Sunday, September 30, 2012

GI's Week Five

AA Varsity Week Five

Week Four In Review
South Delta again served notice that it is the team to beat in the South en route to a huge win over Hugh Boyd.  Kalmalka did the same in the Interior, while Carson Graham rallied to defeat a tough Handswroth squad in the Buchannan Bowl.  The Rick Hansen Hurricanes returned to play in stellar fashion gashing the Seaquam Seahawks for 41 pts.  Look out for the Dukes folks, Windsor is back on the upswing.  The Dukes gave Barsby everything they could handle on Friday!  Rounding things off, Pitt got themselves a solid win over Nanaimo District and Belmont kicked-their offense into gear vs the Griffins of Eric Hamber.  Nice momentum headed into week five games for these two programs.
Look very closely folks, it is early yet, but you can begin to see some nascent playoff seeding beginning to emerge.  October is going to be a decisive month indeed!
Weekend Scores
John Barsby 20 Windsor 7

Belmont 49 Eric Hamber 6

Kalamalka 26 South Kamloops 21

Pitt Meadows 14 Nanaimo District 0

Rick Hansen 36 Seaquam 21

Ballenas 51 Argyle 0

Chestermere (AB.) 33 Mt. Baker 0

Carson Graham 22 Handsworth 19

South Delta 49 Hugh Boyd 6

Holy Cross 45 Langley 7

GI’s AA Varsity Top 5
1. Mission Roadrunners

2. John Barsby Bulldogs

3. South Delta Sundevils

4. Robert Bateman Timberwolves

5. Ballenas Whalers


Gridiron’s Picks

Friday, 5 October

Correlieu @ Kelley Road:  Kelley Road ought to take this one as all things equal, the Roadrunner offense is simply more potent than the visitors in this tilt.  GI's Pick: Kelley Road by 14

Dutchess Park @ College Heights: Dutchess is further along on both sides of the ball.  The Condor passing game in particular.  GI's Pick: Dutchess Park by 12

Robert Bateman @ Rick Hansen: This is the marquee match-up of the week and a real test as to who is for real in the East.  Both teams have been winning by impressive scores and both are getting it done on the ground.  Hansen has the edge throwing the ball however.  I believe that the Bateman team speed will be the decisive factor on Friday and that Hansen cannot run with em for four quarters.  GI's Pick: Bateman by 14

John Barsby @ Nanaimo District: The pads will be a smacking in this neighborhood rivalry game between players who have been tusseling on the gridiron in many instances since gradeschool.  The Islanders are at home and will play tough.  Barsby however has bigger numbers, bigger players and more team speed than their hosts.  Bad math for the Islanders.  GI's Pick: Barsby by three scores plus.

Valleyview @ Eric Hamber:  Hamber is having its struggles and Valleyview looks to be the class of the Interior this year.  Coming off of a big win vs South Kamloops, the Vikings will be all momentum headed into this game.  GI's Pick: Valleyview by 22

Langley@ Abbottsford: Abbottsford is as tough as anyone in the league this year.  They throw the ball well and get to the ball quickly on defense.  Langley, though improved from last year's version, still has a ways to go.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 14

Argyle @ Handsworth: The West's "Road Warriors" pay a visit to Handsworth this week.  The Royals just about clipped arch-rival Carson Graham this past week and are on the rise.  The Pipers are working towards finishing the season intact and with the growth that comes through a program's pioneer days. Handsworth will win this contest, but how they win it will effect the tone of contests between the two programs years from now.  GI's Pick: Handsworth by 30

Windsor @ Carson Graham: This is going to be a superb game!  Windsor is unsurpassed in terms of game preparation and the Dukes have a good football squad on their hands this year.  Carson, coming off of a big win vs Handsworth has to be feeling like the season has stabilized a bit and has regained focus on the playoff hunt.  Both teams spread the field and run option well.  Ultimately, whomever can defend the pass the best will prevail. GI's Pick: Windsor by 3

Okanagen Mission @ South Kamloops: The Titans are quite simply playing better football than the Huskies at this point in the season.  A close loss this past weekend has certainly alerted them to the fact that not making the playoffs can happen.  Look for a big rebound this week.  GI's Pick: Titans by 16

Holy Cross @ Hugh Boyd: Two thrashings in a row have got to have the proud Trojans in a foul mood and looking for some redemption vs visiting Holy Cross this Friday.  The Crusaders on the other hand, enter the game with momentum offensively.  This game was close last year and will be fairly close this year.  I think HC can pound the ball better than the hosts.  GI's Pick: Holy Cross by 10

