Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week 5

AA Varsity Week Five

Grizzly Home Opener Was "All That!"
Week Four Wrap-Up

The top five took care of business again this week with Hansen coming closest to trouble in a game vs GW Graham that was tighter than many would expect or that the score did indeed reflect.  That said, Carson's score over Holy Cross by a wide margin definitely raised some eyebrows.  Windsor's 28 - 0 blanking of Ballenas and Frank Hurt's divisional win over Hugh Boyd were surely the two biggest surprises of the week. 

Elsewhere, Pitt, Valleyview and Nanaimo District had quality wins that move them closer to playoff contention and up North, College Heights pulled off the upset vs Kelly Road. 



Nechako Valley 33 Correlieu 0


Robert Bateman 35 Samuel Robertson 0
Mission 36 Langley 12
Valleyview 14 Salmon Arm 0
Rick Hansen 23 G.W. Graham 0
John Barsby 51 Sentinel 0
Carson Graham 35 Holy Cross 7
Clarence Fulton 36 Mt. Baker 6
Windsor 28 Ballenas 0
College Heights 18 Kelly Road 6
Duchess Park 46 Prince George 0

Pitt Meadows 28 Abbottsford 0
Nanaimo District 30 Argyle 7


Squalicum (Wash.) 48 Seaquam 6
South Delta 46 Spectrum 0
Vernon 49 Westsyde 6
Frank Hurt 20 Hugh Boyd 7

GI's Top Five

1. South Delta
2. John Barsby
3. Mission
4. Carson Graham
5. Rick Hansen


+ Windsor: Another convincing victory, this time over a good Ballenas squad! The Dukes are for real folks.
+ Frank Hurt: Served notice they are competing for number 2 in their division by downing a Hugh Boyd squad that has been playing tough ball of late.
+ Duchess Park: Steam rolls another Interior Opponent.
+ Clarence Fulton: Wins by a lopsided score.
+ Vernon: Dismatles divisional foe Westsyde
- The onset of Winter Rains in September!  Not cool and time to go away.

AA Game of the Week
2014 Border Battle


Friday, 4 October 6:01 PM Merle Logan Field Nanaimo

GI's Picks

Thursday, 3 October

College Heights @ Prince George:  The Cougars upset a powerful Kelly Road squad last week and are going to be taking that momentum into the game vs a PG squad reeling from a Duchess Park clobbering.  Look for ball control and tough D to rule the day.  GI's Pick: Cougars by 16

Friday, 4 October

Mt. Baker @ Westsyde:  This will be close.  I think that the Wild are going to get a W out of this game. Westsyde is the home team and the long travel day for the visitors will figure in the game.  GI's Pick: Wild by 4

Langley @ Rick Hansen: Langley is for sure better than last year.  This said, they are not playing up to Hansen's level of ball just yet.  The Hurricanes will score by air and ground come Friday and the score could get big if the defense produces a few turnovers.  GI's Pick: Hansen by 17

Windsor @ Nanaimo: The Dukes are the most improved team in AA ball since the beginning of the season and their QB one of the best in the land.  The Islanders are in a pickle because they have to defend the deep ball and the run while keeping their defense balanced.  The key to this game will be the Nanaimo District offense.  If they can score more than 21 points this game gets close.  GI's Pick: Windsor by 16

Abbottsford @ Mission: Mission gets a bit of a free pass divisionally with this game.  The Panthers have been taking it on the chin as of late and this will be the final act of pummelling before the schedule lightens up a bit.  The Roadrunners for their part have shown some mortality allowing points on the board from last week's opponent.  GI's Pick: Roadrunners by 23

Argyle @ Moscrop (Tier 2): Argyle sure needs this game in their search for a W this year.  Moscrop has been playing some pretty good ball themselves so nothing will come easily for the Pipers.  I think that if Argyle can limit their turnovers and find the smashmouth plays within their scheme, they can prevail.  They certainly have the size and athleticism.  GI's Pick: Argyle by 7

GW Graham @ Robert Bateman: Word out of the Valley is that GW Graham played Hansen much closer than the score would indicate having their chances inside of the red zone on multiple occasions.  If this is the case, the upcoming tilt vs Bateman is darn near a toss-up.  Keys to the game are going to be Bateman's ability or inability to run the football around the edge and defend the big play vs Graham.  Graham has to limit its turnovers and decide whether or not its backfield is tough enought to dance with teams that like to hit.  Turnovers of course will figure prominently either way.  The way the Grizzlies practice and play ball this week will determine how the rest of their season goes.  If they get physical and play with the temperment of their namesake, they may even make the playoffs and do some damage.  If they hit like cupcakes, well there is always next year.  Bateman has proven they like the tough games and can compete in them.  This will springboard the Timberwolves into playoff form GI's Pick: Bateman by 10

Spectrum @ Frank Hurt: The Thunder begin a bit of a road stint against the red hot and improving Frank Hurt Hornets.  Size, speed and home field go to Frank Hurt.  Courage and a plucky attitude to the 1st year Thunder.  The Polish Cavalry charging into the German Panzers in 39 were courageous and plucky.  GI's Pick: Hornets by 24

Sentinel @ Carson Graham: Sentinel's coaches rightly challenged their players outright to practice better and grow as a team right after the Barsby game.  This week is the gut check for the Spartan Varsity.  Either they respond and find their better selves inside or they travel down the road for a rough couple of hours.  The Spartans certainly are physically capeable of playing most of the AA squads in the province.  They just have to put together all the pieces mentally.  Carson for their part is playing some devastating offense in terms of balance and their defense is a physical reflection of their offensive selves.  GI's Pick: Carson by 31

John Barsby @ Ballenas: The 2013 Border Battle is again played on a neutral field in Central Nanaimo.  The Whalers coming off of a stinging loss vs Carson got caught looking a week ahead and can now focus on their opponent and nemisis, the John Barsby Bulldogs.  Year to year since 2000, this game has always been played with great passion and pride by both teams.  Win-Loss records go out the window at kick-off and a hec of a football game breaks out.  Until last week, Ballenas has been scoring big points and really pressuring their opponents.  Barsby for their part has been playing some of the best overall defense in program history.  Special teams for both programs are points of pride.  At mid-season, both teams are going to be a bit chewed up.  How this is mitigated/handled will be an important factor come game day.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 16

