By Will Mallory ’20
The Harvard-Westlake Football League (HWFL) was an activity at break in which ninth graders participated in weekly contests against fellow classmates. The league slowly dissolved and students are no longer participating in games. Commissioner Graham Berger-Sacks ’20 officially announced the end of the league on Nov. 14.
In the past couple of years, ninth graders have organized small football exhibitions, competing for pride and bragging rights. This year, however, the league was authenticated in early October, with a new system that made HWFL more like a club.
“I felt like it was always a little exclusive in the past. This year, the main idea was to include everyone who wanted to participate,” Berger-Sacks said.
The league consisted of six teams with around eight players on each. The teams, named after Canadian Football League (CFL) teams, were the Stampeders, Argonauts, Lions, Roughriders, Tiger-Cats and Redblacks.
Recently, students stopped showing up to scheduled games as a protest of the new rules. Players were disappointed and believed the little things added up and caused the ending of the league.
“I think that the field was too long and wide, and the fans weren’t able to watch on both sides. This was an issue because they wouldn’t be able to see what was happening,” former Stampeders team captain Jake Kelly ’20 said.
As a result, other students stopped attending the games, which had an impact on the players.
“Personally, I think the lack of fans took the fun out of it for me and my teammates, and I think it had a ripple effect on the rest of the players,” former Roughrider Jasper Richards ’20 said.
The games were played every week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during break. Although the league was discontinued, students and faculty said they were very appreciative of Commissioner Berger-Sack’s dedication. Supervisor and Math Department Head Bob Pavich said he enjoyed the atmosphere of the game and appreciates all of the work that was put into the league.
“I really enjoy watching students taking time away from their busy lives to get together and play some football. I commend Graham for putting such a wonderful league together,” Pavich said while the league still existed.