After playing exhibition games against teams from the Alberta College Athletic Conference (ACAC) for the past couple of years since the collapse of their former league, the Burman University Bobcats finally have a new league to once again call their own.
They were recently accepted into the Prairie Athletic Conference (PAC), which includes four teams in their basketball league and five teams for volleyball, but will also include more travel as some of those teams are in Saskatchewan.
Athletics Director at Burman Ron Schafer says the schools policy about not playing on the Sabbath, which as a Seventh-Day Adventist school meant they couldn't play on Saturday, when the majority of the games were scheduled, was the primary issue for being denied entry into this league the previous seasons.
“We had tried for two years in a row to get into the ACAC…and weren’t able to get in there because we wouldn’t play on Saturday, and so now we are able to get into this league (PAC) and we’re excited about having a place to play again.”
Schafer this will be a significant improvement for their student athletes, as well as their entire student body.
“It’s very difficult to find exhibition games. We can get exhibition games against the ACAC teams early in the season, like September, cause they want games to practice for their teams. But once that season begins, the last two years has been a real struggle for us trying to find games to play, so now at least we have a consistent schedule which is going to be a big plus for the rest of us. Plus you have championships, playoffs, that kind of thing, and students like that.”
Their former league, the Alberta College Athletic League (ACAL), dissolved in 2015.
The Bobcats enjoyed much success in the ACAL league, with the men’s basketball team wining gold in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and in 2015, with the men’s volleyball team also winning silver in 2012 and 2013. The women’s volleyball team won bronze in 2012 and 2013.