If a new deal is struck this week between B.C. teachers and the provincial government, then Shane Sommerfeld, Peter McCall and Mike Godwin will no longer have to watch their teams play from a distance.
All three Central Okanagan high school senior varsity football programs have been without their head coaches due to the ongoing labour dispute.
If the B.C. Teachers Federation approves the tentative labour agreement Thursday, then Sommerfeld will officially be back at the helm of the KSS Owls, McCall will be back with the Rutland Voodoos, and Godwin will again be running practices for the Mt. Boucherie Bears.
“We’re pretty excited,” said McCall, who is still looking for players to join the Voodoos. “There have been some pretty dark times for the players and coaches, but hopefully we can get back to normal and get on with the season.
Due to the labour dispute between the the two sides, Kelowna teachers—such as McCall, Godwin and Sommerfeld—had been asked by the union not to take part in extracurricular activities, including football.
All programs have been run in the interim by non-teacher volunteers.
The Voodoos were scheduled to kick off their regular season this Friday night at the Apple Bowl against W.J. Mouat, but because of a lack of quality preparation time, low player numbers and injuries, McCall said his team has chosen to cancel the game and reschedule for a later date. Rutland’s season opener is now set for Sept. 26 at St. Thomas More.
The Bears were scheduled to kick off their season Friday night at Terry Fox in Coquitlam.
The Owls will open up their 2014 regular season Saturday, Sept. 27 at W.J. Mouat.
B.C. high school football has agreed to push the playoffs back a week—allowing teams to play make-up games as late as the beginning of November. It’s possible the number of playoff teams could also be expanded from 12 to 14.