Sunday, November 22, 2009


And then there were four!

This past weekend saw grade 11/12 HS kids do what they do best; which is surprise, overachieve and create their own special brand of magic on the gridiron. Dang this game is fun!

Sands and Windsor, I gotta hand it to you guys and your coaches! Well done. I can honestly say that your upset victories have put a blemish on GI's 09 season-long string of very accurate picks. Thats why the game is played eh, the pundits cannot make a tackle, a block, a catch etc. It is up to the 22 players on the field to do that come game-time!

This weekend's games AA


12:30 p.m. -- Mt. Douglas vs. Rick Hansen
3 p.m. -- Sands vs. Windsor

Mt. Douglas vs Rick Hansen

The two remaining "Heavy Weight" rosters collide. This is a whole lot like Foreman-Ali or Frazier-Ali back when Boxing was still real.

Soooo: Tail of the Tape

Size: A slight edge to Mt. Douglas
Speed: Mt. Douglas
Depth: Mt. Douglas
Defense: Mt. Douglas (Front-7 in particular)
Offense: Rick Hansen
Big Play via the Air: Mt. Douglas
Short Passing: Rick Hansen
Coaching Depth by Position: Mt. Douglas
Head Coach: I like both for different reasons.
Intangibles:Rick Hansen
QB: Rick Hansen
O. Line: Draw
D. Line: Rick Hansen
LB's: Draw
DB's: Mt. Douglas
RB's: Draw
Rcvrs: Mt. Douglas
Kicking Game: Rick Hansen
Punting Game: Mt. Douglas by a massive landslide****take note of this come gameday!
Players who originated from "out-of catchment..g.9 yr." The all-star factor...Mt. Douglas

All year, Mt. Douglas has dominated the scores with the exception of a red hot early season South Delta team. Mt. Douglas has won in all kinds of weather. Hansen has a ton of character and has won close games. Mt. Douglas has not played from behind or more than a score behind this year. When they get punched hard in the mouth so-to-speak, or are faced with the unexpected in terms of offensive formations/schemes they wobble a bit mentally.

GI's Pick: Do the math and look at the entire season/post-season's body of work. Mt. Douglas will win by 18 plus after being challenged early. This is essentially home field for Hansen and the lack of a long travel day will work in their favor at first. Then the cream rises.

Windsor vs Sands

Hey, Holy Smokes...two small schools playing each other in a semi-final game!! I'll be damned!! Yeah, one of these teams got some great enrollment breaks the last couple years at JV but still, it is a small school match-up which warms the AA heart!

Well Sands, you are now healthy, you guys have gotten the post-season religion and you just whacked AAA dropdown S. Delta convincingly. Looks pretty good for you guys. In the back of your coaching staff's heads there is a clock ticking. No JV squad this year means you have this year and next to claw at the championship. Your colleagues at Mt. Douglas may have a decisive say on this year's end-game as you taught them so well. I digress.! We all stand in awe. Football, of all the schoolastic sports, is the game where a coach/staff can have the biggest influence in a game's outcome once the first whistle is blown. Coach Schuman/Wilson's double headed monster of prep and technical prowness is unmatched. Now fellas, you are entering a game where when you look back on it, you will have to do/have done your best work as coaches. Your starting RB is banged-up and here is the true test of "The Power of Program" as a nameless, faceless, young Duke will have to step-up and answer the call. I believe without a doubt that this will happen.

The tale of the Tape

Size: Sands
Speed: Slight Edge to Sands
Coaching: Dukes (Coach U is good but two good coaches beat one)
Toughness: I like both for different reasons. Sands is big-time physical, Windsor is mentally tough in the close ones.
Discipline: Windsor
Offensive Line: Windsor
Defensive Line: Sands
RB's: Sands
LB's: Sands
Rcvrs: Windsor
DB's: Windsor
QB's: Draw
Kicking Game: Windsor
Punting Game: Windsor
Intangibles: Windsor
Players who originated from "out-of catchment g. 9 yr." The all-star factor...Sands
Previous Common Opponents: Seaquam dusted Sands. Windsor just beat Seaquam.

GI's Pick: Sands will come out and try to truck the Dukes. They may do this at first, but will get bogged down in the trenches by mid-second quarter. The Dukes will have found holes in the Scorpion O and D through thorough scouting and will take their shots on both sides of the ball. Windsor by 4.

This weekend's games AAA

5:30 p.m. -- Centennial vs. New Westminster
8 p.m. -- Vancouver College vs. W.J. Mouat

I have posted the AAA games just to make a point regarding an earlier post on this site. Sure enough, the "AAA window dressing" bowed out and the perennial AAA powers are now in the semi-finals. Again, this illustrates very well the illusion that AAA ball is balanced. It is again this year obvious that there is a super-conference lurking inside a hubris of teams that don't have a prayer to make it to the Subway Bowl. It looks good in the newspaper to portray AAA as a provincial league, but that is a myth. Every year, the whitewash gets peeled away and then gets repainted. Keep drinking the Kool-Aide guys, most of you will never get a sniff at the Subway Bowl. It is is intellectually dishonest or flat out ignorant to look your players in the eye come early September and tell them they have a realistic chance of going to the big show. Sit down this Dec. look in the mirror and ask yourself if you want to continue with the status quo? Quietly going along is the equivelent of support. There is no shame in asking questions or seeking to improve the formula. Why let others lead by default? Be right as opposed to being liked.

All Rants aside, now that the legitimate super-conference teams have emerged from the smoke and mirrors here are GI's picks:

New Westminster vs Centennial

All things considered, the athletes match-up well and hey, neither team arrived at this game because the coaching has been poor. Mother Nature will have her say this weekend and now she has decided to let the Pacific Northwest act like the Pacific Northwest, we will find out which team can play wind blown, amphibian football better. I like New West because their system can roll without run-pass balance better than Centennials. Wing-T passes are high percentage and the PAP is built-in from the start of spring practice. Centennial will have to do some playbook pruning and the net result will be less grass for the New West defenders to have to cover.

GI's Pick: New Westminster by 10

Vancouver College vs WJ Mouat

Terrific Match-Up here gang! Both squads can run the football with anyone and both are loaded with speed and athletes!! At face value, picking a winner in this game might as well come down to a coin-flip. In fact, to paraphrase John Candy from back in the day, a lot of people figure they have as much of a chance picking a winnerin this game as they do playing a game of pick-up sticks with their butt cheeks! To get a hint at what could unfold, it is a good idea to turn back the page to a couple of weeks ago when New West lost to the Irish at O'Hagen. Mouat has similar offensive
DNA in their system and VC knows how to defend it. I think this is where the deadlock starts to crumble. Size to the Irish, speed is a draw and coaching...Denis Kelley is darn near peerless but, he runs only .5 of the ball (offense). The Irish system is superb and Coach Bernett is underrated. He gets to the big dance with greater frequency than anyone and though the big game has been elusive, the body of work to get there speaks for itself.

GI's Pick: When this one shakes down, it will be very close. If the Irish can weather some big-shots in the trick play category and Mouat offensive wrinkles, they will relentlessly and surely gain the upper-hand in this contest. Irish by 8.

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