Sunday, September 17, 2017

AA Varsity Week 3

AA Varsity Week Three

Week Two Wrap

Windsor did not leave any doubt in their 2017 debut versus Pitt Meadows en-route to a 54-7 romp. No slow starts this year for the Dukes! Things came down to the wire for Vernon as they tangled with a superb Cochrane Alberta squad.   Hugh Boyd got themselves a quality win over Bateman and Langley is putting a lot of points on the board.   You gotta love Fulton getting its first win over Omak WA!  Well done Maroons!!


Cochrane AB 28 Vernon 24
John Barsby 35 SRT 6
Hugh Boyd 33 Robert Bateman 14
Langley 44 Frank Hurt 7
STM 38 Abbottsford 0
Notre Dame 54 Holy Cross 0
Belmont 31 Ballenas 21
Nechako Valley 19 South Kamloops 13
G.W. Graham 35 Argyle 12
Clarence Fulton 19 Omak WA 14
South Widbey WA 42 Valleyview 8
Windsor 54 Pitt Meadows 7

Gridiron's Top 5

1. Windsor Dukes
2. Vernon Panthers
3. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
4. Hugh Boyd Trojans
5. Prince George Polars

GI's Picks

Friday 22nd

Rutland (AAA) @ Clarence Fulton: I am going with Clarence Fulton in this one.  A big win last week against US competition shows they are primed to make a run in the Interior.  GI's Pick: Fulton by 10

John Barsby vs Spectrum: Barsby beware!  Spectrum has come of age on the Island and is playing really good football.  The Thunder have good numbers and are playing with an edge.  This said, Barsby improved from week 1 to week 2 across the board and the Dawgs are showing some promising things in terms of team play.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 14

Hugh Boyd @ Vernon: Double A game of the week right here folks.  The Trojans are 2-0 and have been playing some stellar ball.  Vernon at home is always, always tough and their week 2 loss was by the narrowest of margins vs one of the best programs in Alberta. GI's Pick: Vernon by 8

Robert Bateman @ West Vancouver (AAA):  I think Bateman gets their first win of the year on Friday.  The Timberwolves are improving week-to-week and they have a good bunch of athletes on the roster.  GI's Pick: Bateman by 7

Windsor @ Abbottsford: Abbey gets its first taste of AA competition this week and it is going to be a major challenge against a Windsor squad just licking its chops for this one. The Dukes are very, very balanced offensively and two years ago were up to the task in the JV semi's of shutting down one of BC's best running backs.  I don't see a change in this version of the series.  GI's Pick: Dukes by 16

Handsworth (AAA) @ Holy Cross: Both of these teams are looking to rebound from a pounding in week 2.  I believe that Handsworth has the deeper roster of the two and the speed/size match-ups are similar.  GI's Pick: Royals by 17

Ballenas @ Nanaimo District (AAA):  The Whalers have been frustrated in fairly close games week 1 and 2.  The Islanders have been short benched in their opening couple of rounds.  Size to the Whalers and all else is a pretty good match-up.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 18

Frank Hurt @ Westsyde: This one goes to the home team.  Westsyde has a more mature roster and has been playing good scrappy ball thus far.  GI's Pick: Westsyde by 14

Eric Hamber @ Pitt Meadows: Good match-up here.  I am going to give this one to Eric Hamber on a couple big pass plays.  GI's Pick: Hamber by 7

Saturday 23rd

Nechako Valley @ Duchess Park:  This game will be close for two and a half quarters until the depth of the Condor roster has a say.  GI's Pick: Duchess by 8

Valleyview @ Argyle: Valleyview continues to travel and play quality competition.  This week they will again get all they can handle vs Argyle.  The Pipers are going to rebound in a big way from their game last week here.  Look for lots of scoring in this one sided affair.  GI's Pick: Argyle by 30

Sunday 24th

Prince George @ College Heights: Good match-up in the Northern Conference on Sunday.  Prince George has the best backfield north of Vernon and a good crew on both sides of the ball to accompany them.  GI's Pick: Polars by 17

Gridiron's AA Junior Varsity Top 5

1.  Vernon Panthers
2.  Abbottsford Panthers
3.  Ballenas Whalers
4.  Robert Bateman Timberwolves
5.  Earl Marriot Mariners

Sunday, September 10, 2017

AA Varsity Week 2

AA Varsity Week Two

Week One Wrap

Looking at the scores and some video, there were several statement games made in the opening week of play.  Vernon, despite multiple turnovers, served notice that it intends to return to the big game in December!  Even with week 1 sloppiness, these guys were a league apart from Bateman.  Size, speed, experience and offensive balance abound with the Panther Program.  Prince George is going to be a wrecking ball up north as Valleyview found out the hard way.  In a loss that was closer than the score, Argyle played very well against AAA powerhouse Mt. Douglas.  I think the Pipers are a darkhorse to watch as the season unfolds.  Over in the Valley is was tough sledding for Abbey vs 2017 AAA finalist Notre Dame.  The Panther program will get better week to week however.  GW Graham outlasted Ballenas in a tight contest on Friday.  Both of these squads will likely challenge for divisional supremacy this year.  


