After losing two weeks of playing time due to the province-wide teachers' walkout, NorWOSSA has decided to scrap the two regular-season games lost for each team and conclude the regular season with one final set of games here tomorrow.
That would leave each club with three home games and three away for the season, with the NorWOSSA playoffs slated for Kenora either next Friday or the following Monday. Athletic directors from each school will be notified of the decision sometime today.
But because the first semester court sports championships will be played about two weeks later than scheduled and OFSAA has committed to playing their championships two weeks later as well, Fort High athletic director Bob Grynol said there is a meeting next Tuesday in Dryden to determine the dates for the second semester start-up for court teams.
“Because OFSAA backed up two weeks later, and we'll have one or two teams from our conference who will make it to that level, going to NWOSSAA and then probably OFSAA, many of those players will be trying out for volleyball or basketball in the second semester so we have to wait for them to be done before we start having practices,” said Grynol from his office yesterday morning.
“That's where we've run into a problem with our scheduling because we have tournaments scheduled for the first week of December but we won't have played OFSAA yet.”
Grynol said those scheduling decisions will be made at the NorWOSSA fall meeting a week from today, adding the decision to cancel games was a unanimous one made by each school's athletic directors.
“The thing was that we didn't want the kids to miss any more school," he stressed. ”If we play out the schedule, that's 10 more days and it just didn't compute.
"Plus the fact everyone goes to the playoffs, so it's not an issue of an advantage here or there. If everyone plays an equal amount of games, which they haven't right now, then we can balance the schedule and go into the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the football team, which clinched first-place in NorWOSSA with a perfect 5-0 record, will play the Kenora Broncos here this Saturday for the league championship (1 p.m., Westfort field) on just five days notice. The club hasn't played since Oct. 17 when they defeated those same Broncos 43-7.
“Both coaches decided they wanted to play out the season and Kenora let me know they wanted to challenge for the championship," Grynol said. "They [said they] had the right to play the game and we're in first place undefeated, so we have to accept the challenge.”
The hockey team, under rookie head coach Glen Edwards, will open their season this weekend in Warroad, with four “controlled scrimmages” against US high school clubs from Warroad, Baudette, Thief River Falls and Park Center.
The black-and-gold will host the Dryden Eagles in their home opener this Tuesday (7:30 p.m.) before they hit the road for a doubleheader Friday and Saturday in Red Lake.