Football is back at LCCVI

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File Photo Members of the LCCVI Lancer Senior football team practice in 2013 as the seniors made a return to the high school football field. This year, football returns to Lancerland as the school plans to field a junior team.

Lancers love football but it has been an on again, off again relationship.
And for the 2019-2020 school year, it’s on.
Over the past six years, the football program at the Petrolia high school has come and gone. In 2013, the senior team returned after a one-year absence. Then, the program took another break in 2016. It returned for 2017, but when classes resumed in 2018, teachers didn’t have enough time to find qualified coaches and get in enough practice games to field a team in the Lambton-Kent Secondary School Athletics Association division.
But Principal Greg Nemcek says football will be back in September. It’s been one of his goals since returning to LCCVI last year. Nemcek grew up in Alvinston and attended the Watford high school.
Watford didn’t offer football, so in his fourth year, Nemcek travelled to LCCVI to be part of the senior team. He moved to LCCVI in Grade 13.
Nemcek came back to LCCVI as a teacher and coached the football team. Last year, Nemcek said the number one question people in Petrolia were asking is when football would return. He would tell them, “We’ll see what we can do.”
Things came together this spring. “During the staffing process for next year, one of the teachers, who I used to coach (as a student at LCCVI) Matt Godfrey became available and was coming to LCCVI. Right now, he’s at Great Lakes (Secondary School in Sarnia) and he’s a football coach.
The pair talked it over with the head of physical education at LCCVI, Scott McAuley, and decided it was time to get football up and running again.
Nemcek says excitement grew as he began talking to the Grade 9 and 10 students about the possibility of a team. He already has between 28 to 30 teens who want to play – and that’s not including any Grade 8 students who will start in September.
Nemcek says the school has sent the helmets away to be reconditioned in preparation for the season. It appears there will be four or five teams in the league.
The principal can hardly contain his excitement about the idea. “With the football, we will be bringing back the traditional homecoming weekend tied to the football game. It’s a great thing.”