Lions to host first night game at York Stadium

The York Lions show some pride prior to one of last year's home games

The York University Lions football team will play its first ever evening home game under the lights at York Stadium when it welcomes the McMaster University Marauders for a night game on Thursday, Oct. 4.

The York Lions show some pride prior to one of last year's home gamesThe York Lions show some pride prior to one of last year’s home games

Lights will be rented and set up around York Stadium for the 7pm kick-off. With so many York students commuting daily to and from the Keele campus, the special day and time should offer students a chance to catch a Lions football game on the campus’s busiest social night of the week.

The night game is yet another exciting step for the Lions football program. Since head coach Warren Craney came on board in 2010, the team has undergone significant change and is showing improvement on the field. The Lions welcomed more than 50 new recruits in 2011 and have a class that numbers 45 for 2012, and the squad gave Craney his first win as ahead coach last year with an overtime victory over the Waterloo Warriors.

“Playing under the lights has a certain feeling that is hard to put into words,” said Craney. “Night games in football are traditionally special and the atmosphere is always electric. Our night game will also give us a new way to engage with students on campus and I look forward to seeing them in the stands this fall!”

The contest promises to be a challenge for the Lions as they will take on the defending Yates Cup and Vanier Cup champions. The Marauders finished second in the Ontario University Athletics standings last season with a 7-1 record and went a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs, including a thrilling 41-38 overtime victory over the Laval Rouge et Or in the championship final. The Lions did not face the Marauders last season.

The game against the Marauders is the Lions’ third of four home games. They will begin play at York Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8 against the Ottawa Gee-Gees, and will return two weeks later for their Homecoming game against the Warriors on Saturday, Sept. 22. The Lions wrap up the home portion of their schedule on Saturday, Oct. 20 against the Guelph Gryphons.