Not even a global pandemic could keep Rhett Vavra from finding a football home for next season. The speedy slotback recently committed to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies for the 2021 season.
“It’s a relief, that’s for sure. All the schools that I had to choose from are good schools academically and football-wise, so it’s a very tough choice. But when it came down to it I was very excited and proud and happy that I made the choice that I did,” said Vavra, 17.
Vavra had been weighing offers from schools in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Regina, and the Huskies.
“I have friends and family up there and I think it was the best academic-wise to choose the Huskies,” said Vavra, who plans on studying kinesiology at the U of S in hopes of eventually becoming a chiropractor.
“The first time I ever came into contact with anything Huskies was when I went to a camp when I was younger. As my football career went on I met them at more camps and at tryouts and stuff like that. They just contacted me and we’ve stayed in touch in ever since.”
Vavra missed out on plenty of football opportunities due to COVID-19, but still felt pleased with his final landing spot.
“There was a lot of recruiting options that I missed out on, like going to see the campuses or going to talk to coaches face-to-face, just stuff like exploring the campuses or looking at the facilities I had to miss out on.”
The 6’0’’, 160-pound Vavra has played slotback for the Swift Current Comp. Colts. “I’ll play anywhere they put me, hopefully receiver, slot or wide receiver, it doesn’t matter.”
The Huskies finished second in Canada West last season, losing to the University of Calgary Dinos in the 83rd Ed Hardy Cup after a 5-3 regular season.
“I feel like I can make a big difference. We have a lot of strong guys coming up from the picks this year. I think I’m going to redshirt a year first just to get a feel for the university and the football program and just learn the plays, just get settled in and settled down my first year,” explained Vavra.
Vavra and the Senior Colts had their basketball season ended last season by a teacher job action and COVID-19 and then he missed a track and field season where he would have looked to follow up on the three medals and a Junior Boys aggregate title that he won at SHSAA Provincials in grade 10.
“Of course I’d like to have all those sports back and have everything back to normal, but that’s not the way she goes. Football-wise, we’re actually very lucky, all the football in our league, our division has been shut down except for us, so we get to still get one last kick at the can before I go on to post-secondary.”
The Colts football team has been out practicing this season and will split into two teams for nine-man scrimmages. The Colts placed second last season in the 3A 12-man Rural Football League behind Yorkton when Vavra won three league awards, including Most Valuable Player. Vavra and the Colts were hoping to bring a league title back to Swift Current for the first time since 1999.
“Yeah we would have had a very good offense and a pretty solid defense as well. It’s a couple of my guys’ and best friends’ final year on the team, so I think we would have been up there for contenders as league finalists.”