EDITORIAL: Apology required

The leadership of the B.C. High School Football Association needs to step up and do right by the Ballenas Whalers

A season that started in the disarray of a teachers’ strike ended in controversy for the Ballenas Whalers senior football team on Saturday in Vancouver.

In short, the Whalers were robbed. And there’s no second chance for the seniors on this team who have put years of effort, sweat, blood and commitment into this program.

What’s worse, the governing body of B.C. high school football doesn’t seem to care about these kids or the integrity of the sport it administers.

Coach Jeremy Conn and others have built the Ballenas program into a provincial force. Much more than the results on the field, or the sport itself, high school football teaches the value of teamwork and the importance of effort in all facets of life.

Saturday, on a snowy and cold UBC field, an error by officials destroyed the dreams of a team that was one play short of playing for the provincial championship this weekend on the big stage at B.C. Place.

It was overtime. The team from Mission scored a touchdown. Mission could have kicked a convert to tie and extend the game. Instead, the Mission coach decided to go for a two-point convert to win, a gutsy call for sure. On that play, video evidence clearly shows a Mission player down in the backfield. The referee, only a few yards away, was looking right at the player with the ball. Instead of blowing the play dead, he let the player get up and eventually into the end zone.

Mission celebrates. Officials run off the field. Whalers stand on the sideline bewildered, their season over.

Officials make mistakes. They are human. They make fewer mistakes than the players. But where is the B.C. High School Football Association in all this, its president Bernie Crump and its past president Farhan Lalji (a TSN reporter who by all accounts has been a superb supporter and volunteer for B.C. high school football over the years)?

Even the NFL, where multi-million-dollar jobs are on the line every week, has apologized when its officials have blown a call. The B.C. High School Football Association needs to apologize to the Whalers for what has happened. For Ballenas players in Grade 12, this was the last chance they had to realize a dream that was years in the making.

Time to stand up, Bernie. Take the high road, Farhan. These things happen, but how an association deals with them says a lot about its credibility and its dedication to the young men playing this game.

— Editorial by John Harding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PQB News editor battles cancer through pioneering treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

Port Alberni man arrested after police seize suspected illicit drugs in Nanoose Bay

Car stopped, impounded after driver clocked travelling at more than twice the posted speed limit

Oceanside Generals back on winning path

Gens score tough VIJHL home wins vs Buccaneers, Glacier Kings

Residents speak out against proposed Parksville affordable housing development

Environment a primary concern; land is largely on a 200-year-old floodplain away from city centre

B.C.-based firefighting plane crashes in Australia, killing three

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

Victoria’s plastic-bag ban ended by Supreme Court of Canada

City’s leave to appeal lower court’s decision denied

One person in Vancouver being monitored for coronavirus, feds say

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said five or six people are being monitored in Canada

“Major road failure” shuts down highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet

A rock crashed down onto Hwy. 4 early Thursday morning.

Gap between cost of legal and illegal cannabis keeps growing: Stats Canada

In B.C., legal pot cost $9.32 per gram when bought legally

The word ‘landlord’ is too negative, one B.C. councillor says

Coun. Dave Loewen says term should be replaced by ‘rental housing provider’ in new housing strategy

Canada prepares as WHO decides whether to declare global coronavirus emergency

The city of Wuhan, China, has shut down outbound flights and trains

Survey finds support among Canadians for broader assisted-dying law

The survey was conducted Jan. 17 to 21 among 1,552 Canadians eligible to vote

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Most Read