The Lakeland College Rustlers are weighing what possibilities could be in store for the 2021 winter season.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put restrictions on sports at all levels, the college’s sports department is plotting out what a season may look like, if they will go ahead with a season at all and contingency plans should a season not go ahead. Pandemic restrictions have to lead to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference cancelling or adapting large parts of their fall season already.

Lakeland College Athletic Director Alan Rogan says there will be several factors in play, and they’ll need to work with other schools, Alberta Health Services and the various sports authorities for a final decision on the season.

“If there is no winter semester, then we’re hoping possibly go to a plan C. We want to retain our student-athletes here on campus for the entire year. If they’re just training, great, but we’re hoping that we’ll be able to to supply some student-athlete experience, whether that be a regular season or possibly some exhibition games that we can line up.”

In the meantime, most student-athletes are back on campus right now, with the exception of curling and cross country, who start their season later in the year. Rogan explains that he’s seen athletes and coaches keeping positive right now while spending this extra time training, and being resilient while planning a season on the go.

“They have a little more time, I think, to prepare their student-athletes and not necessarily push them as hard as they would with a shortened time to prepare for a season. Their training has modified a little bit, but I think with a lot of our coaches, they’re trying to keep things as close to normal as they can, inside of the rules and expectations set for them.”

Rogan believes that the school will be able to announce a plan for the 2021 season by mid to late October.