Nechako Valley @ Duchess Park: Duchess has pulled away from the rest of the conference in dramatic fashion.  Right now their biggest opponent is themselves.  They have to challenge one another to play a cleaner, tighter and more polished game each week and to build on each practice.  This is essential if they are going to make more than a first round appearance in the provincial playoffs a month from now.  The Vikings are getting better each week.  They are in tough, but could cause a few problems in the game if the Condors overlook them.  GI's Pick: Duchess by 21

Saturday, 5 October

South Delta @ Holy Cross: I will be mildly surprised if HC scores a touchdown and shocked if they score two or more vs the Sundevil juggernaut.  South-Delta can do it all and dominates every category on the physical scale in this contest.  GI's Pick: South Delta by 28

Seaquam @ Hugh Boyd: Two divisional foes coming off of a loss.  This one is for playoff seeding folks.  Based on what I have seen this year, we are looking at a virtual toss-up.  Seaquam has a bit of a roster advantage physically, but Boyd is playing cleaner, more polished football.  I give this one to the Trojans based on their defense.  GI's Pick: Hugh Boyd by 2

Valleyview @ Clarence Fulton: Very good game here.  Both teams have been playing good ball and the Vikings have gone out and found very good competition to hone their play.  I think Fulton comes into the game with more momentum than their foes, but having played in less big games.  It will be tight.  GI's Pick: Valleyview by 1

Vernon @ Salmon Arm: Vernon is the beast up in the Interior and will play like it on Saturday.  Salmon Arm is a bit of a Jekyl and Hide team this year.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 22

2013 JV Mid-Season Rankings

1. Mt. Douglas
2. St. Thomas Moore
3. Vancouver College
4. Notre Dame
5. GW Graham

Honorable Mention: Lord Tweedsmuir, Prince George, Ballenas, Terry Fox, Carson Graham, New Westminster


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week Four

AA Varsity Week 4

Piper D Got Stingy In Second Half vs #2 Barsby 

Week 3 Wrap-Up

South Delta is again the league monster as Frank Hurt found out up close and personal.  Barsby is playing smothering defense this year and Mission found itself in a game vs upstart Pitt Meadows that could only be described as being tested.  The East schedule for the Roadrunners is going to get tougher week to week.  Carson Graham laid down the hammer on Nanaimo District signalling to everyone out West that the Eagles are hell bent on the conference title!  Don't get too dang comfortable Barsby!!  Rick Hansen served notice that it is not going to get shoved aside for top rail in the East either.

Elsewhere, Ballenas was again convincing in AA play scoring a bushell of points against a talented, but raw Sentinel Spartans squad.  Holy Cross has been making some eye catching strides the past several weeks and has strung together three in a row since their opening week game vs STM.  Keep an eye on the Crusaders in the South Folks.  Fulton is probably the most improved team in the Interior over the past four weeks, notching up another win vs Salmon Arm.  Vernon however, looms as the dominant bull in the Interior corral.  Last but not least, Duchess Park hammered their way to a big win over cross-town rial College Heights.



Prince George ? Correlieu ?  (Of note: If the North wants to get taken seriously, they ought to get all scores and game summaries/hudl trades done on time and complete.)


G.W. Graham 28 Abbotsford 7
Clarence Fulton 27 Salmon Arm 14

Duchess Park 44 College Heights 12
Langley 21 Samuel Robertson 18
Vernon 39 Westsyde 6
Mission 20 Pitt Meadows 6
Ballenas 41 Sentinel 12
Carson Graham 41 Nanaimo District 0
John Barsby 34 Argyle 0
Rick Hansen 16 Robert Bateman 0
Windsor 33 Valleyview 8
Kelly Road 14 Nechako Valley 12

Notre Dame (AAA) 36 Hugh Boyd 13


South Delta 42 Frank Hurt 14
Holy Cross 20 Seaquam 6

GI's Top Five

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

The Plus Minus

+ Holy Cross Crusaders: Big conference win.  Crusaders starting to put something together!
+ Windsor Dukes: Another decisive W for the Dukes.
Duchess Park Condors: Been running in knee deep muck for weeks, now they are on a fast track.  Condors "Got Better" the hard-way...The Right Way!  Payday folks.
+ GW Graham Grizzlies: Graham and Duchess read from the same cook book.  Look out East Division!
+ Seaquam Hosting Squalicum (WA): Good move Coach Mullis!  Great for the game having these guys coming up for a home tilt!!
- Coaches not providing timely, detailed game reports to Howard at The Province Blog:  "Make the big time where you are" fellas!  The game is the sum of its parts.   What you do is important to everyone.  Give a little of yourselves and you will benefit from the collective effort exponentially.  The season is too short and precious to be too tired and overburdened to spend five or ten minutes to help out.  If you don't like typing, phone em in.  Need a reminder?  Build yourself a little post-game check list.

AA Varsity Game Of The Week

You gotta like this one folks.  Regional rivalry game, new stadium turf and ATMOSPHERE! The Chilliwack community is pulling out all the stops to support their Grizzly program!  Look for a thousand plus in the bleachers as the HS game takes off in the Valley!  Oh yeah, and there are two very good football teams on the field as well!

New Turf At Graham's Home Field Will Witness Packed House For Electric Game!

