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.

BCFCchilliwackFootball

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

Just Posted

Irish folk supergroup Kíla set to perform on Saturday

Online concert will be available through Harrison Festival Society

Reported Kelowna Hells Angels member dies in Fraser Valley motorcycle crash

Michael “Speedy” Christiansen was found dead on Monday morning near Ruby Creek on Highway 7

Fundraiser golf tournament raises $74,000 for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chilliwack General Hospital will benefit from a tourney at held at the Sandpiper Golf Resort

Chilliwack basketball star Deanna Tuchscherer ready for Hungarian adventure

The UFV women’s basketball standout is going overseas to play pro basketball

Canada West Golf Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

UBC, UBC-O, UFV and UVic athletes will not hit the links this year, Kelowna was set to host

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

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

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Dozens of Canadian venues to light up red in support of entertainment workers

Local facilities among dozens across Canada to participate in Light Up Live

Most Read