‘We had a few guys that got stuck’: Roughriders dig out from prairie snow storm

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Some Roughrider players got a bad taste of what a Saskatchewan winter feels like this week.

Snowy 90-kilometre-an-hour winds crashed through Regina right in the middle of the Riders final practice week of the regular season, one that would normally be over by now, had it not been for the pandemic-induced delay to start the season.

“The blizzard got us, we had a few guys that got stuck. A couple of our guys don’t have cars so they have to take Ubers or find ways in and it’s hard for them,” Craig Dickenson said.

“We had a couple of guys that were stuck and we found ways to go out and get them and get them to the stadium on time.”

The coach was in his posh Mosaic Stadium office when old man winter started to lay his licking on the ‘306’ and it wasn’t until Dickenson left for the day that he found a wicked surprise waiting for him in the parking lot.

“I told the guys it was coming, I didn’t think it was going to come this fast for them but this sort of weather is part of what you get out here on the prairies,” Dickenson said.

“It was a nasty storm and one of those storms where down here where we’re at on the second level, you don’t really know what’s going on. We walked out and it definitely was a different feeling when you hit outside.”

Backup quarterback Isaac Harker, who has been preparing all week to start in place of a resting Cody Fajardo in the regular season finale in Hamilton this weekend, noticed the snow too.

“I’ve been pretty lucky so far to avoid the shovelling” Harker said. “But the roads have been ice rinks and so you’ve got to drive a little slower.”

The Roughriders did practice outdoors in the elements this week but lucky for them the forecast for Saturday’s game in Hamilton calls for plus-seven temperatures and no snow at Tim Hortons Field.

The below freezing and stormy Regina weather could work both ways for the green and white. It made for great preparation for their West Division playoff game in Regina and later maybe even Winnipeg.

But at the same time, one can’t help but wonder if this true taste of a Saskatchewan winter will drive some of the pending free agents away from Rider Nation in the future.

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.