Monday, March 23, 2009

AA Song Of The Week

The greatest Ghost Story Ever Sung!

Three Plays That Shocked The World

Ah shucks,

After talking bout Coach Hawkins and his Boise State days, I got to thinkin bout the greatest college football game ever. Here is a great link and tribute to "planning ahead". Gotta love those underdogs!!

Blogging With Hawk

Hi Folks,

For those of you who are not familiar with Coach Hawkins of the University of Colorado, you are in for a treat. The man is intense and his outlook on ball and life is both positive and successfull. He used to be the HC at Boise St. and was a huge part of building that outstanding program into the giant killer that it is. He has always gotten more with less and I believe that he will in time, build UC into a power. For more on Coach Hawkins

Here is a great post of his on the Blue Collar work-ethic and attitude:

Opportunity season continues...

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Pony Express Rider Bringin The Message Home

Hey AA and Tier 2 Varsity Football! Send me your program web-sites and we will get-em linked.

Nanaimo District Football is doing a great job with their varsity team blog.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We Are All Humbled


Getting It Done!

Quote of the Week 16-23 March

HANNIBAL (247-183 B.C.) Carthaginian General

-We will either find a way or make one.- Attributed

Rome's most feared and mortal enemy was a "can do" guy. Outnumbered and out-armoured he found a way time and again to out-maneuver and out-fight his implaccable enemy, the Roman Republic. One of his most famous challenges and exploits was figuring out how to get his greatest weapon, african war elephants into battle with the Roman main force elements on their home ground. The seas were denied to him so he had to find a way. He stunned em by bringing his elephants over a mountain range (the Alps) and descending on the Roman army from an unexpected direction.

Whether as individuals or individual programs we are all going to face a multitude of challenges this year. The question is yours to answer: Are you going to find a way or make one?

Opportunity Season continues....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ain't Life Amazing

Oh Baby, drawing a breath is so beautiful in all of its affirming simplicity...I am by God Alive!

Stop, breathe and marvel at how good it feels.

If you don't believe me, sink your head in a tub of water for five minutes!!


As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they, too, have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in you own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you for what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere live is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the council of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. Max Ehrmann, 1927

Quote Of The Week

"Seriousness is the last refuge of the shallow"... unknown

I sat there on my couch Sunday watching a great Civil War flick Riding With The Devil "torturing myself with life's possibilities".

How do you guys out there interpret this?

I think personally that in many, but not all instances, being serious about everything it is the mark of the insecure. I do suppose however, that it is all about context. Anyways gang, this blog is for you all and if you have a thought or idea on AA Ball, Football or life, it is yours to go out there and wrestle with ideas and such.

Be nice to folks on this blog though, this is OUR place to yack. What you say here ain't goin on your resume, but in the long run, if your idea has merit, it is gonna stick. "The Best is the best everywhere"....some early 20th century dude....

"Seriousness is the last refuge of the shallow" don't be afraid to laugh at yourself or laugh with others, this life of ours ain't a dress rehearsal and you can't keep laughs in the bank. "Gotta spend em now" kind of thing.

At the end of the 19th century, the head of the US Patent Office reccomended to President Teddy Roosevelt (or Mckineley??) that his department be shut down as himself and his best minds at the time figured that everything that could be invented had already been invented. Folks, this was a half decade before winged-flight took place!!!

Beware of serious fellas and madams who are skeptical of your ideas. They are not your measures, but your challenges! If it is a good idea it will have traction, if it is honestly debated, it may not. This is the process that helps things along in the big picture.

In football terms, God Bless the guy who thought of throwing the ball forward! On this line of thought, if you have ideas about the game, go talk to your coach. He may be a listener or he may be a "serious fellow". At least try.... If you get a "no", give the man a chance to explain himself. He has a lot of context that you may not have. Don't take no as an answer, ask for an explanation. If you get one from him, you are in good company. If you get a brusk "no", send him a google map to the location of the nearest flat earth society clubhouse.

Well, ruminating tonight...


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Getting It Done

Getting the ball across the goal line in AA ball this year....hmmm, this is going to be interesting if not totally entertaining! There is really no prevailing scheme/recipe for scoring in the league anymore. Where once I backs ruled the day, there is now spread offenses galore and a whole lot of hybrid spread-I stuff. Looking at the the conferences, studying last year's rosters and video there looks to be a couple programs however that will be top-of-the-heap at their style of offensive game.

Pure Passing

Mission: Coach Watrin loves to air it up and his no-huddle spread will give folks fits, especially when the weather is pass-friendly. Look for a Mission QB and a couple receivers to top the statistical charts in 09.

Mt. Douglas: These guys can throw a timing route like no-one else! In 09 they will introduce a new cast of characters to their scheme and make no mistake, they have some serious athletes lurking under the radar! Look for big yards per-catch from the Rams in 09. If you fail to cover the fade and slant you will get torched early and often.

Pitt: Chucking and Duckin worked good for PMS at the JV level and there is going to be no way that the coaching staff is going to show up, look at all those tricked out (gloves, arm bands, face stickies and whatever the hell else kind of "receiver bling" kids will be wearing this year) greyhounds and say "nope, there will be no Christmas this year Whoesville, we are running the ball." It will be interesting to hear the chit-chat about these guys after spring ball runs its course. They could be really good.

Ground and Pound

Sands is back in the league. These guys make a living off of the power running game. Strap on your head gear and get ready to play some classic smashmouth football when you line up across from the Scorpion "O". These guys will be well suited to the all outdoors playoff tournament come November.