GI's Week Four Picks


Correlieu @ Nechako Valley:  This one will be high scoring from the perspective of the host squad.  NVSS looks like it has greatly improved having taken a physically superior Kelley Road to the mat last week.  GI's Pick: Vikings by 21


John Barsby @ Sentinel: Sentinel finally got on the field this past weekend and impressed with their size and athleticism.  The thing that hurt the Spartans was having no games week 1 and 2.  They now have some playing time under their collective belts and will need to maximize on that experience as they host the #2 ranked Bulldogs.  The field at Sentinel borders on muskeg and rain this week will make this a good ol fashioned dirty, nasty slobberknocker.  Ought to be kind of fun.   Getting down to ball, the Barsby Defense has shut out opponents three times in four weeks.  The slow track means there will be some tough sledding for offenses.  Look for a lower score than some might expect.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 18

Nanaimo District @ Argyle:  Call this a playoff game for both teams.  A win means that the victor is in the running for divisional third or fourth seed by the looks of things this year.  A loss is not a mathematical elimination but there surely is a steeper road to get back in contention.  Argyle wins the size match-up here and Nanaimo District the edge in speed.  Home field to the Pipers.  NDSS needs to be hyper focused in practice and to travel a lot better than last week where they showed up and literally laid an egg getting blanked out by the Carson Graham Eagles.  GI's Pick: Nanaimo District by 2

Hugh Boyd @ Frank Hurt:  This will be a good game.  The Hornet coach was not pleased with his team's effort or guts vs South Delta.   This time round, I think the crew from Hurt will lay the smack down on their home field.  This team has a lot of talent!  Hugh Boyd is playing much better ball themselves than they have the past couple of years.  The Trojan attack is pretty varied offensively so they ought to get their shots in come game-day.  This game will be decided by defense and field position.  Edge to Hugh Boyd.  GI's Pick: Trojans by 8

Mission @ Langley: Great job Langley on your first win of the year last week vs SRT.  Now the Roadrunners come to visit.  Strap on your headgear and put on your track shoes cus these guys are fast and physical.  This said, Mission looked mortal in their game vs Pitt this past Friday and this is a home game for the Saints.  In the end however, Mission will outscore the hosts by land and air.  GI's Pick: Mission by 26

Holy Cross @ Carson Graham: Ok, this is exhibition, but it counts for a lot.  I am going to officially christen this tilt as the week 4 Litmus Bowl.   These two teams are making a lot of positive noise and HC is really beginning to show up on the provinciall AA Varsity Radar.  Their jet sweep from gun and the mis-direction accompanying it are starting to get some real rhythm and mesh.  Lord knows that the wiley OC Coach Higgins is grinning like a butcher's dog as he mulls all the trick play opportunities that are sprouting like weeds from this zaney offensive attack.  On the flip side there are the Eagles who have been dismantling their opponents week in and week out this year.  I like their continuity and old school feel in terms of their kinetic game.  Kicking goes to Carson as well as defense.  GI's Pick: Carson by 16

Ballenas @ Windsor:  The GIA (Gridiron's Intelligence Agency) recently hacked into an undisclosed imaging satellite in near earth orbit.  I can give you a preview of what it will reveal when it focuses on the Ballenas Whaler practice field this week.  There will be these little dots running up and down the field this week covering other dots that are having balls thrown at em via a repeating howitzer type device designed to simulate the outstanding Windsor quarterback.  Windsor is chucking the ball very well folks and the Whalers are going to have to play their A game.  In particular, they have to keep Marshall in the pocket and get him out of rhythm.  For their part, the Dukes are going to have to play rock-solid versus the run and jam the Whaler TE back into the stone ages.  Lastly and not least, nobody can short kick the ball like Ballenas.  If the Whalers can be balanced and keep the score down, they win.  GI's Pick: Ballenas by 11

Kelley Road @ College Heights: The Roadrunners have the size-speed advantage and as the weather worsens, the ability to pound the football.  The cougars are still reeling from the Duchess Park game and had better show up to practice looking ahead as opposed to behind them.  GI's Pick: Kelley Road by 9

Robert Bateman @ Samuel Roberts Technical: SRT is playing its second varsity game ever.  Bateman, coming off of a tough loss vs local rival Rick Hansen is going to be playing with a sense of urgency as they don't want to slip down the playoff seeding ladder.  The Timberwolves measure up in every category on Friday: size, speed, experience and physical play.  GI's Pick: Bateman by 23

Rick Hansen @ GW Graham: Double A Game Of The Week right here.  It gets this billing as much for the spectacle as for the game itself.  Would love to be a part of the huge Friday Night Crowd that is going to show up for this one.   Look for an airshow punctuated by some big runs.  Both teams can chuck the ball for sure.  I give the edge on the ground and the edge in terms of tough physical defense to Hansen however.  The kicking game is even.  I think that the Hurricanes will come at Graham hard on the ground and sit the fun and gun, pass-happy Grizzly offense on the bench for much of the game.  GI's Pick: Hurricanes by 17

Mt. Baker @ Valleyview:  Valleyview is one of the better teams in the Interior.  Mt. Baker has been making strides however and this will be a good lil tilt up in Kamloops.  Valleyview's pistol offense is tough to play against defensively as they don't make a tonne of mistakes and run downhill pretty effectively.  GI's Pick: Valleyview by 19

Prince George @ Duchess Park:  Of all the high schools in town, these two represent the oldest and most intense rivalry across all sports in Prince George.  Now it is football's turn to add to the history.  The Polars have been surprisingly better than most thought they would be this year.  Duchess however is the power squad in the North.  Look for big points on the board from Matters and crew.  GI's Pick: Duchess by 23

Pitt Meadows @ Abbottsford: Both of these teams have really stepped up their game in recent weeks.  Pitt I believe is the stronger of the two squads based on recent game results and opponents played.  Give this one to the Marauders.  GI's Pick: Pitt by 16

Clarence Fulton @ Westsyde:  Fulton is headed towards the top of the Interior heap.  Vernon will have a say of course, but these guys are playoff bound.  Westsyde, well they have work to do.  The Fulton defense is their strength righ now and the offense will benefit from the field position and take aways.  GI's Pick: Maroons by 25


Salmon Arm @ Vernon: The Golds got shocked by the Maroons and now play a Vernon team that has outshone all comers this year.  Look for the Panthers to methodically build up their total on the scoreboard as the game progresses.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 19

Squalicum WA @ Seaquam: Seaquam is in tough for this game.  They will emerge better for the experience however and a cross-border opponent making the trip to BC is great for the game and prings notoriety to the Seahawk program.  GI's Pick: Squalicum by 34

South Delta @ Spectrum: South Delta will be in its element playing on the fast track in Victoria.  Spectrum continues to make positive strides on the field and has had a two week stint to prepare for the visiting BC Champs.  The Sundevils will have the opportunity this week to get valuable playing time for their twos and threes by the start of the second quarter.  GI's Pick: South Delta by 40

Seaquam's Week 4 Foe Squalicum Playing This Past Week (below)

Question: Can we get this going on here in BC?!!

