The South Kamloops Titans football team thought the season was over on Sunday (Nov. 5).
They were wrong.
In a twist of fate, the football squad received a playoff spot yesterday after a team backed out at the last minute.
"It was solemn yesterday (when they had to clean out their lockers)," says head coach JP Lancaster. "They're pretty ecstatic now."
The team that backed out (the fourth seed in the Fraser Valley's Eastern Conference) was set to play in Prince George this upcoming Saturday (Nov. 10); you know, that city six hours away from here, on a good day.
This means transportation, accommodation and food for 21 Kamloops boys.
Lancaster says the team hadn't budgeted for one more away game; if they had made it to the playoffs the usual route, they'd be playing in Kamloops.
He's now trying to prepare his team for the surprise playoff run, all while raising $2,000 to take the team to PG. Lancaster hopes the community can donate what they can to a recently launched GoFundMe page.
While the team will go no matter what, he wants to keep the burden of paying, off the players.
"We already ask them to pay a lot," Lancaster tells KamloopsMatters, noting players help keep the team afloat through fees. They also hold fundraising events to keep things going.
If the team wins in Prince George, things will be smoother. The district would help fund the next round, which would be a trip to Vancouver to play a team from Surrey in the quarterfinals.
"If we win this game...well, this program hasn't been to the provincial quarterfinals in a number of years," he says.
The GoFundMe campaign has already collected $300 to help offset the teens' costs.