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High school football season hinging on safe return to classes

School district expected to look at the launch of extra-curricular activities sometime next month
An exhibition schedule only does provide flexibility of when the high school football season could start.

New equipment has been ordered and a potential schedule has been drafted. Now all the South Delta Sun Devils are waiting for is permission to launch their high school football season.

The Delta School District has not approved extra-curricular activities to proceed and won’t be doing so for some time as schools begin regular classes this week.

“There are a number of school districts doing the same apparently, including Surrey. They want to get a handle on kids being back in the classroom first,” said South Delta head coach Ray Moon. “We have heard they will be re-assessing sometime in October. It makes sense but it is a little frustrating too. Just sitting there and waiting.”

Karen Morgenthaler, a team parent and senior program coordinator, launched a petition last week urging the Ministry of Education and school district to proceed with the season. She points to community level sports having less restrictions, including football. So far it has generated nearly 400 signatures.

“All BC high school football teams should be able to start practicing as long as they have an approved safe return to play plan. We have worked very hard to make a safe return to play plan as well as purchasing new safety equipment such as masks and face shields for all participants. Sports are incredibly important for our kids mental and physical well-being. We plan to follow all the safety guidelines and rules,” said Morgenthaler.

It’s been determined the 2020 season will consist of exhibition games only in regional cohort groups that will disregard tiering as well. The Sun Devils would be playing Surrey schools, along with North Delta's Seaquam Seahawks. With no playoffs, there is at least flexibility of when the season can be played in what surely will be an unprecedented year for high school sports.

“We’re looking at a six-week playing schedule. It could start in November and go to mid-December or even go in January although you might be stepping on the toes of a basketball season,” continued Moon. “This is about giving these kids a season. For a lot of them football is one of their major things they do when they are in high school.”

For COVID-19 safety measures, the program ordered full face shields for senior and junior players at a cost of $2,000.