Chilliwack’s Valley Huskers won’t play in 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of junior football seasons across the country

The Valley Huskers are going to be left on the sideline in 2020, thanks to COVID-19.

The Canadian Junior Football League, which includes the B.C. Football Conference, announced Aug. 6 that it’s not feasible to operate a regular season or playoffs, and the CJFL is turning its attention to 2021.

“It is very disappointing to make this announcement today, but our priority is the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, and team administrators,” said CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich.

Having 50-plus players on buses traveling to road games was a shaky idea during a pandemic, and the physical in-your-face nature of football makes it nearly impossible to physically distance during games.

READ MORE: Valley Huskers read to roll if BCFC season goes ahead

READ MORE: Chaotic offseason for Chilliwack’s Valley Huskers

With bans on large gatherings still in place, having 100-plus players and a dozen or more coaches at Chilliwack’s Exhibition Field, even with no fans in the stands, was a non-starter.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have followed all public health guidelines and will continue to support them in the future,” the CJFL’s news release said. “Unfortunately, at this stage, return to play guidelines do not allow for large enough gatherings to make training and competition safe for our athletes.

“Despite our hope that the situation in Canada would improve and allow for the CJFL to proceed with the 2020 season, the health and safety challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing risk to our players, coaches and staffs make it unfeasible for the CJFL teams to compete in 2020.”

Off the field, it was going to be financially challenging for several teams, including the Huskers. With local businesses struggling, sponsorship would have taken a hit, and with the likelihood of no paying fans, the team would have struggled to make ends meet.

But Huskers president Jean Hincks said the team will be okay.

It’s sad, but the health of our players is the most important factor in the season and the virus doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon!” she said. “We are going to focus on building a strategy for success. We have a great board and I know we’re going to do great things next year.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC Football ConferencechilliwackFootball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford has a COVID-19 rate 10 times higher than Chilliwack

Abbotsford has been much harder hit by COVID-19 than its neighbour to the east

Chilliwack illusionist Chris Funk brings live magic, music to Cultural Centre

‘You’ll see some creations that have made appearances on some of the largest television shows in the world’

Brokerage team brings in $9,510 to help feed hungry children in Chilliwack

RBC Dominion Securities raise thousands of dollars for Chilliwack Bowls of Hope Society

Chilliwack Business Excellence Awards return in 2021 with six new categories

Using a virtual format, the awards will celebrate innovation and inspiration in a pandemic

Chilliwack BC Liberal candidate hopeful jumps to the BC Conservatives

Days after Janzen said she had ‘rug yanked’ from under her by BC Liberals she finds a new home

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

B.C. VOTES 2020: Speculation tax misses speculators, B.C. Liberals say

Andrew Wilkinson, John Horgan clash over housing costs, solutions

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

Wind warning for White Rock, South Surrey

Gusts up to 90 km/h expected from Richmond to Langley Friday (Sept. 25) morning

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Most Read