WHSFL: Did the Kodiaks deserve a better fate?

The Winnipeg High School Football League has changed its playoff format. A change was made that added a fourth championship to provide more options for teams to win a “bowl” game.

When you have change, not everyone can be happy. River East’s Robin Mead summed it up perfectly “I think that there are no perfect formats to make everyone happy.”

The WHSFL’s new format had teams a division higher competing in the playoffs a division under them. On Thursday the fallout of these rules came when the River East Kodiaks ‘AA’ team lost to Sturgeon’s ‘AAA’ team 36-9.

Some people have been more frustrated than others but as Ryan Porco said “There is nothing we can do now but congratulate the teams that made it into the playoffs.”

That’s a year that ends on a bit of a sour note especially with a record of 7-1 in the regular season. The Steinbach Sabres will now meet the Sturgeon Heights Huskies. Steinbach had the same record as River East in the regular season but met St.Paul’s ‘AA’ team in the semis and beat them to advance.

For the seniors on the Kodiaks it may have been a harder pill to swallow because that could be their last game on a football field.

Coach Mead commented on his seniors, “I hope the seniors leave the program more able to combat the rigours of life, in part, because of the program. They left it all on the field, this season. They should be proud with how they played.”

Ryan Porco added “A lot of our players were hurt. This may be the last game for many of the seniors. I think they all played hard and deserved the chance to make it to the finals.”

Not everything has been negative about the new format. River East’s Mead said “I’m not bitter. This format is worth a try. We’ll talk about it as a coaching fraternity, I am sure.”

So now it’s on to the Steinbach Sabres ‘AA’ team to try their luck against the ‘AAA’ Sturgeon Heights Huskies.

Steinbach dominated the St.Paul’s Crusaders in the second half of the semis to earn a 31-9 victory and their spot in the Kas Vidruk bowl game.

Does a ‘AAA’ team really belong in the ‘AA’ playoffs? It’s not my judgment to make but Ryan Porco of the River East Kodiaks gave the Sabres some advice.

“All I can say for the Sabres is that I wish them the best of luck and to prove that a ‘AA’ team has the same chance of winning the finals as a ‘AAA’ team. Show them that the Vidruk division has some strong teams too.”




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