Jack Giroux, right, is disappointed not to play football in his last year in high school at Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary. (PQB News file photo)

Jack Giroux, right, is disappointed not to play football in his last year in high school at Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary. (PQB News file photo)

Island football players missing out on final season of high school career

Parksville Ballenas Whalers pair hope to play the game at another level in the future

Ballenas Whalers football players, particularly those in their final year in high school, are disappointed they didn’t get the chance to compete against other schools due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

They were allowed to train and hone their skills under the guidelines set by the provincial health authorities and were hopeful that perhaps down the road they would be able to play actual games but it didn’t happen.

Among the Whalers disheartened by the cancellation of the BC High School Football League season are Jack Giroux and Bruce McCabe.

They have been with the Whalers football program since Grade 8 and were eagerly looking forward to their last year in high school football.

“It’s disappointing, big time. It’s been a big part of my life,” said Giroux, who has been playing football since he was seven years old. “You’re always looking forward to that senior year and it get stripped away by something like this. It’s always been a fun time. It’s just weird without it.”

“Not to be able to play at all in your last season, it’s extremely disappointing,” said McCabe, who started in the sport at the age of 12. “It really sucks. It’s horrible timing with COVID and everything. But there’s not much we can about it. But it definitely is tough.”

READ MORE: Pandemic poses problems for Parksville skating club

Giroux, was the Whalers junior MVP two years ago. McCabe was recognized for his leadership in the team that year as a junior and in 2019 earned defensive all-star honours in the BC High School Western Conference.

Both had goals in their final year. They were hoping to get a chance to boost their stock that may land them a chance of playing football somewhere.

“I was working hard and I really wanted to see this to be my best season and really put me out there for playing football in the future,” said McCabe. “It’s just really unfortunate timing that we can’t play.”

Both indicated what they miss the most is the camaraderie and support they get from one another as well as from coaches and their families.

“Obviously, just playing, I miss that a lot but also the practices, the meetings and being with my teammates,” said McCabe. “It was a big part of it just being with them.”

“We always had fun times at practice, you know messing around and just having fun being kids and playing football,” said Giroux. I am just hoping that we have a rugby season in the spring.”

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