Ballenas @ Belmont: The Whalers are all about momentum coming off of two home victories and they get to lay the smack down on a fast field under the Friday Night Lights this week.  Belmont has shown improvement recently and has established some momentum of their own. I don't think the Blue Bulldogs can run and hit with the Whalers yet, but they might make it interesting for a quarter or so.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 26

 Saturday, 6 October

Pitt Meadows @ Mission: Pitt is up against it in every conceivable way on Saturday when they roll into Mission to play the BC Champions.  This game will get blown open early as the speed differential manifests itself.  Bad dreams for the Marauders from there on out.  GI's Pick: Mission by 28 

South Delta @ Seaquam: South Delta is the class of the Southern Division this year and they are going to lay a similar beat down on to the Seahawks as they did to the Trojans last week.  How?  Lego won't have room to run as the trenches will be firmly is SunDevil hands.  The Seaquam passing game can't pick-up the slack and the South Delta offense will find itself with the ball in its hands a lot.  This is not a good thing as SD can score quickly and in bushells.  GI's Pick: South Delta by 26

Westsyde @ Kalmalka: Kalmalka is likely going to be number one or two coming out of the Interior into the playoff tourney this November.  Westsyde just doesn't match-up in terms of team speed to their hosts.  Could be a long afternoon for the Blue Wave.  GI's Pick: Kalmalka by 24
AA Junior Varsity
Beginning this week, GI will be publishing a JV Top Five along with some commentary when merited.
JV Story of the Week:  An Estimated 1300 people turned out in Chilliwack to witness the GW Graham Grizzlies host the Robert Bateman Timberwolves.  What a great tribute to the new program and wow folks, you best get your licks in now cus the Grizzlies are for real!! 
Also, the rest of the province had better take note, because the Valley is going to be hyper competitive in the years to come resulting in a whole lot of championships and playoff domination.
GI's AA Jr. Varsity Top 5
1. Abbottsford Collegiate
2. Robert Batemen Timberwolves
3. Mission Roadrunners
4. John Barsby Bulldogs
5. Argyle Pipers

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gridiron's Picks Week 4

Week Four
Islanders Roll!

Week Three Storyline

Week three saw Barsby dismantle a chewed-up Carson Graham squad while Robert Bateman did much the same in blanking the Hugh Boyd Trojans by a lopsided score.  South Delta continued to put big points on the board and Ballenas transitioned into what it is truly capeable of after a slow start vs Windsor.  Mission played AAA Centennial close and though short benched and nicked-up, gave em all they could handle with the return of qb Kevin Weins.  Its on to league play from here on out.

Whalers Surge!!

Teams gaining traction: The Handsworth Royals have been playing some good competition the past couple of weeks and it is becoming evident that defense is a huge priority for the North Shore squad.  When Handsworth has played good defense, they have historically fared well deep into the playoffs.  Nanaimo District was impressive en-route to a 30 plus point win on Friday afternoon as well and are off to play the Pitt Meadows Marauders this coming weekend in a statement game for both programs.  Seaquam posted another W on the running of Mark Lego.  Will be interesting to see whether this crew can succeed if their uber-back gets slowed down by somebody.  In the Interior Kalmalka looks to be one of the teams to beat along with Valleyview.  In the North, the sons of Vanderhoof are positioning themselves as the team to beat in 2012.

Week 3 Scores and Wrap-Ups

These can be found at Howard Tsmurra's excellent blog located at:

AA Varsity Top Five

1. Mission Roadrunners
2. John Barsby Bulldogs
3. South Delta Sundevils
4. Robert Bateman Timberwolves
5. Ballenas Whalers

GI's Picks Week 4

Tuesday, 25 September

Nechako Valley @ Dutchess Park:  This is a marquee match-up in El Norte with the winner holding the high ground in the annual surge to see who will be top of the pile in the division.  The Vikings are more battle tested at present and this will weigh in on their behalf.  GI's Pick: Vikings by 6 on the strength of their pass game.