Help!  Please send in your team's hi-lite videos and game pics!!  Would love to post em!!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

AA Varsity Week 3

Week Three AA Varsity
Nanaimo District And Spectrum Tangle Under The Friday Night Lights!

Week Two Wrap

Well Gang, the pre-season has come to an end in a flurry with several good and very telling games having been played on the weekend.  South Delta chewed up AAA Kelowna as did Carson Graham who worked AAA West Vancouver by three scores.  Mission played pretty close with AAA powerhouse Mouat and the Whalers of Ballenas gave AAA Belmont a close game as well.  Boyd had a statement loss vs Rick Hansen signalling to all that they are going to contend for and in the playoffs this year.  Barsby's defense scored twic en route to a second shutout this season as well. Lastly, it would seem that Holy Cross, Windsor, Nanaimo District, Robert Bateman, Frank Hurt, Abbey and Clarence Fulton are beginning to find their feet. It would seem that the pre-season has provided a good springboard for league play to come.

Islander Air Show


College Heights 16 Nechako Valley 7


Nanaimo District 39 Spectrum 14
Rick Hansen 20 Hugh Boyd 14
W.J. Mouat (AAA) 42 Mission 24
Carson Graham 31 West Vancouver (AAA) 12
John Barsby 61 GW Graham 0
Clarence Fulton 14 Rutland (AAA)14
South Delta 39 Kelowna (AAA) 13
Seaquam 20 Windsor 20
Frank Hurt 34 Langley 8
Abbotsford 48 Howe Sound (Tier 2) 6


Belmont RB's Had Way Too Much Fun On The Way To The Whaler End-Zone Saturday

Belmont (AAA) 48 Ballenas 35
Robert Bateman 43 Duchess Park 6
Holy Cross 42 Argyle 20

GI's Top Five

1. South Delta Sundevils (2-1)
2. John Barsby Bulldogs (2-1)
3. Mission (1-2)
4. Carson Graham  (3-0)
5. Rick Hansen (2-1)

The Rest Of The Pack

Flying To The Football...Literally!


Climbing: Frank Hurt, Fulton, Bateman, Nanaimo District, Ballenas, Holy Cross, Hugh Boyd

Falling: No-One Just Yet


GI's Week 3 Picks

Whaler Defense Awaits Sentinel!

Thursday, 19 September

PGSS @ Correlieu: Though Correlieu is listed as the home team, they are playing this game under the lights at Massich in the Polars back yard.  PGSS is a bit stronger than some had thought this year and will continue to build in the success it has encountered thus far.  GI's Pick: Polars by 14

Friday, 20 September

Rick Hansen @ Robert Bateman: Lets call this the AA Varsity Game Of The Week.  This tilt will affect playoff seeding out of the East.  Hansen has a definite edge in roster size and a much more balanced offense than their hosts.  I give speed to Bateman however.  The Hurricane coaching staff is well aware of standout running back Ben Cummings and will be dialed in on him defensively and when he returns the ball in the kicking game.  This begs the question, is Bateman balanced enough offensively to take the pressure off of their RB?  I think not.  GI's Pick: Hansen by 8

John Barsby @ Argyle: Argyle showed some offensive life in their loss to Holy Cross.  They are still giving up points by the bushell however and Barsby has been scoring em aplenty over the first three weeks.  This game has turned into a bit of a rivalry between the two schools, especially coming off of last year's thrilling JV quarter-final game.  Make no mistake, the Pipers want this one and will be hosting it in their own back yard.  Getting down to brass tacks, the Barsby Defense has scored two TD's in three weeks and Dawg specials have encountered the end-zone three times as well.  Offensively, they will be starting in good field position all day.  There will be too much pressure on the Arglyle defense Friday afternoon.   GI's Pick: Barsby by 20

Nanaimo District @ Carson Graham: This game was a hard hitting, closely fought affair when it was played in Nanaimo last year.  The 2013 edition on the North Shore could very well be similar.  I think that Carson has the edge in roster size and depth however.  Look for the Eagles to pound the ball and throw with enough balance to keep the Islander defense on its heels.  For their part, the Islanders are capeable of long sustained drives offensively punctuated by the big play via the air.  The kicking game figures to be featured prominently come Friday.  GI's Pick: Carson Graham by 16

Sentinel @ Ballenas: Wow Sentinel, travelling to play Ballenas at their home field is a tough way to play your first game of AA Varsity ball since 2004.  The Whalers will be licking their chops for this one and will rain deep passes on the Spartans from start to finish.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 40 plus.

Valleyview @ Windsor: Kudo's to Valleyview for travelling down to the Lower Mainland for consecutive weeks in search of competition.  This group could very well be the only squad that will be able to challenge Vernon for first place in the Interior.  The Dukes looked a lot better vs Seaquam than they did the week before for sure.  Tough thing for Windsor is that they may be playing without their #1 QB.  This changes the dynamics of the game dramatically.  Look for Coach Schuman to call a more conservative game that features the run much more prominently than it did a week a go.  Practices this week will be all about defense and special teams.  GI's Pick: Windsor by 8

Duchess Park @ College Heights: Duchess has been playing better competition than College Heights this Fall and the speed of their game will be evident when they tangle with cross-town rival College Heights.  Look for the Condors to use their size advantage to lean on their opponents and for big plays via the air to result from a packed box.  GI's Pick: Duchess Park by 19

Vernon @ Westsyde: Vernon has been on a rampage the past three weeks and will amp up their game another notch when they face the Blue Wave.  Look for stifling defense and plenty of combined run-pass yards en route to a convincing victory for the Panthers.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 28

