Grizzly football not hampered by job action

The GW Graham football program is adopting a 'business as usual' policy as a teacher strike looms in September.

GW Graham’s football program will proceed uninterrupted by any teachers’ job action.

Grizzlies head coach Laurie Smith confirmed Monday that any strike would have to drag on for a long time before it impacted his team.

“We’ve been told by BC School Sports and BC High School Football to go ahead,” he said. “Until the strike is resolved, every game would be considered an exhibition game. But our first three games are exhibition games anyways, so if a strike is been resolved by the end of September, nothing changes for us.”

GWG is able to carry on because only one of the coaches is employed as a teacher. Athletic director Jake Mouritzen is not attending any football-related events (practices, games). Smith and the rest of his staff are community volunteers.

GWG principal Dan Heisler is overseeing training camp.

“There are a couple schools that aren’t able to start training camps because they do have teachers as coaches,” Smith said. “But I’ve talked to all of our upcoming opponents, and they’re all on. We go to Nanaimo to play John Barsby and have Prince George coming down here. Seaquam and Rick Hansen are ready to play, and that’s our first four weeks.”

Right now there are no pickets set up outside of the school. Come September there probably will be, creating the potential for discomfort.

“We don’t really want to cross a picket line, but they usually take it down by four or five, and we could practice in the evening,” Smith said. “I honestly don’t know what to expect. All I know is I got the letter from BC School Sports in the summer telling me to go ahead, so I’m going ahead.”

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