shrum bowl, SFU versus UBC, goes Oct. 4 at 7p.m.

After 37 years of playing football against U.S. opponents, the SFU Clan is preparing to do battle against Canadian foes.

Football is the latest varsity team from SFU to leave the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) and join the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), a league which will keep competitions closer to home.

“It's a new era for football at SFU,” says Wilf Wedmann, director of athletics and recreational services. Women's volleyball and the varsity program's newly added women's wrestling, also begin play in the CIS this fall. They join other teams, including men's and women's basketball, which made the switch from the NAIA a few years ago.

Wedmann says the move follows a review carried out on a sport-by-sport basis of the most appropriate competitive home for SFU's teams, to ensure their long-term stability.

But after playing in the U.S. with U.S. football rules since the university's inception, the Clan spent the summer retooling to play Canadian football rules against a new set of competitors.

With coach Chris Beaton back for his 20th season, the Clan won its first match against the University of Alberta and lost to the University of Calgary in its second match Sept. 14. The next home game, at Swangard stadium in Burnaby, is against the University of Manitoba on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.

The annual Shrum Bowl against UBC, now a regular season game, will be hosted by SFU on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. The Clan won last year. They'll meet again Oct. 15.

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