Clarence Fulton @ Salmon Arm:  This will be a very, very close game who's outcome will be determined by the ability of the Maroon defense to stop the run.  It is also just about time for Fulton to get some offensive traction that results in a few more points on the scoreboard.  Salmon Arm has the bigger, more athletic roster in this contest.  If the Golds can pound the rock they win.  Home field advantage also counts.  GI's Pick: Salmon Arm by 1

Kelley Road @ Nechako Valley:  Though a bunch of plucky gamers, Nechako Valley is rebuilding and they simply do not win any of the physical match-ups in this game.  The Roadrunners will be healthy and should run the ball effectively throughout the contest.  The rest is all commentary.  GI's Pick: Roadrunners by 21

G.W. Graham @ Abbottsford: I like this one as it is a divisional match-up that could very well determine who the last seed entering the playoffs is come November.  Yes, it is that important.   Solid roster match-ups in most positions.  Both teams have been working towards finding their personality and style of play that will carry them into the season henceforth.  Graham has challenged itself with a mix of US, AAA and solid AA competition in an attempt to forge itself upon that crucible.  Abbey has taken a lesser road.  I think that the Graham offense will score plenty of points come Friday and the defense will clean-up its linebacker play enough to tangle with the Abbey backfield.  GI's Pick: Graham by 11

Hugh Boyd @ Notre Dame (AAA): One team I have been watching with a growing sense of interest this year is the Hugh Boyd Trojans.  To be honest, I did not think they were very tough at the start of the year.  Watching them play however, I have to admit that I was mistaken.  This game vs Notre Dame will go miles towards preparing the Trojans for the divisional contests ahead.  Notre Dame is coming off of a frustrating loss to Mt. Boucherie and is looking for some redemption.  Playing an AA squad and not losing is also foremost in this program's collective mind.  I think the game will be close but Boyd is not ready yet to win this type of contest.  GI's Pick: Notre Dame by 11

Mission @ Pitt Meadows: The Roadrunners are primed for the AA season and kick-off league play on the road vs Pitt.  This game will be over by mid 2nd quarter at the latest and on running time early in the second half.  It is not that Pitt is a bad team or poorly coached.  Mission is just that fast and polished.  Also, why would the short benched Roadrunners want to prolong the chance of injury by letting the game stay relatively close?  They will score fast, score early and score often.   GI's Pick: Mission by 36

Saturday, 21 September

Holy Cross @ Seaquam: Big divisional fight here folks!  Three weeks ago, I'd have given this game to Seaquam in a relative cake walk.  No more.  It is easy to see that HC is improving by leaps and bounds week to week.  Seaquam has also gotten better, but not as dramatically.  If this one gets close, and I think it will be close, the Crusaders will win.  GI's Pick: HC by 3

Frank Hurt @ South Delta:  "The last thing that goes through a bug's mind when he hits a car windshield on the highway is his hind-parts" or so the story goes.  This is what I thought about this game three or four weeks ago looking at the schedule.  Well, I don't think now that it will be nearly as bad for the Hornets when they tee-up against the number one ranked Sundevils.  What I do think we will see however, is a very organized and well oiled Sundevil machine methodically going about its business against a scrappy, but less cohesive Hornet squad. Also, I predict lots of flags in the air and on the field as well.  GI's Pick: Sundevils by 26

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Look Inside.....never a bad thing to do


Sunday, September 8, 2013

AA Varsity Week 2

AA Varsity Week Two
Mission Gives Cedar Park (WA) All They Can Handle
Week 1 Wrap

A big week for rebound games.  Windsor responded to a big zero week loss with a 55 point blanking of Earl Marriot, Nanaimo District did similar things against Timberline, Holy Cross racked up an impressive shutout against Abbey, South Delta got a quality win over Rick Hansen and Duchess Park steamrolled Correlieu.  Other scores of note were the close contests betwen Ballenas/Hugh Boyd and the huge varsity debut by the GW Graham Grizzlies falling just short of AAA Kelowna.  Mission and Barsby both lost tight games on the weekend as well.  Carson Graham is shaping up to be a juggernaut in 2013.


W.J. Mouat 52 Robert Bateman 10
Lord Tweedsmuir 36 John Barsby 30
Kelowna 14 G.W. Graham 8
Rutland 7 Salmon Arm 6
Frank Hurt 30 Argyle 0
Windsor 55 Earl Marriott 0
Belmont 35 Pitt Meadows 6
Nanaimo District 33 Timberline 0
Ballenas 14 Hugh Boyd 7
Cedar Park (Wash.) 18 Mission 15
Holy Cross 50 Abbotsford 0
Vernon 33 Clarence Fulton 6


South Delta 36 Rick Hansen 20
Centennial 38 Seaquam 0
Duchess Park 43 Correlieu 7
Carson Graham 31 Handsworth 14

GI's Top Five

1. South Delta 1-1
2. John Barsby 1-1
3. Mission 1-1
4. Carson Graham 2-0
5. Rick Hanson 1-1

GI's Week 2 Picks

Thursday, 12 September

College Heights vs Nechako Valley: This will be the first crack at the season for both squads and will be under the lights at Masich.  Both teams are on the rebuild but Nechako Valley has the program history of winning consistency year after year on its side.  The sons of Vanderhoof will just play a clearner, more fluid game of ball than their opponents come Thursday night.  GI's Pick: Viking by 14

