Public school board moving forward with football season prep despite unclear future


The Greater Essex County District School going at it alone in making plans for a potential high school football season.

While the local health unit has recommended all sports be delayed until at least October due to rising COVID-19 numbers, trustees have passed a motion to move forward with getting equipment certified and coaches trained in the hopes a late season is given the green light.

Trustee Cathy Cooke made the original motion stating football players deserve a fair shot at landing a post-secondary scholarship.

She says many other boards across Ontario are moving forward with football as well.

"What I want everybody to think about is there's other boards in Ontario that are playing football. We, here, have awesome football players. We always have football players that get scholarships. Luke Willson, look where he went. There's three or four others that have played professionally."

Cooke says expenses should be not an issue as the season was cancelled last year.

"To say to them that you're not going to play. You didn't play last year, you saved money last year. So let's let them play this year. Let's get something in place so that these guys can get a scholarship or at least play."

She says many players have put in years of work and it would be a shame to see that go to waste.

"You go talk to these kids that are waiting for scholarships and you tell them, "I don't care. We're not going to play football." That's not fair. Those kids have been working hard not for one year, but for many years because this was a goal."

As it stands now, the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board is not on board with prepping for a football season — if that remains the case, the public board would host its own league.

Each year, all high school football helmets are sent out, rebuilt and certified by an outside company — that process takes up to six weeks, meaning the earliest the season could start is mid to late-October.