Windsor-Essex public schools prepare for possible return of football

·1 min read
Students and parents made their voice heard outside of Kennedy High School Aug. 30. They were protesting the cancellation of high school football for the 2021 season.  (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)
Students and parents made their voice heard outside of Kennedy High School Aug. 30. They were protesting the cancellation of high school football for the 2021 season. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)

The public school board in Windsor-Essex says it will be ready to play football this fall, if it gets clearance from the public health unit.

All extracurricular activities are on hold until next month because of concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Todd Awender, a superintendent with the Greater Essex County District School Board, reported Tuesday night that eight high schools have sent away helmets to be recertified for safety at a cost of about $8,000.

"We have to wait until Oct. 1. We don't know what the health unit is going to say. They may strongly recommend that we don't do the sports or have celebrations," said Awender.

The Windsor and Essex County Secondary Schools Athletics Association decided in the summer to postpone high school football again because helmets wouldn't be certified in time. But the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit recommended postponing all extracurricular activities until October. That gave the school board time to recertify the helmets.

"I'm really happy to hear they got the helmets out getting certified. They picked up a new convener that they're looking at possibly a shortened season," said Gino Facca, whose son Dean plays football for W.F. Herman High school.

"It'd be a modified season, for whatever teams end up playing," said Awender.

Facca says it's important to get the football season underway to give the players experience.

Dale Molnar/CBC
Dale Molnar/CBC

"Especially the Grade 9 kids, because if they don't play this season, they're going to be going into next year without any football experience," he said.

A spokesperson for the Catholic board says principals will be certifying the helmets in January in anticipation of playing next fall.

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