Bronze Boot football game postponed

EDWARDSVILLE — When the NCAA moved football from its traditional fall season to “spring,” which actually started in mid-winter, more than a few pairs of eyebrows were raised. The weather could possibly be a problem.

But the move to a shorter season starting in February was made due to the coronavirus pandemic and many said something was better than no season at all. So when SIUE (1-0) and Saint Louis University (2-1) decided to postpone this year’s Bronze Boot Game due to weather, Cougars coach Cale Wassermann took it in the stride.

“It’s understandable,” Wassermann said. “We are still studying possible postponement dates.

“But even if we manage to play there this spring, it will have a much different feel.”

Different feeling indeed.

Due to NCAA restrictions, there would be a minimum number of fans at the game, which was set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. at SLU’s Hermann Stadium.

“We would always love to play at Saint Louis U. whenever we get the chance,” Wassermann said. “But with the way the schedules are right now and other schools being in the same situation, it’s possible that we won’t have him play this spring, but rather in the fall.

“I think with the way people are getting vaccinated, there’s a chance things will be more normal in the fall.”

Games this spring are counted as the 2020 season, just pushed back. The NCAA hopes the 2021 fall season can run smoothly and include the usual number of games and playoffs.

Wassermann also said conference schedules will be taken into consideration first when rescheduling games. SIUE is in its final season in the Mid-American Conference and will return to the Missouri Valley Conference next season. Saint Louis University is part of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

“It becomes a snowball effect,” Wassermann said. “Each team has conference games they need to participate in and non-conference games come second. Teams must prioritize their conference games.

SIUE, which won its season opener at Butler on Feb. 5, did so on a full-size indoor court. The only field similar to this would be the indoor soccer field at the old Rams Park in Earth City, Missouri. This facility is now owned by Lou Fusz Athletic and is used for soccer and club football. The indoor grass field is marked for three smaller side-by-side football fields on the former St. Louis NFL team’s practice field.

Due to recent inclement weather, the Cougars practiced inside the Sports Academy, an indoor football facility located near the SIUE campus. However, there is no full size field available here.

“We haven’t been on a full-size pitch to practice in a while,” Wassermann said. “It’s very different.”

The Cougars’ next game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday against the University of Evansville at Korte Stadium.

“We always focus on ourselves,” Wassermann said of his work ahead of Sunday’s game. “We are still preparing our team for the year. We have enough to focus on ourselves.

Following Sunday’s game against Evansville, the Cougars are scheduled to play Missouri State on March 1, followed by a MAC home game against Western Michigan. There are five more conference games scheduled in March and four in April.

The final game of the spring schedule is on the road against West Virginia on April 18.