Friday, 13 September

High Flying Grizzlies To Host First Ever Varsity Home Tilt vs Barsby

John Barsby @ GW Graham:  Barsby rolls into Chilliwack on week 3 of its 5 game road trip for a 1 PM kick-off vs what can only be described as one of the greatest start-up programs in BC High School Football history.  The Grizzlies are surging at all levels of play, building their program and playing the game "the right way".  Last weekends varsity debut vs AAA Kelowna powerhouse KSS Owls was shockingly close and scoreless for over three quarters!  Even more amazing was that this was a road trip for the Grizzlies.  Adding to the flavor of this week's game is that this is a budding provincial level rivalry game between these two schools.  Many of the players on these two teams have seen each other lined-up across the ball from one another and there is some history pushing things along.  Graham is hosting this one on their school field.  I am pretty sure that there will be a large student body contingent to liven things up come game day.  Now the x's and o's.  The Barsby defense is going to have to lead the visiting Dawgs come Friday.  The Grizzlies have an explosive passing game that is beginning to find its stride.  The Dawg defenders are going to be very busy all afternoon covering their grass.  Equally important for the Grizzlies will be their own defense.  This game is going to be kinetic and Barsby can run-pass pretty well themselves.  Specials and turnovers will be major factors as field position will come into play from drive one!  Now the what if's and intangibles:  Roster health;  after two weeks of play and four weeks of practice, there are going to be some sore bodies here and there.  Who has the depth to take care of the patch-work.  Home field advantage is soundly in the Grizzlies favour.  Barsby will be taking the 0620 boat over.  This means that the Dawgs will have a first call of 0400.  The last such game for Barsby took place in 2011 on a trip over to play Abbey at the same time.  Barsby played pseudo comatose football for 2 quarters that week.  Sleepy Dawgs this Friday could mean big problems out of the gates.  Barsby always works to teach its players to think and play under pressure and mental discomfort.  Exactly the same conditions that this game will present.  Can they handle it?  Lastly, the weather.  It is going to be hot and muggy.  This takes a toll in such games.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 7 in a close one

Clarence Fulton @ Rutland (AAA): Fulton struggled in week 1 against Vernon and now travel to play Kelowna's Rutland Voodoo.  The hosts will be bigger, stronger and faster across the board.  This will be a real test for the interior of Fulton's defense as they are going to be challenged inside the tackles.  GI's Pick: Rutland by 14

Howe Sound (Tier 2) @ Abbottsford: The Panther's imploded last week vs Holy Cross and now host one of the bigger, more physical Tier 2 squads in the province.  The key here is hosting and having a game under their belts.  I think the Panthers will have just enough in their tanks to eeke out a W.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 2

Spectrum @ Nanaimo District: This is a big game for both squads under the lights at Merle Logan Field in Nanaimo.  Spectrum has lost two games in a row by lopsided scores against traditional powerhouses Ballenas and Mt. Douglas.  The Thunder have not waivered however and now are in a perfect position to get some points on the board and positive momentum headed into league play.  Nanaimo District for its part, has had a good week after opening up against Mission and now has a few more players on their roster.  The Islanders are at home and they have the edge in experience.  The teams are mirror images of one another in terms of size so this one is going to come down to execution and persistence.  GI's Pick: Nanaimo District by 12

Frank Hurt @ Langley: OK Frank Hurt, you deserve it, WOW!  Nice job ont he 30 point shut-out over Argyle.  Welcome to AA ball, you belong here for a long time and then some.  Last week was a statement game and this weekend's game versus the Saints will solidify the idea of being at least a round 1 contender in the playoffs.  Langley has the roster to bang with the Hornets, but this game features a dynamic of great interest that once in awhile we get to see being played out.  There is a Lombardi saying that goes something like " ...winning is a habit and so unfortuanately, is losing...". The Hornets won the Tier 2 crown twice in the last three years.  Langley has struggled mightily in the win-loss column.  Now the two programs, who are pretty even on paper, collide in an early season game. The Lombardi Theorum litmus test is at hand.  One small differential is that Hurt has played a game already and Langley has not.  GI's Pick: Hornets by 16

Kelowna (AAA) @ South Delta: Love this game. The football field on Friday is going to be oozing with prototype looking football players doing their thing in a big time game atmosphere.  Gotta say I wish I could be there to witness the spectacle.  South Delta is on a major upwards trajectory and will be banging on all cylinders vs the Owls.  The advantages for the home field squad as I see em are as follows:  Sundevils are home in front of their friends and family, Kelowna will have bus legs, South-Delta offense is more balanced run-pass than Kelowna, it is going to be hot outside and the ocean humidity will impact the visiting squad much more than the hosts.  In fact, a light overcast could turn this into the greenhouse bowl!  South Delta also features one hec of a kicking-game.  GI's Pick: Sundevils by 21

Carson Graham @ West Vancouver (AAA): A consecutive North-Shore tilt for the Eagles on Friday.  Carson is on an early season tear while the Highlanders are working to find their legs and get some positives in place prior to league play.  In its first two games, Carson has found some team personality.  They are going to be able to run-run-run the ball this year and the defense is going to be a reflection of its offensive self.  The game on Friday will hinge on the West Van defense.  If they can keep it close, they have a chance.  GI's Pick: Carson by 12

Seaquam @ Windsor: Two squads who will surge mid-to late season in an early match-up.  Seaquam will definitely have the roster advantage in numbers and just about every category thereafter.  Windsor is at home and Coach Schuman has his blood up after the Zero Week thrashing at the hands of Rick Hanson.  I have to give this game to the visitors in a qualified way.  If Seaquam comes into the game with a focused, specific offensive attack that does not turn into a cover-to-cover review of a partially learned playbook, they ought to grind out a victory.  If the visitors lose disclipline and attack with an open hand instead of a clenched fist, they will fall short.  GI's Pick: Seaquam by 6

Vernon @ Salmon Arm: OK, here you have it.  The top two tems in the AA Varsity Interior go toe to toe in week 1.  The Golds are going to be the larger of the two, but Vernon is and has been playing like the team of destiny in this conference.  There is a swagger and a lot of proficiency to back it up on the Panthers this year.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 11

South Kamloops @ Kelley Road: Another good game north of the Town of Hope.  I am really encouraged and happy to see the Interior and North forming some home and home rivalry games.  It will make ball better up that way for sure!  The visitors will be greeted by the top running game in the Northern conference on unfamiliar turf.  If the Roadrunners can defend the pass decently, they ought to be able to post a W.  If the Titans are balanced and find a good rhythm, look out.  Turnovers loom large here.  GI's Pick: Kelley Road by 4

