The Regina Thunder of the Prairie Junior Football Conference had a tune up in Yorkton over the long weekend in preparation for their 2012 season opener this week at home against Edmonton, says head coach Erwin Klempner.
Part of their building plans for that game may include a former Yorkton Regional High School Raider Gridder by the name of Paul Toth.
Usually seen at Century Field in the Raider colours of orange and white, this time he's modelling the burgundy and green of the Regina Thunder Junior football team.
"It's a lot more intense," offers Toth following the end of the Thunderstorm at Century Field, Regina posting a 38-32 victory over the Winnipeg Rifles.
"Everything's quicker. It was a really good experience."
For head coach Klempner, the game, an exhibition match between the Thunder and Rifles, is an initiative by the PFC to promote the game.
"This is a PFC (Prairie Football Conference) initiative. They are trying to promote Junior football."
Yorkton and Brandon are the two cities in the PFC project to showcase the football talent in communities that don't already have a team in the league.
Says coach Klempner, Yorkton is the one place that has really supported being a neutral-site location for two teams that don't normally play here.
"Yorkton really bought into the program about 8-9 years ago," Klempner claims.
Despite being an exhibition game, and recording a 39-32 win, he said the job is really getting into the process where he and his coaches attempt to trim the numbers of players down before the start of the regular season.
According to some sources, the team was scheduled to make numerous cuts following Saturday's game at Century Field.
"That's what the game's all about," observes Klempner.
"We give the starters a quarter or two…playing at this level."
He adds that he will have a "very young team" this season.
Roby Sharpe of the Yorkton Minor Football Association said the game was a fundraiser for Yorkton Minor Football.