Contributed by the St. Clair Student Athletic Association
St. Clair’s Saints Student Athletic Association (SAA) Inc. made it official on February 21, announcing the purchase of the Fratmen Football organization at a press conference held at the college’s SportsPlex.
“The Saints Student Athletic Association is happy to make this announcement, as we are always looking to expand our athletic portfolio. We think this is a great opportunity to offer football enthusiasm to the student body on campus”, said SAA President Kshitij Punj. “The SAA board and I are looking forward to the challenge of being directly involved with the operations of this team, and are indeed excited about it.”
This innovative partnership between the Fratmen Football franchise and the college’s SAA will be the first of its kind in Ontario. As of February 21, the SAA will assume ownership of the Fratmen Football team, taking responsibility for the business and game-day operations of the program.
Beginning with the 2020 season the team will play and practice at the soon-to-be-completed St. Clair Sports Park. Construction of the $20 million complex is set to be finalized in mid-summer, with the facility featuring an artificial-turf playing surface that is fully lit for evening play, and a 1,500-seat capacity stadium including a media press box and a jumbo interactive score board.
The SAA is thrilled to be partnered with the storied history and success of the Fratmen brand, which is the longest-running amateur sport organization in Canada, beginning in 1929, and winning three national titles during its existence. The Fratmen were also the first Canadian Junior Football League team to be honoured in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and have been featured in the Museum's locker-room exhibit.
The team will continue to play in the Ontario Football Conference, part of the Canadian Junior Football League, with a fall season stretching from August to November.
The current Fratmen coaching staff will remain in place, with recruitment already in full swing for next season. Head Coach Mike Lachance will announce his coaching staff in the coming weeks, assisted by Joe Cleroux who will be retained to assist with league matters and compliance.
Rostered players on the football team who are enrolled full-time in the fall semester at St. Clair College will continue to enjoy a $1,250 scholarship, with access to several other bursaries and financial aid opportunities. However, student status at St. Clair College is not required for access to the playing roster.
Rick Cranker and St. Clair Athletic Coordinator Ted Beale will serve as education liaisons for current and prospective football team members.
For the background of this partnership, see The Scene story published last October at http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/college-seeks-football-franchise-or-frat-chise