Season 12 begins Friday as the Steinbach Regional Secondary School will face the Oak Park Raiders at A.D. Penner Park to open the 2022 Winnipeg High School Football League campaign.

The opening kickoff is 5 p.m.

“A new season is always exciting,” noted Jamie Peters who was instrumental in getting the football program off the ground at the SRSS 12 years ago. “It’s a new group of players who are embarking on a journey ready to write their own story. This is also the first season since 2019 where everything is “normal.” We are back in the city loop with no restrictions!”

“Our varsity team has a nice core of solid veteran players but we are a small team,” added Peters who will once again look after the Sabres defense. Stephen Fedus returns as head coach and offensive coordinator. “We only have 30 players which is about 5-7 players less than usual. This will make the year a challenging one but our players will embrace that challenge and push to get better each day.”

Coach Peters is thrilled his Sabres will play in the Potter Division this season.

“Our program started in 2010 and has played in all three divisions winning a championship in division 3 (2012) and division 2 (2012). We made the jump to division 1 (Potter) in 2017 and we built into a top four team in the province by 2019. We are ecstatic to be back competing in the top division in the province.”

Typically division 1 is 10-12 teams. This year with realignment and coming out of pandemic it was shrunk to six teams.

The Potter Division includes the SRSS, Oak Park, the St. Paul’s Crusaders, Dakota Lancers, Grant Park Pirates and the defending champion Vincent Massey Trojans.

The Sabres celebrated their 10th anniversary season in 2019.

The 2020 WHSFL season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Steinbach Regional dropped a 31-23 decision to Brandon’s Vincent Massey Vikings in the 2021 Westman Bowl.