Local CFL players create flag football league

Bombers running back Andrew Harris. Kevin King / Winnipeg Sun

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A pair of local CFLers are doing their part to make sure football players in the province get some action this fall.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris and Montreal Alouettes special teamer D.J. Lalama have teamed up to create the Pro Prep Flag Football League, which will begin play on Sept. 30.

The league offers a varsity division for high school players, as well as the pro division for junior, university and CFL players.

The CFL, Canadian university and Manitoba high school football seasons were all cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Pro Prep Flag Football League was created to fill the gap that currently exists in the Province of Manitoba due to COVID-19,” Lalama said. “With many student-athletes unable to compete in regular fall sports, tackle football specifically, Pro Prep offers a safe and competitive alternative for the fall of 2020 so that student-athletes can still complete and develop their skills.”

Games will be played Wednesday and Friday evenings at Murray Field (Dakota Collegiate) and will follow Covid-19 rules set by Manitoba Health, Football Manitoba and Football Canada.

“This is a great opportunity for players of all ages to continue playing the game they love while leagues across the country are on hold,” Harris said. “All players will have access to game film at the end of the season to compile their highlight tape and teams will play 10 regular season games and up two playoff games.”

Harris is the all-time leading rusher among Canadian CFL players and was MVP and Most Outstanding Canadian of the 2019 Grey Cup.

Students united against racism

Members of the arch-rival University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba and Brandon University sports programs have teamed up to make a statement against racism.

Student-athletes from the three universities have produced a video in which they speak out against racism and social injustice.

The video features Wesmen Nigel Nielsen, Felixe Sturk-Lussier and Josh Gandier. former Bison Rashawn Browne, current Bisons Keziah Brothers and AK Gassama, and Bobcats Eli Ampofo, Faythe Miller and Anthony Tsegakele.

The athletes hope the video will lend strength to the Black Lives Matter and Indigenous Lives Matter conversations being held across Canada and North America.

“It’s not a competition, it’s a movement,” the group said in a statement released to the media.

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