 Friday, 28 September

Nanaimo @ Pitt Meadows: Pitt has been playing better football in 2012 than it did a year ago.  The Islanders are really finding their own groove as well.   I like this match-up across the board.  The Islander's ought to take this one based on the strength of their running game.  GI's Pick: Islanders by 8

Eric Hamber @ Belmont: Kudos to Belmont for finishing out a tough game vs South Delta last week.  Hamber is struggling early on and will find the sledding tough vs a win hungry Belmont on the Bulldog's home turf.  GI's Pick: Belmont by 20

John Barsby @ Windsor: Barsby rolls into North Van on Friday with a lot of momentum and the desire to win a varsity game on Windsor's home turf for the first time in program history.  That is 16 years folks!  The Dukes showed flashes of brilliance in last week's road loss to Ballenas.  They are on home turf this week and Coach Schuman ought to have em tightened-up for this game.  Matching up the two teams, it would seem like Barsby holds the edge in size and depth.  Unless, the Dukes have discovered the football equivilent of a 105 mm flachette round defensively, things could get tough.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 20

Seaquam @ Rick Hansen: Well Seaquam, you looked ok in pre-season thus far but you are playing a rested and surging Hurricane squad at their house to cap off the first phase of your year.  The story here will be the trenches.  Lego is going to find that the inside dirt is nigh impossible to traverse as the Hansen defensive line will dominate on Friday.  Big backs are easier to tackle when they run sideways on perimeter plays and just how far the Seaquam passing game has developed is questionable.  I think the balanced Hurricane offense and their largesse up front will be too much for the visitors.  GI's Pick: Hansen by 18
Kalmalka @ South Kamloops: I like Kal's running game in this one.  The Lakers have a couple backs that can "rip it up" inside and out.  The Titans will keep it close for awhile, but the dam will break mid second quarter.  GI's Pick: Kal by 14

College Heights @ Kelley Road:  The Cougars play grudging defense and pound away on the ground year in and year out.  The Roadrunners abound in young talent.  I think this game will be fairly close throughout but Kelley Road's  speed edge will carry the day.  GI's Pick: Roadrunners by 8

Correlieu @ Dutchess Park: If Dutchess comes out of their Tuesday game without being too dinged they definitely will carry forward into this tilt a lot of game speed quickness and momentum.  The Condor opening offensive burst will be tough to recover from and they will roll throughout.  GI's Pick: Dutchess Park by 22

Saturday, 29 September

Argyle @ Ballenas:  Two trips in a row to the Island for Argyle.  The Pipers will look back on this season as a year when they crossed the threshold to a better brand of ball, I guarantee it.  The North-Shore squad is learning to travel, battle and get back to work on Mondays building a better mouse trap.  This is huge from a maturity perspective and down the road, meaningful road-trips will be have a well versed cookbook everyone is familiar with.  Now the game.  Ballenas at home is a tough group.  The Whalers also found their stride a quarter or so into their game last weekend.  Ballenas will be out to score points and build team confidence all round and it is doubtful they will take their foot off of the pedal.  Argyle would be best advised to turn this one into a gutfest  offensively to chew up clock time.  Fourth and reasonably short, go for it every time.  A new series is time off of the clock and the Whalers can score quick.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 40

Handsworth @ Carson Graham: Two and a half weeks ago I'd be picking Carson Graham in a blowout.  Two tough physical games later and the Eagles are a vastly different roster this Saturday in the Buchanan Bowl.  Carson still has an intact offensie line, a healthy qb, their go-to receiver and their most dangerous running back intact.  The Royals have been quitely playing good competition and ratcheting up their defense.  Offensively, they do what they do and have gained a measure of consistency.  This is a big rivalry game between the two squads and this year it is meaningful from a divisional playoff perspective.  Carson has dominated in recent years.  They wont dominate this year, but they will win via the big play.  GI's Pick: Carson by 8

Langley @ Holy Cross:  This is a game the Crusaders could cross off in advance a year ago as an automatic win.  Not the case this year.  Langeley has gotten a lot better.  The Crusader running bame will however, be enough behind a physical offensive line and some unbalanced sets.  GI' Pick: HC by 16

Hugh Boyd @ South Delta: Out of the pot and into the fire. The Trojans are transitioning from a tough road trip vs valley powerhouse Bateman to a divisional road game vs red-hot South Delta. The Trojans usually play very good in big games and Coach Haddow will have his boys prepped. Problem for Troy is that their are physical limitations to prepping for size, speed and team quickness all of which the South Delta crew possesses in copious amounts. GI's Pick: South Delta by 22

Sunday, September 16, 2012

GI's Picks Week 3

Gridiron's Picks Week Three

Islanders Gash Inside!

Week 2 Storyline

Mission and Carson Graham took it on the chin vs some of AAA's best this past weekend, but both squads improved their game in the process.  The Eagles may be limping a bit on Monday, but rest assured, they will be chomping at the bit to host the visiting Barsby Bulldogs of Nanaimo come Friday.  Elsewhere, Windsor won big against Belmont, Bateman won big vs SouthKamloops and South Delta beat Kelowna by a large margin in this week's statement game!  The Sundevils are for real this season folks!  The Ballenas Whalers showed some resilience and Nanaimo District got it going in their first home game.  Kudos to the Langley Saints on their firs win of the season as well!The rest of the scores are below.

