It's a done deal.
The Steinbach Regional Secondary School will field a junior varsity team that will compete in the Winnipeg High School Football League this fall.
"It's exciting," said Jamie Peters who was responsible for getting the SRSS football program off the ground in the spring of 2010 and is the head coach of the varsity team. "It's something that we kind of softly attempted last year. We had a fair amount of interest but we didn't quite have enough to push it over the edge. We had a lot of parents push last year and throughout the school year and we decided to make a full court press on it and the kids have responed. We've had a lot of kids come out that have never played football before and we have a small group of players that have played locally in the community as well. They've all come together and now we have a solid group of kids that want to get better at the sport of football and represent their school and work really hard. It's really exciting."
Between 35-40 players are expected on the JV roster and the same amount for the varsity team for the 2017 WHSFL season.
"I've put about 92 kids in pads at some point throughout our Spring Camp and I'm sitting at a number around 80 right now," said Peters. "I imagine that number will kind of go plus or minus 5-10 throughout the remainder of Spring Camp and even some students will join in September. I'm very confident we'll finish around 80 but then again it's a sport that a lot of kids have never played before and they're trying it. Some come out for three, four, five practices and say this isn't for me and other kids just right away love it and jump in and they do it for three or four years. It's just exciting to offer something that's maybe a little bit different than what they've been doing in their junior high athletics."
Peters, who will wrap up Sabres Spring Camp on June 1st, says the Winnipeg High School Football League is thrilled to add another junior varsity team.
"They're very happy. Our varsity league has done a very good job of growing and the JV league is usually anywhere from five to ten teams. We're a big school and have a big student population. This is something that we should be able to sustaing year-in and year-out as long as we build the program correctly and we coach it up well. I think the kids will keep coming."
The Oak Park Raiders, Grant Park Pirates, Sisler Spartans, St. Paul's Crusaders and Vincent Massey Trojans competed in the WHSFL's Junior Varsity division last season.