Elks recount difficult season, look forward to fresh start in 2022


The Edmonton Elks are looking ahead to 2022 after a difficult season that saw the club go winless at home and fail to earn a playoff spot.

The Elks were only able to must three lonely wins this year – their lowest total in almost 60 years.

“Would this be accepted again? Certainly, I wouldn’t expect that at all,” said Brock Sunderland, Elks general manager. “We aren’t planning on that.”

While the season may be over for the Canadian Football League team, head coach Jaime Elizondo said the team has work to do during the off-season.

“We are just getting a chance here over the next couple of months to lay some of our foundation down, some of our core beliefs and really implement them as opposed to just throwing them on a sheet of paper and talk about them briefly,” Elizondo said. “There’s a big, big difference.”

“The process is starting to correct what we can and do what we can to make sure that this doesn’t ever happen again,” Sunderland.

Edmonton failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2018, and the lack of wins drove fans away in record numbers. Only two of the seven home games managed to register more than 30,000 in attendance at Commonwealth.

“I’ve been here when the average (attendance) was in the 30,000s,” said Matt O’Donnell, veteran Elks lineman. “So I know what it takes, and I know how it feels.

“It definitely can change a game for guys, whether it gets guys hyped extra or gets that mojo flowing,” he added. “But that’s on us to bring ‘em back. That’s not on them to be like, oh, we owe it to you. It’s we (who) owe it to them.”

“The fans in this city have come to expect championships and winners, and our job is to deliver championships and wins,” Elizondo said, adding that anything less is a failure for the team.

“We certainly want to have the reverse of this record at this time next year,” Sunderland said.

The team has six months to figure it all out until the next season begins.

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