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Winnipeg High School Football League season on hold

The St. Paul's Crusaders celebrate a 52-14 victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers in the WHSFL semifinal. Walther Bernal / Global News

The Winnipeg High School Football League season could be the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league released a statement from commissioner Jeffrey Bannon on Thursday indicating the season is on hold, for now.

“Based upon the approval of Football Manitoba’s Return to Play Stage 2, ‘Stay & Play,’ the WHSFL is now in conversations with each school division and their member teams to determine the future of any resemblance of a 2020 season,” Bannon said.

“We are committed to ensuring the safety of athletes, coaches, support staff, officials and all involved in our game. As communication continues and feedback is received from the divisions, we’ll make future decisions.”

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Training camps that were originally scheduled to open on Monday, Aug. 24 have been postponed indefinitely.

Read more: Vincent Massey Trojans grad rated among top 10 for 2020 CFL Draft

“Our plan since the outbreak has been to able follow the guidelines put forth by football Manitoba and the Provincial Government while listening to our school’s administrators,” said Bannon in a text message.

“We value the game of football and what life lessons it teaches, yet the safety of our athletes, coaches, officials etc is paramount over game play. I’m confident, we’ll get through this and come out stronger as a community and league on the other side.”

Read more: St. Paul’s Crusaders blank Vincent Massey Trojans in ANAVETS Bowl

Games can’t proceed until phase three of Football Manitoba’s Return to Play plan. The final decision on the season will rest with the school divisions. One consideration is to move the tackle league back to the spring, and play flag football in the fall.

Click to play video: 'HIGHLIGHTS: ANAVETS Bowl St. Paul’s vs Vincent Massey' HIGHLIGHTS: ANAVETS Bowl St. Paul’s vs Vincent Massey
HIGHLIGHTS: ANAVETS Bowl St. Paul’s vs Vincent Massey – Nov 9, 2018

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