A little different is not all bad for the young women participating in SDSSAA flag football this year.
Sure, it was not necessarily ideal for any of the athletes to be competing while adorned with a face mask, as exhibition play kicked off an abbreviated fall schedule at the Lasalle Indoor Dome last Thursday.
But for those who had played before, it wasn't all bad.
"I actually really liked it, with no wind and no sun," said Hannah Crane, a grade 10 center/snapper and receiver with the Confederation Chargers junior team. "It's actually pretty warm in here."
"With the wind last year, it would make it harder to catch." In fact, Crane hauled in one of the two touchdown passes that were tossed by QB Ashley Ruddick, with Danika Chenier accounting for the other, as both Ruddick and Chenier spent time at pivot.
Kylee Hitchen added a two-point conversion, also on a reception, as the Chargers blanked the Lo-Ellen Park Knights 15-0. One of a handful of returnees to the Confederation roster, Crane was among those who would provide some helpful advice to the newcomers to the sport, building in a succession line of success.
"You have to be ready for everything, because sometimes, when the play doesn't go as planned, we can throw it to anyone," said the multi-sport talent who also suits up with the Northern Chill Volleyball Club.
"Also, they need to be patient. Last year, as a niner, I didn't play much. This year, I didn't really get off the field very much."
It was a near flawless night for the Confederation crew, as senior quarterback Zoe Roper connected on three strikes to the end zone and ran the ball in for a pair of majors, leading her team to a 36-6 victory over the defending city champion Lasalle Lancers.
Roper connected twice with Lara El-Darazi, with Chelsea Leduc accounting for the other score. With teams utilizing the indoor soccer facility, and therefore not equipped with field goal posts, a two-point convert is the only option following a touchdown.
Roper added a pair of PATs, with Kailey Beggs hauling in another, while Taylor Ferguson picked off a pair of passes to lead the Chargers defensively. The Lancers broke the shutout bid late as Ariawna Moxam was on the receiving end of a toss from Mackenzie Roberts, with Lasalle coach Lance Patrie looking forward to a little more practice time in the upcoming weeks.