Vancouver College 17 St. Thomas More 7
Mt. Douglas 44 Terry Fox 40
W.J. Mouat 66 Mission 21
West Vancouver 24 Ballenas 21
Seaquam 29 Pitt Meadows 20
Kelly Road 14 College Heights 0

Mt Boucherie 38 Notre Dame 35
New Westminster 26 Carson Graham 16
Eastside Catholic (Wash.) 56 Centennial 32
Meridian (Wash.) 20 Lord Tweedsmuir 7
John Barsby 40 Abbotsford 0
South Delta 35 Kelowna 17
Windsor 48 Belmont 20
Langley 28 Argyle 0
Nanaimo District 28 G.P. Vanier 12
Robert Bateman 44 South Kamloops 3

Frank Hurt 44 Eric Hamber 8

GI's Top 5
Dawg D Produces Week 2 Shutout
1. Mission
2. John Barsby
3. South Delta
4. Carson Graham
5. Robert Bateman/Ballenas

GI's Week 3 Picks

Friday, 21 September

Nanaimo District @ Argyle: The Islanders are playing some very good football of late.  The biggest issue for them is to play that ball right from the opening snap as their starts have not been the greatest.  This team is certainly headed the right direction in 2012.  Argyle is continuing the building process.  This is a good match for both squads.  GI's Pick: Islanders by 18

Handswroth @ Rutland (AAA): The Royals travel North to Kelowna in search of their first win.  The Handsworth defense will keep this game pretty tight and the victor will be the team that produces the most mistake free performance offensively.  In such a game, the kicking game will factor in heavily.  I have to go with the Voodoo in this game based on the sheer size and athleticism of their roster.  GI's Pick: Rutland by 8

Seaquam @ Langley:  This game begins and ends with the ability of Seaquam's big back Lego to run the ball.  If the Saints can bottle up the big Seahawk, it is going to be a great contest.  My hunch is the supporting cast at Seaquam is further along than their Langley opponents at this stage of the season.  GI's Pick: Seaquam by 17

John Barsby @ Carson Graham: This is huge divisional match-up for both squads.  The winner has an early inside track at the divisional title.  Both teams are similar in their physicality and each roster is fully aware of the game's implications.  The match-ups in this game are intriguing.  Carson has played a punishing pre-season against top-flight competition.  Barsby opened up against BC's best.  The Eagles throw the ball well and Barsby run's it like no other.  The offensive and defensive lines of both teams are physical and the LB's bring-it.  Barsby has been scoring a lot of points of late and if this turns into a scoring fest, the Dawgs may have a little more gas in the tank in the late rounds: GI's Pick: Barsby by 8

Hugh Boyd @ Robert Bateman:  Fresh off of a win vs cross-town rival Handsworth, the Trojans are headed up the road to play the surging Timberwolves of Robert Bateman.  This could easily be a playoff preview between the two squads.  Bateman is just as big as the Trojans, rolls out a few more players and is faster.  The math won't lie come Friday.  GI's Pick: Bateman by 14

Salmon Arm (AAA) @ Rick Hansen: Fresh off of a disapointing loss to Valleyview the Golds travel down to play a well rested and hungry Hurricane squad that has had two weeks to prep for the visitors.  I smell an ambush.  Salmon Arm's run defense is going to get tested early and often during this game.  The scarey thing for the visitors is that Hansen runs one of the more balanced run-pass schemes in the province.  Long day for the visiting DC and his fellas.  GI's Pick: Hansen by 14

Vernon vs Valleyview:  I would have taken Vernon in pre-season, but not now.  Valleyview has more game experience and is coming off of a big win vs AAA Salmon Arm.  The Panthers have a lot of carbon in their pipes right now and need to work out the kinks.  GI's Pick:  Valleyview by 13

Mission @ Celntennial (AAA):  Coming off of three weeks of very tough competition, the Roadrunners can certainly claim to be as battle hardened as any squad in the Province. The Centaurs have a lot of swagger in their step and one of BC's best individual athletes in their backfield.  Mission runs a crisper offense than their foes and the team speed is slightly in Mission's favor.  The Centaurs are much, much bigger physically however and this will be a bruising affair for the visitors.  If the Roadrunners can exploit their finesse game offensively and force a few Centennial punts, it will be interesting.  GI's Pick: Centennial by 8

Saturday, 22 September

Mt. Baker @ Kalmalka: The Wild are getting better.  Kalmalka is really getting better.  The Wild travel a long distance for this game, the Lakers are home and fresh.  GI's Pick: Kalmalka by 22

