Fratmen, CJFL season cancelled due to COVID-19

Football 50-yard-line (© Can Stock Photo / purple_dragon)

A local football team’s season has been stopped at the goal line due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) announced Thursday afternoon that the 2020 season had been cancelled due to COVID-19.

“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.

In a written statement, the CJFL went on to state that every effort was made to prepare for the season safely, but risks outweighed rewards.

“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,” the statement read. “We look forward to returning to competition in 2021.”

The news affects the St. Clair Fratmen who were due to play the upcoming season at the new Sports Park Football Stadium on the main Windsor campus of St. Clair College.

“The St. Clair Fratmen remain committed to its players and coaches during this pandemic,” said Michael Beale, president of the Saints Student Athletic Association. “We had hoped that a delay in the season opener would have allowed an opportunity to salvage even a reduced fall season.  But even this proved to be too much of a challenge.  We will now focus on engaging our Ontario Football Conference partners to garner enough support to deliver a spring 2021 season to replace the fall season that was lost.”

Discussions on a framework for a fall season will begin in the coming weeks.