The teams, coaches and volunteers involved with Penta Completions Estevan Minor Football (EMF) showcased their resiliency during the past year, according to information supplied at their annual general meeting on Jan. 5.
More than a dozen people were present for the meeting, said EMF president Kevin Mortenson. They reflected on the accomplishments of the past year, looked ahead to 2021 and elected a new executive.
“It seemed like somebody was throwing a different angle at us every day (in 2020),” said Mortenson. “We survived. That was the main thing. We didn’t have to contact everybody and tell them we were done for the year.”
Parents were understanding that the club could only have a certain number of people in the stands at games, and so some had to watch from behind a fence or their vehicles.
The EMF had three goals that Mortenson described as ambitious. The first was to get the new Estevan Kinette Club U18 Viragos female football team up and running, which they did.
The next goal was to get the Chow Field practice facility ready for use. They do have about $30,000 of work remaining at the site, and Mortenson hopes it will be complete before the start of the 2021 season.
The one thing that didn’t happen was the launch of a flag football league for those in the under-eight age group. Mortenson received the green light, but the circuit had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Minor football still had their three established teams: the Estevan Lions Club U14 Steelers, the Estevan Century 21 U12 Chargers and the Estevan Power Dodge U10 Cudas.
Registration numbers for the past year were all right, Mortenson said. They had about 75 players between the Cudas, Chargers and Oilers, down from 95 the previous year, but when you add in the Viragos, it brings their numbers to the 2019 levels.
“We were able to maintain rosters and they all worked together, and we got to play our complete season, which I thought was amazing, because it seemed like the schedule was always changing. Just about every second day, there was a new restriction, or another community had COVID, so they had to shut their program down for two weeks.”
It meant the teams played a little later into the year, but that was okay. The Viragos wrapped up their season on Halloween.
Financial statements showed the EMF suffered a loss last season, but they had some money in reserves for when they moved back to Chow Field. The organization also didn’t go around to businesses, looking for sponsorship money, since the economy was struggling, and they weren’t sure if they would be able to finish the season.
League fees weren’t collected until halfway through the season, when they were confident teams would be able to play all of their games.
Minor football has applied for some grants for the upcoming season.
Mortenson will be back for another year as president. Travis Paterson will be the vice-president. Other members of the board are secretary Kathy Thompson, treasurer Chelsea Klempner, equipment manager Pat Ford, fundraising chair Tia Thacker, concession chair Lorna Roy, and members at large Jennifer Froese, Matt Scheel and Christian Pfeifer.
Committee co-ordinators are Paul Duncan for coaches and Jase Malaryk for officials.
Mortenson said it’s a strong executive, and he’s looking forward to working with them in 2021. They could use a couple more members at large and some other volunteers, including someone to handle social media and other marketing.