Following the Saskatoon Valkyries 56-0 trampling of the Manitoba Fearless during a playoff bout at Griffiths Stadium June 24, it was evident that the women’s football team has expanded their fan base beyond just family and friends in the city.
Cowbells rang out and fans brandished green wigs and face paint as the Valk’s steamrolled the opposition to advance to the Western Women’s Canadian Football League’s Prairie Conference finals.
“It’s awesome,” said Nancy Knight, who was witnessing her very first Valkyries game.
“It’s a great day to be out. I think it’s about time Saskatoon had a women’s football team. The participation from the other province is awesome and I think it’s great for women’s football. I wish I could be out there joining them.”
And the Valkyries haven’t had issue in that department, not only this season, but last year’s, as well. In fact, the Valkyries have yet to lose a game in the team’s history. After a back-to-back 4-0 season records, the Valkyries are proving to be one of the most dominant teams the WWCFL has ever seen.
Tristan Boschman is another Valkyries fan who has been captivated by the city’s women’s football scene.
“They’re doing an outstanding job. The athleticism of these women is remarkable,” said Boschman.
Valkyries head coach Jeff Yausie was pleased to show off his team to Saskatoon fans for a home playoff game.
“We’re excited about having the chance to play at least one playoff game at home. These home games are important to us and it’s fun to get out and play in front of friends and family,” said Yausie.
While the Valkyries winning streak has been the focal point of their season, the team’s ever-increasing fan base has also quietly improved.
“I think it’s a little bit better [this season]. It was great last year. Fan support has been really good,” said Yausie. “I think the league has recognized that we have great fan support by allowing us to host the league championship game and we’re excited to do that.”
The Valkyries return to Griffiths Stadium on July 8 when they face off with the Regina Riot in the WWCFL Prairie Conference finals. Regardless if the Valkyries advance to the league finals, the championship game will take place in Saskatoon on July 14.