Windsor @ Ballenas:  Love this game.  The Whalers and Dukes always play each other tough and the rosters are very, very evenly matched.  Windsor has to play great pass defense to compete in this one.  Ballenas can't let the score stay close into the 4th quarter.  I think the difference will be the ability of Whaler QB O'Brien to improvise and move the sticks with his feet on broken plays.  If the Whalers have a run game to accompany their pass happy ways, it will be doubly hard for the Dukes.  Offensively, the Dukes are diverse.  It will be interesting to see what holes Coach Schuman can pick in the Blue defense.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 12

Abbey Collegiate @ AAA Squalicum (WA): Coach Fujimura wants his players to become tough by playing tough games out of the gates.  They got some hard bark on last week @ Barsby and now they play a Bellingham WA 3A squad on the road.  The Panthers are going to be coated by Kevlar at the end of the 2012 pre-season.  In the long-run, these players will fear no one.  The Abbey roster is young and yes tough.  Squalicum is all about building character and ethos for Abbey.  Regardless of the score, the Panthers will come away with a positive.  GI's Pick: Squalicum by 28 plus

Belmont @ South Delta: The Sundevils are in the thick of the hunt for the 2012 provincial title, no doubt about it.  Belmont as a program trys hard, but is soft as butter.  This game will be in mercy time mid-way through the 2nd quarter.  GI's Pick: SD by 36 in a game that doesn't reach the final bell.

Eric Hamber @ Holy Cross: This game will have very similar results to the above post.  GI's Pick: HC by 30 plus.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

GI's Picks Week 2

Gridiron's Picks Week Two

Week 1 Storyline

Number 2 Ranked AA Varsity Barsby and #1 Ranked AAA Mt. Douglas played a game at Nanaimo's Merle Logan Field that will go down as one of the classic contests all time between the two Island programs and easily as one of the best that 2012 will have to offer.  Barsby drove early into Mt. Douglas territory and fumbled the ball.  Mt. Doug answered with a big pass on third down for a 35 yard score to open up the scoring.  The next series the Dawgs drove down the Ram 20 and threw one in from the 20.  After that it was a see-saw battle with big, big hitting.  I cannot recall 4-5 helmets knocked off heads and rolling on the ground in a half, ever.  At half-time the game was 21-21.  Opening the 3rd quarter Mt. Douglas was frustrated at the Barsby 8 and the first snap that the Dawgs took to open their drive, the ball went sailing behind the Dawg  RB on an errant pitch and Davis scooped it in the end-zone for an easy score.  At the end of the third quarter Barsby led 28-27 and with less than two minutes remaining the AA squad was ahead 36-33.  Marcus Davis capping a huge day broke loose on a draw play to score putting the Rams ahead for good.  Barsby finished on the Mt. Douglas 25 yard line to end their comeback attempt.  Great Game!!

Barsby MD Pics:

Elsewhere the short benched #1 Mission Roadrunners took care of  business on a road trip to Carson Graham showing just how fast and talented their core roster is.  The Ballenas Whalers dropped one vs the AAA Centennial Centaurs up in Parksville by a pretty good score and South Delta had a big day in the air vs the visiting Nanaimo District Islanders.  Up on the North Shore, Rick-Hansen won by a big score against the Handsworth Royals sending a message that this program is back on the rise and announcing in dramatic fashion that the Hurricanes are crashing the top 5 provincially.

**Of note: BC AA Varsity...send your pics and team hi-lite videos this way for posting!!

GI's Week 2 Top 5

1. Mission Roadrunners
2. John Barsby Bulldogs
3. South Delta Sundevils
4. Carson Graham Eagles
5. Rick Hansen Hurricanes

Week 2 Picks

Thursday, 13 September

Bert Church Alberta @ Kalmalka: The host Lakers are picked a good week 2 match-up in the Bert Church Chargers. The Lakers are fast this year and a mature group all-round. GI's Pick: Lakers by 11

Friday, 14 September

College Heights @ Correlieu: The Cougars played some decent ball vs perennial conference powerhoue Nechako Valley. Correlieu is overmatched in this one. GI's Pick: Cougars by 10

South Kamloops @ Robert Bateman:  I like this game for a lot of reasons. Firstly, this could easily be a playoff match-up in November as both squads have the athletes and experience to earn their way into the post-season. Bateman played a tough match versus Mouat in the season opener. This won't be nearly as tough for the Timberwolves and if they are healthy on Friday, their running game is going to be hard to stop. The Titans will find out what kind of defense they have on this road trip. GI's Pick: Bateman by 16