Pitt Meadows 14 Spectrum 12
Prince George 42 Valleyview 0
SRT 30 Frank Hurt 14
College Heights 21 Nechako Valley 16
Mt. Douglas 27 Argyle 6
Notre Dame 34 Abbottsford 7
John Barsby 35 Nanaimo District 14
Handsworth 16 Hugh Boyd 13
Westsyde 29 Kelly Road 8
Vernon 42 Robert Bateman 7
G.W. Graham 25 Ballenas 20
Mt. Baker WA 56 Clarence Fulton 14
St. Thomas Moore 34 Holy Cross 0

Gridiron's Top 5

1. Windsor Dukes
2. Vernon Panthers
3. Abbottsford Panthers
4. Prince Georges Polars
5. Hugh Boyd Trojans

GI's Picks

Thursday 14th

Cochrane AB @ Vernon: Cochrane is a famed and storied program in the Province of Alberta. Vernon is reaching similar status in BC.  All this aside, I believe this could be game of the week material on Thursday!  Vernon's biggest opponent it would seem thus far is themselves.  Once they clean up their turnovers, look out!  The Panthers will be ready come Thursday Night.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 8

Friday 15th

Hugh Boyd @ Robert Bateman: The Rosters on these teams seem very evenly matched.  The game itself is going to come down to who can run/stop the run game.  I have to give the edge to Hugh Boyd in this capacity.  GI's Pick: Trojans by 7

SRT @ John Barsby: This will be a solid match-up for both squads.  SRT has great edge speed and a veteran QB and his backfield/receivers returning from JV semi-finals last season. The Barsby linebackers and defensive backs will have their hands full come Friday!  Barsby is big up front so this could turn in to a real contest on the edge.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 8

Nechako Valley @ South Kamloops: The Titans are playing at home and they have a bigger, deeper roster than the visitors.  The visitors however, have a game under their belt and that really helps as the jump from week 1 to week 2 is usually pretty big in terms of working out all the kinks.  SKS will run the ball effectively on Friday.  GI's Pick: Titans by 11

G.W. Graham @ Argyle: Intriguing game, really intriguing.  G.W. Grahams power running game versus the Argyle passing game.  Defensively both teams play tough.  Argyle is coming off of a big game vs Mt. Douglas so I don't think they are the least bit intimidated by the Grizzlies.  Turnovers loom large in this affair.  GI's Pick: Argyle by 2

Fank Hurt @ Langley: This game shouldn't separate on the scoreboard til mid 3'rd quarter. Langley will need to limit turnovers and get on top of their run game to win.  I think they are up to the task. GI's Pick: Saints by 10

St. Thomas Moore (AAA) @ Abbottsford: Another tough game for Abbey this week.  Another opportunity to find their better football angels.  STM is a very good football team and will be pouring it on vs their AA opponent.  I think that Abbey cleans up its offense and the defense matches up better than week 1.  Still not enough. GI's Pick: STM by 16

Carence Fulton @ Omak WA: Round two of Clarence Fulton vs the state of Washington.  This game between Omak and Fulton has been played for over a decade.  The score is usually a 40 point margin for the hosts.  This said, Coach Scheller is one of the good ones and he knows that his team harvests a lot of intangibles from the game.  GI's Pick: Omak by 40

Holy Cross @ Notre Dame (AAA): The Crusaders are on leg two of their gridiron tour against the rest of "the flock" this weekend.  "Iron sharpens Iron" and STM and Notre Dame are great opponents to hone an edge against.  Notre Dame is deeper on the bench and has too many offensive weapons at its disposal for H.C. to handle.  The defensive speed of the Jugglers is also impressive.  GI's Pick: Jugglers by 22

Westsyde @ Salmon Arm: Westsyde had a pretty comprehensive victory this past weekend.  Having a game under their belt will be a big help as Salmon Arm is a very large AA school with some impressive athletes on the roster.  This one will be pretty close.  GI's Pick: Golds by 7

