3 Questions with Brad Gatschene, President of the Edmonton Wildcats Football Club

Sunday August 8 the Edmonton Wildcats travel to Saskatoon to play the Hilltops. Date, location and opponent subject to change due to the ongoing pandemic. When the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) released their schedule, they were very clear with their intentions:

“All games and dates are subject to change with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but announcing the schedule gives some hope of getting back to a “normal” football season.”

As a general football fan, it is exciting to see a schedule. As a Wildcats fan, it would have been nice if the schedule did not start against the team that has won the Canadian Bowl six (6!) consecutive times. As Wildcats management, how do you prepare your squad for battle when we are currently in a period of time where schedules are written in pencil instead of ink?

Let’s ask Brad Gatschene, President of the Edmonton Wildcats Football Club:

Q1) How does a team, 6 months ahead of opening day with no other confirmed timelines due to a pandemic, proceed?
“Great question, we are taking the same approach as last year and we are proceeding under the assumption there will be a season and if we have to decide to cancel the season then at least we were ready.”
To expand on President Gatschene’s “same approach” comment, here’s a quote on the pandemic forced approach so many teams had to adopt from an interview with Wildcats Coach Park from July 2020:
The irony of this pandemic is that the time we normally do not have to talk about the why’s and what’s of what is happening in a football game, we now have and have tried to make the most of it. Lots of meeting time, full offensive meetings, breaking into specific groups, zoom meetings for evaluations. Moving forward, Google meetings and Zoom meetings are now an adopted tool.
Q2) After a lost season, how do the Wildcats promote themselves to potential sponsors and fans (new and returning)?
“We have found a lot of positive response to the fact that we are surviving and plan to have a season in the future.  I feel like people recognize the importance of what we provide to our players, coaches and staff  and are very supportive.  The evidence of that was the tremendous support for the Edmonton Football Club 50/50 for the Wildcats, Huskies and Golden Bears.”
Q3) The Wildcats play games at Clarke Stadium (long time home) and at JP Bowl (aka Johnny Bright Park). Discuss the Clarke Stadium and the JP Bowl situation.
“The City has been very gracious to renovate JP Bowl for use by ourselves and the Huskies as the main tenant and shared with minor football.  Clarke does have additional seating capacity so we may ask the city to use it for our games against each other but our plan is to make JP our home.”
It is understood that there are currently more questions than answers so a sincere thank you Brad for taking the time to answer these three.

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