G.P. Vanier (Tier 2) @ Nanaimo District: This has become a rivalry game between these two Island schools over the past four or five years. Both squads like to run the football and the contest will say a lot about the toughness of the respective defenses. Offensively, the Islanders played well against a tough South Delta squad this past Saturday and if they can tighten up pass defense and special teams play, they ought to come out on top. I think they will. GI's Pick: Nanaimo District by 14

South Delta @ Kelowna (AAA): This ought to be a stellar game. Kelowna seems to be tuning-up its game on AA competition this year and they may be getting more than they bargained for from the Sundevils. GI's Pick: South Delta by 6

Abbottsford Collegiate @ John Barsby: In a short year's time these two programs have met twice. Once in exhibition and once in a playoff setting. Both contests were very physical with Barsby managing to pull away in the second half after a see-saw opening quarter or two. This year's game promises to again be a physical affair that ought to benefit the victor and the vanquished in terms of cohesion and battle testing.  Barsby is going to be a juggernaut this year while the Panthers are in a bit of a rebuild.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 18

Earl Marriot @ Westsyde:  Earl Marriot is primed for its first victory in some time as it travels to Kamloops in search of a positive.  The Mariners have played a tough schedule the past couple years and are going to be playing at a pace unfamiliar to their hosts.  This said, the Blue Wave has the numbers out and no bus legs.  GI's Pick: Marriot by 8

Argyle @ Langeley: Good match-up here.  The Pipers are maturing as a program and Langley is itself on a bit of a rebound.  Look for some big plays offensively both ways as the best athletes on each squad do their thing against defenses that have not quite gelled to mid-season form.  GI's Pick: Langley by 6

Belmont @ Windsor: Belmont has made strides this off-season, but so has Windsor.  The Dukes have a more consistent running game and are the home squad.  Look for some big, big plays via the air from Windsor's star receiver as well.  GI's Pick: Dukes by 18

Valleyview @ Rutland (AAA): Rutland is playing some tough ball of late and draws from a much larger student base than the visiting Vikings.  At the end of the day, the Voodoo will grind their way to a wide margin of victory.  GI's Pick: Voodoo by 22

Handsworth @ Hugh Boyd: Both teams lost by big scores last weekend.  I think the Trojans lost to a better team in AAA Earl Marriot than Handsworth did to an admittedly good Hansen squad.  This said, the Royals just cannot match the Trojans up front and this will be a significant handicap for the North Shore squad.  GI's Pick: Trojans by 12

Carson Graham @ New Westminster (AAA): Wow, this is going to be a lights out game between these two former divisional opponents.  New Westminster has their run game primed and delivering some serious horsepower this year. The Hyaks can really get off of the ball up front on offense and are pressuring well on defense.  Carson is no slouch either with some great run-pass balance and a deep passing game that is just about zero'd in to do some real damage.  The big play will factor in on Friday.  Whomever makes em, will be celebrating at game's end.  GI's Pick: Hyaks by 7

Saturday, 15 September

WJ Mouat (AAA) @ Mission: A rematch of last year's Mission upset of then #2 ranked WJ Mouat on the Hawk's home turf.  Mouat has been smarting about that game ever since and are surely looking for redemption against this year's AA #1 ranked Roadrunner squad.  It is going to be an uphill battle for the men in green as they enter play short benched and minus their best player in Kevin Weins.  Ethan Horton however has picked-up the slack for his team and is surrounded by great speed and talent at all the "skill positions".  Coach Watrin is a disciplined fellow and has likely rested everyone he can for this game so the Roadrunners enter it in as good of shape as possible.  The Hawks are showing their terrestrial side in 2012 running the ball hard behind a very good offensive line.  I think that this places them in a position of advantage come Saturday as the visitors ought to wear down the tough, but short benched home squad.  This said, great running is going to have to be accompanied by superb pass defense as Mission can strike big on any given play.  GI's Pick: Mouat by 12

Ballenas @ West Vancouver (AAA): This annual affair between the two squads has em each at a bit of a crossroads.  The Highlanders are coming off of a season opening victory and are on an upwards trajectory.  Ballenas has endured a coaching change and got crushed in their opener vs AAA Centennial.  Week two is truly a character game for the visitors.  A win for the Whalers and hope will spring eternal.  A close loss, ok gang, we are righting the ship.  A blowout loss, time to see who has the jam to endure and succeed.  I think the Whalers are solid ballers at heart and have good leadership.  They will step-up their game on Saturday from the week prior.  GI's Pick: West Van by 8