Valleyview @ South Widbey (WA): Good on Valleyview for playing this game.  This will be a great experience for the players and another step in their evolution on the football field.  GI's Pick: Widbey by 20

Belmont (AAA) @ Ballenas: This game has become quite the Island rivalry in recent years as both programs seem fairly aligned philosophically and in style of play.  They coincidentally sport very similar uniforms and offensive schemes as well!  There will be a JV game between the two programs preceding this contest so the varsity tilt will be Sr. heavy with very little help from the JV roster for both teams.  Ballenas lost a heart breaker to G.W. Graham on Friday and is now spoiling for a chance at redemption.  Belmont had a bye.  The Whalers will have worked out some kinks entering week 2. The past couple years, Belmont has won the physical contest vs Ballenas.  This year the up Island crew is going to have to raise their game in that area.  Perimeter play will be big for both teams.  I think Belmont wins a few athletic match-ups vs the Whaler secondary.  GI's Pick: Belmont by 12

Windsor @ Pitt Meadows: The Dukes are traditionally very slow starters.  This year however, they are so veteran in the scheme and so good athletically that they will defy "tradition" and score a bushel of points in this contest.  Look for a big day from the Duke quarterback running and throwing the football.  GI's Pick: Dukes by 22

Sunday 17th

Prince George @ Kelly Road: If the Polars were somehow named the PGSS WileE Coyoteees they would find a way to outsmart themselves and lose this game vs the Road Runners. That ain't the case however and the Polars are gonna flatten some birds with their steam roller of a team come Sunday. If there is not 250 plus yards of PGSS rushing, I will dine on my hat Sunday night.  Keep an eye on these guys folks.  GI's Pick: Polars by 28
  College Heights @ Duchess Park:  The Condors had a very good JV squad last year with a lot of talent moving up.  College Heights got a good win under their belt last week and has some momentum on their side.  GI's Pick: Condors by 7

Gridiron's AA Junior Varsity Top 5

1.  Vernon Panthers
2.  Ballenas Whalers
3.  Abbottsford Panthers
4.  Robert Bateman
5.  Pitt Meadows

Monday, September 4, 2017

AA Varsity Week 1

Gridiron's Week 1

Welcome back everyone!  Here's wishing everyone at every level and role in AA ball a hec of a season!  Stay safe and have a tonne of fun folks!

GI's Picks

Westsyde @ Kelly Road:  This is a great season opener for both programs.  Great to see the North and the Interior having regular cross-over games.  I like Westsyde in this game as they are deeper in terms of strength of schedule over the years.  The Blue Wave players will have an edge in this regard. GI's Pick: Westsyde by 10

Mt. Douglas(AAA) @ Argyle: Mt. Douglas is going to bring a load of very, very talented players to this game.  The Pipers are outmatched at every position and the game will get away from them early on.  This said, kudos for playing the game Argyle and you will surely emerge a whole lot tougher and game ready as a result.  Look for the Rams to air out the ball.  GI's Pick: Rams by 30

Notre Dame (AAA) @ Abbottsford: Notre Dame was in the big dance at AAA last year.  Abbey was not far off themselves.  I am going to call an upset alert here.  Home field will matter and the Panthers are not going to be out sized or out-run.  The Jugglers graduated some great talent and will have to find out who they are this year in terms of identity.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 6 

Vernon @ Robert Bateman:  These guys played a real competitive game last year in week 1.  I think however that Vernon is deeper and Bateman is transitioning from triple option to a new scheme. Vernon wins the battle of accrued offensive reps and they have a deeper bench. GI's Pick: Panthers by 18 

Ballenas @ GW Graham: Ballenas will shred the Grizzly defensive edge when these two rivals clash.  The Whalers are deeper, bigger and on balance, faster than the host squad.  GW Graham has an elite running back and he is a game changer, especially with help.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 21

Nanaimo District (AAA) @ John Barsby: Great neighborhood rivalry here to kick-off the season for both teams.   As usual, there are tonnes of story lines between the players and coaches.  Getting down to brass tacks, the edge in size go's to Barsby this year.  Speed is a toss-up and roster depth definitely go's to the Islanders.  The game will likely hinge on some big plays.  Tough one to call but I get paid the big bucks to do just that.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 4

Handsworth (AAA) @ Hugh Boyd: Handsworth is having a renaissance of sorts with their football program.  They will bring a deep and talented bench with them to this game.  Boyd however is on home turf and is veteran in and among themselves.  The Trojans will bring offensive balance and some tough defense to the affair.  If the Royals can get all over the Boyd running back (he's a good one!) the game could get one dimensional for the host squad in a hurry.  GI's Pick: Boyd by 3

