Warriors to move up to NorWOSSA ‘AA’ division

Ryan Stelter
Kenora Miner and News

The Sioux North Warriors (Sioux Lookout) athletics will be taking a step up next season.
The Warriors are slated to join the NorWOSSA ‘AA’ division in basketball, volleyball, and soccer for the 2019-20 season.
This does not affect NorWOSSA hockey, as there is only one division for girls and boy’s hockey.
With the opening of a new high school, Sioux North’s population is on the rise, which athletic director Jason MacMillan said was the main reason for the move.
OFSAA gives northern schools an extra 50 students which allows for Sioux North to be in the range that meets ‘AA’ criteria.
MacMillan said OFSAA allows for that leverage as most schools in the region do not have the exact numbers to compete in the ‘AA’ division.
Thunder Bay, for instance, often has to play down as they do not have the numbers to compete in the ‘AAA’ division.
With the Keewatin Patricia District School Board tightening its belt due to cuts from the province, MacMillan said this move is also a cost-saving measure.
Sioux Lookout’s biggest drive will be to Fort Frances, 285 kilometres south of Sioux Lookout. Dryden and Kenora are also relatively close compared to playing ‘A’ schools such as Red Lake and Atikokan, which are more than a three-hour drive away.
This move will change the NorWOSSA ‘AA’ playoffs a bit, as there are now four teams, one team will miss the playoffs. The top three teams will make the playoffs, with the first-place team receiving a bye to the final.
Dryden is due to host the 2019 fall court sport playoffs, while Fort Frances will host the 2020 winter court sport playoffs. Beaver Brae will host the 2020 NorWOSSA ‘AA’ soccer championships. Sioux North will host the fall 2020 court sport championships.
With Sioux North’s departure, the remaining schools in division ‘A’ are Atikokan, Bai Bom Beh, Ignace, Pelican Falls, St. Thomas Aquinas, Rainy River, and Red Lake.