Dutchess Park @ Rick Hansen: Dutchess Park continues to play a schedule that helps with their rise to the top of the North on a long-term basis.  They better have their A game packed with them on Saturday as the Hurricanes have served notice that they are going to be one of the better AA squads in 2012.  The offensive and defensive lines of the Hurricanes will carry the day as they pound the rock and pressure all afternoon long.  GI's Pick: Hurricanes by 18

Pitt Meadows @ Seaquam: The Marauders opened with a win and the Seahawks with a loss that involved a near miss at a dramatic comeback vs AAA West Vancouver.  I think that the Seaquam squad has a more talented roster and will make the jump into the victory column this week.  GI's Pick: Seaquam by 18


Sunday, September 2, 2012

GI's Picks Week 1

Gridiron's Picks Week 1

Week 1 Thoughts

Glad to be back in football mode.  Spring was especially trying with the adult quarrels re: job action.  With that behind us all, it is time for HS kids to enjoy their youth as they should free from outside entities.

The Earth is over 5 billion years old.  The average human lives 6 or 7 decades if the stars line-up right.  High School Football lasts 4 years.  Sr.'s this year have 3 months of ball til they move on to their adult lives.  The window is infintesimably small in the big scheme of things. Treasure every moment gang, be jealous of what you have right now, protect it and honor it.  Pour yourselves into the work at hand and let no one and no group of folks take it away.  The now is all you got. Nuff said.

Coaches, it all comes to an end one day.  You never know when a health issue or something else is gonna put a permanent stop to your time with the game you love.  Savour it all and follow your bliss fellas!!

This season is unwritten.  The greatest thing about our game is that it is the best book ever written year after year and we all have a  hand in penning it.  What are the storylines going to be? What are the ups? What are the downs?  What is going to be that 6 second moment in time you talk about with anyone who will listen til your sunset days?  Gal dang exciting I say!!!

Best of luck to all!  GI

GI's Week 1 Top 5

1. Mission Roadrunners 1-0
2. John Barsby Bulldogs 0-0
3. Ballenas Whalers 0-0
4. South Delta Sundevils 0-0
5. Carson Graham Eagles 1-0

Friday, 7 September

Pincer Creek AB @ Mt. Baker: The Wild are are an improved group over the 2011 version.  This game is a great pick-up for them.  Time to get better!  GI's Pick: Pincer Creek by 21

Frank Hurt (Tier 2) @ Eric Hamber: The Griffins have to get better fast in order to compete in league play.  This game is a great starting point for them.  Hurt is always competitive at Tier 2 and has a long football tradition.  Got to give this one to the more experienced Hornets.  GI's Pick: Hurt by 14

Seaquam @ West Vancouver (AAA): Seaquam surely has the numbers out this year and they posess Lego, one of the premier running backs in AA ball.  West Van has had its struggles with numbers of late but it is a large school with athletes lurking in the student body.  This game should be a toss-up.  Whomever establishes a consistent running game will carry the day.  GI's Pick: Seaquam by 6

Hugh Boyd @ Lord Tweedsmuir (AAA): Ah, a refreshing rivalry game from AA days of yore.  Hugh Boyd will take the field with an impressive physical roster in terms of size up front and athleticism at the key skill positions.  Tweedsmuir, after three years of fighting for its life in the AAA East is all grisle and sinew.  This is an "up" year for the Panthers as well who look to make significant headway as a darkhorse in the AAA league.  Gotta go with LT on this one by way of a great defensive performance on opening day.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 21

Pitt Meadows @ Belmont: Pitt took round one of this budding rivalry during spring ball and now travels to one of BC's best football facilities to play the Bulldogs of Belmont.  Belmont has had a busy summer in their quest to improve for Fall.  I like Belmont in this one as Pitt will have some travel legs and the home team has historically come out of the gates pretty strong. GI's Pick: Belmont by 6

Correlieu @ Prince George: The Clansmen are in a rebuild as are the Polars.  PGSS is a huge school however with some great athletes to draw from.  Looking at the historical match-ups here, you gotta go with the Polars in a run fest.  GI's Pick: Polars by 18

Nechako Valley @ College Heights: Nechako Valley has consistently played top-notch football in the El Norte Division.  Their systems are solid and there is a lot of consistency from JV level ball up to the Varsity.  College Heights did not have much of a spring to build off of. Vanderhoof will be proud of their sons on Friday!  GI's Pick: Vikings by 28

Westsyde @ Moscrop (Tier 2): The Blue Wave steps up to AA ball with good numbers and continuity at the helm.  Moscrop has done pretty darn good at the Tier 2 level and has been doing some good stuff program-wise.  A long road-trip will make things tough for the visitors.  GI's Pick: Moscrop by 12