Rick Hanson @ Hugh Boyd: A tell-tale game of sorts to be played in Richmond this Friday.  The Hurricanes discovered they aren't playing ball at the same level as South Delta just yet and now will see if they are better than middle of the road.  The word on Boyd is that they hit very well this year and have a tough front 8 on defense.  It will likely be the case that the box is going to be loaded to stifle the Hanson running game.  If this proves to be the case, than the Hurricane Offense may be looking for pay-dirt in one on one passing match-ups.  When all is said and done, Hanson is still miles ahead of their hosts in terms of development. GI's Pick: Hurricanes by 18

Westsyde @ Moscrop (Tier 2): Gotta go with Westsyde in a close one here.  Moscrop has had its struggles and Westsyde has been able to put together a solid pre-season.  GI's Pick: Blue Wave by 8

Mission @ WJ Mouat (AAA): This was the game and scene of a stunning upset in 2011 as the Roadrunners stunned the highly ranked Hawks in front of a Mouat Home crowd.  Two years later, we still have the two most prominent and accomplished programs in the Valley set to do battle with huge bragging rights at stake.  The difference this year is depth and median size.  Mouat has it and Mission does not.  If Mouat turns this game into a smashmouth, kinetic affair, they will likely win-out big in the late 2nd quarter-whole second half by a process of attrition.  If this game takes on a cat and mouse, pin-prick personality, all bets are off.  When all is said and done, both teams will emerge better for the experience as will the great game of High School Football in the Valley.  GI's Pick: Mouat by 22

Valleyview @ Pitt Meadows: A rematch of last year's wild card playoff in week 2.  Both squads are vastly different in terms of roster and in the case of Valleyview, their offensive attack.  The Vikings seem to have transitioned better from heavy graduation and have had two solid weeks of practice to prepare for this game.  Pitt played a tough Belmont squad on the weekend that runs a similar offense to Valleyview so theywill be prepared for what comes at em.  GI's Pick: Valleyview by 8

Eric Hamber @ Earl Marriot: Both of these squad fielded JV teams that made the first round in the playoffs last year.  I got to see them both play and feel that there was a slight roster edge going to Hamber.  This said, the Mariners are at home on Friday and that surely counts for something with young people in particular. The Mariners also have a game under their belts while the visitors do not.  Mistakes could hurt big. GI's Pick: Mariners by 3

Saturday, 14 September

Surging Belmont (AAA) Will Visit The Whalers Saturday

Belmont (AAA) @ Ballenas:  I am excited about this game.  So excited I am going to do the unthinkable and miss some college football on Saturday afternoon to go watch this one live.  The past two years Belmont has been a singular pleasure to watch as a program.  They have overcome a lot of local dynamics living in the shaddow of Team Victoria and have built a program based on hard work in the gym,taking advantage of development opportunities abroad across the calendar year and coming together via collective fundraising to "earn their shirts".  That gang is character.  The level of football on the field has steadily and rapidly risen to a point of no return.  This upward trajectory will continue.  Ballenas is most certainly in a rebuild and are handling the process extremely well.  This is a squad to definitely keep an eye on as the season unfolds and I believe it will be just as good as the previous two editions come November.  Coach Conn and co are coaches of the highest order.  Mad respect guys!  Sooo, what will we see on Saturday? Ballenas is going to have to find ways to pressure hard against the run game as they are big-time outmatched up front in terms of sheer brawn.  The problem is however, there are plenty of athletes in the Belmont spread scheme oozing with big play potential on the perimeter.  If this turns into a man coverage affair, the Belmont QB could be decisive.  This is big, because their erstwhile number 2 is taking the snaps from here on out.  The Whaler offense is going to have to be on its A-Game and I see run-pass balance as key with perhaps the screen game being decisive.  Ballenas is a danger on special teams, particularly the kick and kick-return phase of the game. GI's Pick: Belmont by 4

Holy Cross @ Argyle:  I was frankly shocked by both scores last week.  Looks to me like HC is going to be a for real contender in their divisional race with the exception of their game vs South-Delta.  Argyle, what's up?  Time to get back into the form you exhibited as a post-season beast at JV last November.  There is nothing wrong with cutting your playbook by 3/4 and spending a week on the core of your attack and a tonne of defense/special teams practice.  GI's Pick: HC by 26

Duchess Park @ Robert Batemen: Another game I would love to watch.  Duchess is very talented, has superb size and is getting better across the board.  This program is making all the right moves by finding the best competition it can, wherever it can.   I think as this season unfolds, the key to a big November for the Condors is going to be challenging their inner-opponent each week, by setting their own standards very high and working to obtain them regardless of the team in front of em on the field.  Bateman has been playing harcore competition each week dating back to their spring jamboree vs Tweedsmuir.  Last week's tilt against Mouat was another big one and they will find it has helped big-time when hosting this weeks game.  Duchess has to be prepared for Bateman's perimeter speed if it wants to keep this one close.  D-Gap has to belong to Duchess and the C Gap scrape has to be there when Hucheson and co cut-back.  This one hangs on the hat of the Condor D.  Offensively, the Condors are much bigger across the board than their hosts.  A balanced run-pass performance will be key. Lastly, special teams; defend the short kick, a front row that lines up fifteen yards off of the ball on kick-return invites disaester and offensive linemen covering punts isn't a good idea when the returner gets in space.  On Bateman's part, they will do well if they keep being who they are.  The present course they are on is a good one. GI's Pick: Bateman by 26

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 1

AA Varsity Week 1

Seaquam Bests Valleyview 22-16 On The Road
GI's Top Five

1. South Delta
2. Mission
3. John Barsby
4. Carson Graham
5. Rick Hansen

Wednesday, September 4th

Spectrum vs Mt. Douglas (AAA): Spectrum wants the big, bad opponents up front and early as they follow up on a game with perennial powerhouse Ballenas with the defending AAA champion, Mt. Douglas Rams.  Last week snowballed into a 51-0 blowout with a poor special teams showing exacerbating the Thunder's woes.  Mt. Douglas will present even more of a challenge physically and mentally.  One thing for sure, it all gets better from here for the survivors. GI's Pick: Mt. Douglas by 55+.