Mt. Baker WA @ Clarence Fulton: Fulton likes to schedule US squds early on in the season.  It is usually lop sided on the scoreboard, but I have to believe that Coach Scheller sees something intrinsically good with this practice.  The visitors will likely go for a romp over the Maroons come game day.  Fulton however, will be a better Fulton on Monday's practice field. GI's Pick: Mt. Baker by 40

Valleyview @ PGSS: The Polars are at home. The Polars are bigger.  The Polars are deeper. The Polars are faster.  The Polars are nastier.  If Valleyview changed its name from the Vikings to "Seal Meat"....well, it would be appropriate.  GI's Pick: Polars by 20 plus

Spectrum @ Pitt Meadows: Great opening tilt here.  Spectrum is my co- favorite to win Tier 2 this year and Pitt is much deeper than than they were last year.  The home field advantage for the Marauders will help a lot.  I think Spectrum may start a bit slow and they best hope they don't get down more than two scores early.  If they can stay with Pitt in the late rounds, it is a toss-up.  GI's Pick: Pitt by 13

SRT @ Frank Hurt: Frank Hurt had some excellent players last year in the 9th, 10th and 11th grades!  These guys were big and talented.  They took some hard knocks, but always answered the bell!  They are my co-favorite for the Tier 2 title.  SRT has some serious mojo going and if they can reign in their emotions and not take dumb penalties, they will be in the drivers seat come the 4th quarter.  They certainly are talented.  GI's Pick: Titans by 18

College Heights @ Nechako Valley:  These two teams play each other hard.  Nechako Valley is pretty tough to bet against at home however.  GI's Pick: The Sons of Vanderhoof by 7

AA Varsity 2018 Pre-Season Rankings

AA Varsity Pre-Season Top 10

1. Windsor Dukes: The Dukes are loaded for bear and you can always tell that Coach Schuman is going to make a run when Coach Al Wilson is on the staff.  These guys will get tougher every week. A nightmare to come up against when the playoff tourney begins.

2. Abbottsford Panthers: Abbey will be an offensive hydra with great run-pass balance.  The best running back in BC resides here and he has a steam roller offensive line up front!

3. Vernon Panthers:  This program is fully mature and the school attracts the best players in town!  Moreover, the Panthers have lived deep in the post-season the past three years and they have not altered what they do offensively and defensively to any significant degree.  The players pick-up where they left off the season before and simply do things faster than the year before.  Fabulous depth at every position.  Windsor and Abbey are going to be looking over their shoulder all season long.

4. Prince George Polars: This team has it all and is uber-deep at the running back position.  The top running back in JV last year makes his Varsity debut and he has company with two more players who are not far off.  There is size up front and playoff experience.  The Polars will be a force to reckon with!

5. Hugh Boyd Trojans: Hungry, deep and very well coached, the men of Troy are looking to finish this season with a vengence!  The quarterback position is an unknown to some extent, but the offensive line, receivers and their defensive counterparts are big, deep and experienced.

6. Ballenas Whalers: Ballenas will field its best varsity squad since 2013.  These guys are BIG and the backfield speed is tremendous.  There will be offensive wrinkle on top of offensive wrinkle  and the defense can really get after people via the blitz and edge speed.

7. Robert Bateman Timberwolves:  The offensive line returns en masse and there will be a lot of run-pass balance from these guys.  Look for a bigger role from the pass game with Bateman. Defensively, it will be pressure, pressure, pressure.  This group could be a dark horse in 2017

8. SRT Titans:  This program is on the rise.  The JV's fielded a dominant squad last season that ran deep in to the playoff.  The guys moving up to varsity are ballers and they don't shy away from the rougher side of the game.  Keep an eye on em!

9. Argyle Pipers:  The Pipers have a big school to draw from in terms of numbers, their staff has had great continuity, they don't stray to far from their schemes year after year and winning has become a habit with the program.  This crew will get better as the season unfolds and should crash the playoff tourney all things considered.

10. Holy Cross Crusaders: Old school rough and tumble best describes this crew.  Blocking, tackling, catching and running their way to being in position to win games when they count.  It has been fun over the years watching the coaching staff bring their understudies to playoff form come November. Look for a big run emphasis from the Crusaders.  Defensively, you will see a reflection of the offense they scrimmage against week after week.

Monday, May 29, 2017