Imperials coach frustrated after second season sacked by COVID

Photo courtesy of Sarnia Imperials' Facebook page.

The head coach and general manager of the Sarnia Imperials is frustrated by news that the Northern Football Conference has cancelled a second straight season.

The league made the recent, saying the Ontario government isn’t allowing tackle football under current COVID-19 protocols.

Jake Cherski is concerned that some teams may not survive another layoff.

“I think the league will kind of slowly resurrect itself, but we might lose a couple of teams that maybe weren’t as strong as far as recruiting goes,” said Cherski. “I’m not really worried about that from a Sarnia standpoint because we seem to be very proactive. I still have players calling and asking if they can try out for the team.”

Cherski said he feels especially bad for the older players who may not have another chance to lace them up in the NFC.

“The guys that are 33 and 34 years old, that are looking to get one last season in, now they don’t have it,” he said. “Now they’re going to be 36 or 37 coming back. The desire is there, but physically can the wear and tear on your body suffice coming back after a few years of non-physical activity? It’s one thing to be in the gym but it’s another thing to get hit on the football field.”

The league is hoping to ramp back up in 2022.