Seaquam: The Seahawks probably won't be as balanced as last year run-pass wise. They will look that way early but will go back to doing what they do best which is running the football come crunch-time.

Ballenas: The Whalers will have a very balanced run-pass playbook, but they will in practice, wind-up running the ball far better than they throw it in 2009. QB depth could be a concern but there is no shortage of big powerfull offensive linemen and speedy receivers who may very well rack-up as many yards running fly and jet type plays as they do reeling balls through the air.

Mixing it Up

Hansen: Will have big stats from the QB position via the air but with a powerful returning cast up front and in the backfield, running the ball over and through people will be too big of an opportunity for the coaching staff to ignore.

Boyd: Talk about a loaded roster in the so called skill position areas. This crew at JV two years ago was a juggernaut that found all kinds of ways to get the ball over the goal line. Trojans will be tough to get a handle on in 09....pick your poison with these guys.

Windsor: Coach Schuman would go certifiably crazy if he painted himself into a run-only or pass- only corner. Here is one guy who probably has whiteboards up instead of bathroom mirrors. If there are cracks in your defensive armour he will find them. Once he finds them, he will be going after them and the Windsor tool-kit will have the run-pass gear ready to go.

South Delta: The reload in 09 will be balanced from the perspective of athletes in the program. The coaching staff is intact and they will seek to attack opposing defenses in as complete a fashion as possible.


Barsby: Very balanced offense in terms of athletes this year. A bigger offensive line than in years past, good returning rbs, depth at receiver and at least three QB's who can deliver. Spring ball and mental prep will go a long ways towards determining how far the pendulum swings either way.

OKM: These guys like to pass but have to replace an outstanding QB.

Timberline: Well, it was air Timberline last year but they now have a more physical squad than in the 08 season. These guys like the physical side of the game and we will all have to wait and see what they bring to the table this spring.

It will be fun to read back on this post come mid-October and see how things have panned out.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Strength of Ballenas

The Strength Of Ballenas

One of the hi-lites of my year is the annual Border Battle versus our arch-rival Ballenas H.S. up-the-road in Parksville. It is a game like no other on our schedule with a playoff atmosphere to it and much, much more. The alumni from each program find a way to get to this one no matter what and along with them, the parents from years past from both squads. There are plenty of town folk and there are representatives from BCFC, University guys that can swing by and a ton of local media. They are all a part of the spectacle, they make it even better and both teams never leave-em disappointed about the game!

For the two hours that both teams are on the field the atmosphere is electric! The hits feel bigger, the game faster and boy oh boy is there some intensity. No matter what the score winds up being year-to-year, there is some crazy smacking going on. Practices leading up to the big game are better and there is a real sense of urgency to everything that goes on in terms of preparation. Both coaching staffs start stealing scouting time for the Border Battle weeks in advance and it would be an outright fib to say that part of our offense and defense is not specifically geared from the git-go to bring an edge into the game. Opportunity season training is no different. I can’t help but finding myself thinking as our players go through their workouts in the Iron Den that each rep might be a factor in that big game eight months down the road. Are we outworking The Whalers? Are we finding our best within ourselves? Are we giving it our best shot every time we go to work? I sure hope so because if we don’t we are going to be in it deep come October.

Now to be honest, the Border Battle has been pretty much an even split with Barsby holding a 5-4 advantage in the total series. No one is keeping count of course (grin) but it goes something like this:

2000 Barsby
2001 Barsby
2002 Ballenas
2003 Barsby
2004 Ballenas
2005 Barsby
2006 Barsby
2007 Ballenas
2008 Ballenas

The wounds of the past two years still pain the crew down in Harewood. The feeling of coming up-short is still raw in a spiritual sense and it always there to tell you that you have to find it within yourself to get better at all levels, constantly. There is no pretty way to say this so I just will: Losing to Ballenas Sucks!

Now, I want to say something else. Coaching and playing high school football from this child’s perspective would suck if Ballenas wasn’t lurking out there! Playing Ballenas and preparing for Ballenas is not only a huge challenge, it is FUN! The better Ballenas is, the better we have to be. They bring out the best in our selves and they make our football lives oh so much better by being what they are, which is one hell of a great program. Therefore, the saying round these parts “The Strength of Ballenas is the Strength of Barsby”. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t say this as well; beating those doggone Whalers feels pretty damn good too.

Coach Hines up at Ballenas is my friend and I his. The Ballenas and Barsby coaching staff’s by and large know each other and get along quite well. Together, outside of those two hours each Fall, we have grown to work together to support one another. We have cooperated for many years now to assist our respective feeder programs in their development, we work together to run development camps at all levels, to run combines, to run coaching clinics and to recruit referees that we all benefit from being available to allocate for games. We share scouting information and we are pretty candid about sharing our own honest self-scouts with one another. The relationship goes deeper as well, I know that if I’ve got a football or life problem that I can always pick-up the phone and give my friend a shout…same for him. Life is better when Coach Hines and his beloved Whalers are in top form!!

I believe that in one shade or another, this relationship holds true with every team on the Island, in our division and ultimately in AA ball. The strength of our greatest rivals is in many ways, our greatest strength. Other than those two hours that we slug it out and match wits on the turf, working together and helping each other out is a win-win proposition.

Go Dukes! Go Maroons! Go Seahawks! Go Trojans! Go Rams! Go Wolves! and of course, Go Whalers!!

Looking forward to seeing a ton of blue helmets at this year’s Camp!