Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Buffalo roam in new home

Football Bisons pumped about starting season at Investors Group Field

  • Print
University of Manitoba Bisons head coach Brian Dobie and his captains: From left, Ranji Atwall, Al Turnbull, Lauren Kroeker, Andrew Smith, Jordan Yantz, Andrew Barry.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

University of Manitoba Bisons head coach Brian Dobie and his captains: From left, Ranji Atwall, Al Turnbull, Lauren Kroeker, Andrew Smith, Jordan Yantz, Andrew Barry. Photo Store

Coach Brian Dobie and his team are about to enter a brand new era of Manitoba Bisons football.

For 47 years they called the rubber end zones and creaking bleachers of University Stadium their home. But on Friday the team will launch a new era with their first game at Investors Group Field, against the Alberta Golden Bears.

Every player and coach on the team has their own reasons to be excited about the new stadium.

Linebacker Al Turnbull is excited for a few reasons. He can't wait to play in what is now one of the best university football facilities in the nation. Turnbull is also the president of the University of Manitoba Students' Union and believes the stadium will benefit the campus.

'We are who we are. We've recruited it, we've coached it and now it's up to them to go out and let's see how it all lays out'

-- Brian Dobie

"One of our big platform points was to make sure we come in and we increase student spirit. And what a way to spearhead it, with the stadium. We're really excited," Turnbull said.

All of that extra excitement and hype has also led to extra pressure. Turnbull and the rest of the Bisons realize how critical it is to pick up a win and get fans interested early. Investors Group Field has room for a lot more fans than University Stadium and Turnbull hopes to see not only students, but all sports fans come to the game.

"We need people to get in and see our talent. They need to see how we react under pressure, because there's a lot of pressure," Turnbull said. "Once we start to win I think we can really assert ourselves as a dominating force in the Canada West."

Even Dobie is feeling the pressure. A win against the Golden Bears would pay tribute to both the history and future of the team.

"You're not just playing for Friday night. You're not just playing for the season. You're playing for 47, almost 50, years of Bisons football that went through all kinds of good times and hard times in a different facility. And you're going to be playing for everyone coming up in the next seven or eight decades," Dobie said.

The Bisons are looking for their first home-opener win since 2008. During Dobie's 17 years as the coach of the team, the Bisons have gone 9-8 in regular-season openers, but only 3-4 at home.

Last year, the Bisons finished 4-4 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. But Dobie's worked hard this training camp to get the Herd prepared. He's confident in his starting quarterback Jordan Yantz, he has two dangerous offensive weapons in running back Anthony Coombs and receiver Nic Demski, and he believes his defensive line is one of the stingiest in the Canada West conference.

The Bisons will be the first test for new Bears coach Chris Morris, a former CFL offensive lineman with three Grey Cup rings. Dobie doesn't know what to expect from Alberta, but he's done all he can to prepare for the game.

"We are who we are. We've recruited it, we've coached it and now it's up to them to go out and let's see how it all lays out," Dobie said.

But before Dobie will see if the Herd will become the first home team to win at Investors Group Field, he'll have another big moment.

"I know that when we're waiting in the tunnel to be introduced, I'm going to be really emotional. I won't lie to you, I might tear up," Dobie said. "That will be gone in moments, once we get onto the field."

kyle.jahns@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 28, 2013 D2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Spring fashion trends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Goose sits in high grass near Marion Friday afternoon for cover -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 18 - May 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hangs out on a birch tree in St. Vital. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is considered a keystone species. Other species take advantage of the holes that the birds make in trees. A group of sapsuckers are collectively known as a

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What Western Conference teams will emerge from the first round of the NHL playoffs?

View Results

Ads by Google