Kelley Road @ South Kamloops: Great game for both squads.  Kelley Road is on a rebuild and on the road to open up.  SKS finished very strong in 2011 and will pick-up where it left off.  I think the Titans will get the ground game up and running and never look back.  GI's Pick: Titans by 17

Windsor @ Kelowna (AAA): This game will be great!  Windsor toughed it out last year with a very young squad that showed flashes of great things to come.  Coach Schuman is easily on the list of the top 5 coaches at any level in BC high school football.  Kelowna, an interior collossus has been the class of their division the past several years.  The Owls will out-athlete the Dukes but them athletes need to be pulling in the same direction right out of the gates.  GI's Pick: Dukes by 8

Mt. Douglas (AAA) @ John Barsby: Does Barsby even have a hope in this game vs the defending AAA champions and #1 ranked Mt. Douglas Rams?  Mt. Douglas just thrashed Oregon 4A Junction City 38-6 at Junction's home field.  Running Back/LB Mason Swift is touted as perhaps the best player in BC and teammate Marcus Davis is soon to have a Marvel Comic character that rivals "The Flash" in print.  The offensive and defensive lines mirror the school's namesake in size as well with a 6'6 qb slinging lightning bolts across the field.  Does Barsby have a chance?  Well, yes they do.  Its a long-shot, but they do.  HS kids can accomplish great things on any given game day and it is the players who ultimately write the script. The Dawgs aren't going to roll over and pee on their home turf. Look for an entertaining game Friday Night in Nanaimo.  GI's Pick: ........

Holy Cross @ St. Thomas Moore (AAA): A great rivalry renewed between these schools. STM has dominated this affair almost without exception and this team has great expectations for itself coming off of a JV championship season.  The Crusaders are gamers, but simply do not have the team speed to match-up.  GI's Pick: STM by 28

Robert Bateman @ WJ Mouat (AAA): Bateman pulled the pin on a cross border game last week.  Mouat went down to Oregon and kicked some tail.  The Hawks have long been the football aristocracy in Abbottsford and will have no time to mess around with local upstarts who challenge for top rail in this football crazy town.  GI's Pick: Hawks by 30

Abbey Collegiate @ New Westminster (AAA): New Westminster with a tough game under its belt hosts a very tough group of football players from the Valley.  New West should get off to a good start before Abbey starts to dial in the speed of the game and adjust.  It may be too little too late for the Panthers however.  GI's Pick: Royals by 17

Saturday, 8 September

Kalmalka @ Holy Trinity AB: Kalmalka is in an "up" cycle and is quite possibly the fastest team in the Interior.  This said, the Albertan squad matches up well and ought to really feel the home field advantage vs the travelling Lakers:  GI's Pick: Trinity by 14

Rick Hansen @ Handsworth: There is a very positive buzz around the Hansen program this year.  The Royals are young and talented with great numbers for ball.   These teams played in spring with Hansen shoving the Royals around up front pretty good.  The Royals are also notorious slow-starters.  Gotta give this one to the visitors.  GI's Pick: Hansen by 17

Carson Graham @ Mission:  A great litmus test for Carson's program as they play their first year of AA Ball.  The JV semi-final between these two teams last year was superb and I smell a hint of rivalry here.  Both Mission and Carson are coming off of big wins down in the States.  If Carson can match-up in terms of team speed and they take care of the football, they have a chance at victory.  Mission is sans all everything Kevin Weins, but this is a program, not a one man show and Hortan at QB is not much of a drop-off.  This game goes to the Roadrunners. GI's Pick:  Mission by 19

Nanaimo District @ South Delta: The Sundevils shredded the Islanders in spring ball and in a spread vs spread match-up, have the speed advantage at every position.  The Islanders are tough however so this game will surely be a pysical affair to say the least.  Look for SD to have huge offensive numbers in this tilt en route to the win.  GI's Pick: Sundevils by 26

Centennial (AAA) @ Ballenas: Ballenas took the high road and went for 2 pts and the win on the last play of the game vs Centennial last year.  This season, the Centaurs travel to the Island to play the Whalers.  The Centaurs wont be caught napping this time round and have a pride issue to take care of after last year's surprise.  Centennial has the depth advantage here, but if the Whalers can avoid a shoving match, their attack is surely fearsome enough to put a lot of points on the board.  GI's Pick: Centennial by 6

Valleyview @ Salmon Arm: The Golds are coming off of a thrashing by WA state 3A Fife this past weekend.  Valleyview will have nothing comparable to throw at the Salmon Arm Squad and are on the road.  GI's Pick: Salmon Arm by 21