The Vanier Vikings celebrate their 2011 high school football city championship. Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
The Moose Jaw High School Football League is as healthy as it has ever been at the beginning of the new season.
In 2008, the league was down to three teams. Now seven teams will hit the gridiron when the season kicks off Saturday thanks to the addition of Weyburn and Yorkton.
“It’s great to have seven teams. It makes for a nice six-game regular season. Everybody plays everybody one time,” said league commissioner Larry Segall. “Weyburn and Yorkton are bringing quality programs into the Moose Jaw league. It should be a real strong league.”
The season will begin Saturday will three games. Swift Current travels to meet Central (1 p.m., Gutheridge Field) and Yorkton will come to town to face the defending champion Vanier Vikings (3:15 p.m., Gutheridge Field). Weyburn will also make their league debut in Estevan. Peacock has the opening week bye.
Seven teams is as large as the local league has ever been. At that time the four local high schools were joined by Swift Current, Balgonie Greenall and Caronport. Caronport ceased playing 12-man football, Balgonie joined the Regina Intercollegiate Football League and Riverview stopped fielding a team. When Swift Current went to play in Medicine Hat’s league, the MJHSFL became skeletal.
Swift Current returned and Estevan began a football program and the league stabilized to five teams.
“A few years back we only had three teams. We wanted to find at least one more team,” said Segall. Instead they found four more teams.
All seven teams will make the playoffs this season. The regular season champion will earn a bye to the semifinals and the other six teams will play off in three quarter-final games.
The league champion will host the 3A provincial semifinal, with the winner advancing to the 3A provincial final in Regina on Nov. 10.