Friday, September 6th

John Barsby @ Lord Tweedsmuir (AAA):  Assuming both squads are healthy entering this game, this could be another great chapter in the back and forth series between these two programs.  Tweedsmuir is most definitely bigger up front and has superb size and speed at the "skill positions" to accompany the big boys in the trenches.  The Panthers will enter this game having had a singular focus on Barsby at practice the past three weeks as this will be their opener. The preparation will be thorough.  Barsby for its part will have a game under its belt with some of the kinks ironed out.  Defense and specials will loom big in a game that features two offenses that can score in bunches.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 2

Frank Hurt @ Argyle: This game interests the hec out of me.  Hurt has been the dominant tier 2 squad for some time and enters this game with big numbers out for football.  Argyle is poised for a breakout year with many of its players now in their 3rd season of HS ball.  The difference here could be familiarity with the coaching.  Let me explain: Hurt has had its kids working with the same coaches since they joined the program.  Argyle has separate JV and Varsity coaching staffs.  The Piper player are learning the Varsity "way" of doing things and this could mean that Hurt will be running a lot smoother than their opponent.  GI's Pick: Hurt by 6

Belmont (AAA) @ Pitt Meadows: Belmont is really bringing their game to the next level.  Sadly for them, they are sans their starting qb and another quality player headed into this tilt.  Last year it meant a complete change of offensive scheme for them.  This said, the development curve has been superb for the blue and white and there are too many pieces in place for them to fall apart.  Pitt struggled in spring.  GI's Pick: Belmont by 18

Okanagen Mission @ Valleyview: Valleyview has already played a close game against a quality opponent and will be licking their chops when OKM rolls into town.  The Vikings win every match-up across the board in this one.  GI's Pick: Valleyview by 23

Earl Marriot @ Windsor: Windsor got steamrolled at home last week by Hansen and this tilt represents the perfect rebound opportunity as Marriot is in major rebuild mode themselves.  The Dukes will take this one.  GI's Pick: Dukes by 16

Ballenas @ Hugh Boyd: Both teams played this past weekend with dramatically different results.  The Whalers scored fast and often downing Spectrum 51-0 while the Trojans fell by a lopsided score down in Texas.  I think Ballenas will bring a relentless and diversified attack to the field that will be tough to defend.  Thus far their defense has been inpenetrable.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 21

Mt. Baker @ Kate Andrews (Alberta): Can't say I know a whole bunch about either squad.  GI's Pick: Andrews by 12

Rutland (AAA) @ Salmon Arm: Good game for both squads.  Rutland will have the preponderence of athletes but Salmon Arm will be a more cohesive team on O and D.  GI's Pick: Golds by 7

Holy Cross @ Abbottsford: A very good rebound tilt for Cross.  Abbey will be tough defensively, so this game will likely be fairly low scoring.  Abbey has a stronger roster and all things considered, will likely come up with a few more big plays than the Crusaders.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 11

Mission @ Cedar Park (Washington): Mission travels south this weekend to play the Cedar Park Christian Eagles.  The hosts are fast and quick but lack size.  Their roster this year is on the young side as well.  Mission is again a beast of a team athletically and in terms of football prowness.  GI's Pick: Mission by 24

Robert Bateman @ WJ Mouat (AAA): This game is good for both programs and great for football in Abbottsford.  Mouat has a powerhouse squad again this year and wins just about every individual match-up on the field.  Bateman is a bunch of tough-nuts, but that can only carry you so far when your opponent is taller, heavier and faster.  GI's Pick: Mouat by 33

GW Graham @ Kelowna (AAA): Graham since its inception has never ducked the big opponents on its schedule, in fact, it has actively sought them out.  KSS is the Interior's football aristocracy.  The Grizzlies give-up the size match-ups across the board and will need to be dialed in offensively to keep abreast with their hosts on the scoreboard.  If the pass protection is there, this could be close. GI's Pick: Kelowna by 18

Saturday, September 7th

Westsyde @ Nechako Valley: This will be a fun game to watch.  It is great to see Interior squads and Northern squads making the effort to travel and play one another.  The level of ball and regional rivalry will only go up as a result.  The host Vikings will be crisp and relentless as they work to rebuild on the heels of the loss of a talented graduation class.  The culture up there is set however and reload might be a more appropriate term than rebuild.  GI's Pick: Nechako Valley by 10

Handsworth (AAA) @ Carson Graham: The Buchannan Bowl is one of the great rivalry games in BC High School Football.  Carson Graham has owned this game for years and the newly annointed AAA Royals have lots of motivation to reverse their program's fortunes vs the Eagles.  Look for the ball to get aired-out by Handsworth a lot on Saturday while Carson will be hanging its hat on the running game.  Defense looms large here as the difference maker.  GI's Pick: Carson by 7

South Delta @ Rick Hansen: This has got to be the AA Varsity game of the week.  Hansen nearly upset the Sundevils in the BC quarter-final round and returns a lot of players who hunger for the rematch.  The match-ups up front are very even with Hansen getting the nod with the running game.  Air-Sundevil is always a big play threat and I believe the game could hinge on the ability of the Hurricane defenders to pressure South Delta's qb.  A lot of people will be watching this game for clues on how to derail the defending champs.  GI's Pick: Sundevils by 8

Centennial (AAA) @ Seaquam: Upset alert.  Seaquam will be bringing zero week experience and some early momentum into this tilt.  Centennial has had a coaching change and did not play last week.  If the Seahawks can apply some pressure and disrupt the Centaur offense, the game could go favourably for them. GI's Pick: Centaurs by 9

Duchess Park @ Correlieu: Duchess Park got some valuable game experience vs Barsby last weekend and will certainly find itself at an advantage in terms of having worked out some early season kinks.  I like the Condors size and physical toughness vs the run game they will face. GI's Pick: Duchess by 27

Prince George @ Kelley Road: PG is on a rebuild and Kelley Road is going to challenge for top seed coming out of the North this year.  The Roadrunners will live up to their nickname with their very talented running game.  GI's Pick: Kelley Road by 28