Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Big Munch

Don't swallow everything you have been told.
"Number one or No One is a lie"
It is about being all you can be, all the time
There will be no winners and losers in the Subway Bowl
I predict.....

Sunday, November 17, 2013

2013 Semi-Final Edition

2013 BC AA Varsity Semi-Final

GI's Picks

Carson Graham @ South Delta: This is going to be a terrific game.  Both squads are big, fast, deep and loaded with talent at every position.  The respective defensive coordinators have raised the trading stock price of Pepto-Bismol by a factor of three as soon as it became clear who they were facing.  I think the team that limits the most explosive plays that are run against it will triumph.  The Carson running back will garner a lot of attention and the South Delta receivers will have to be on their A-Game for sure. GI's Pick: South Delta by 6

Mission @ John Barsby: This will be an all out dust-up between two very disimilar yet familiar teams.  Mission holds an edge in terms of top end speed. but Barsby is bigger and has a bit more depth than their opponents.  Defense and limiting turnovers will win this game, hands down. GI's Pick: Barsby by 3

AA Junior Varsity Semi-Finals

Ballenas @ Vernon:  Ballenas has had its toughest games against teams that are patient and run, run, run the ball.  Vernon has not played the calibre of competition that Ballenas has week in and week out.  This game will be very close for two and a half quarters before the Whalers pull away. GI's Pick: Whalers by 14

Argyle @ GW Graham: This game matches two programs that were not even in existence three seasons ago.  A battle of up and comers for sure!  Both teams can throw the ball very well.  Argyle is going to have to play its A-Game vs the pass in order to compete.  Graham has the edge in size. GI's Pick: Grizzlies by 12

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

BC Quarter-Finals

GI's Quarter-Final Picks
Well it is down to eight teams and soon four.  In the mix this weekend is going to be at least one superb game, perhaps several.  Most of the carnage will take place on Friday with one lone game on Sat.
Carson Graham @ Vernon:  The Eagles came through the opening round stronger than ever and now face the only undefeated varsity team in BC, AA or AAA in the Vernon Panthers.  This game will boil down to whether or not Carson will jump out to an early big lead or be held to a close score in the late rounds.  Vernon will be able to move the football, question is, will they be able to do so at the same pace and in the same chunks of yardage as Carson and their back AJ Blackwell.  Carson can throw the ball better than the Panthers as well.  GI's Pick: Carson by 11
Rick Hansen @ South Delta: Could be the Marquee match-up of the quarter-finals.  Hansen can match-up across the board vs the Sundevils in terms of speed, size and athleticism.  This one will go down to turnovers and field position.  If the Hurricanes can make this game one dimensional by defending the SD passing game, we may have a new champion in 2013.  Really comes down to that.  GI's Pick: South Delta by 4
Frank Hurt @ Mission:  Great season Hornets.  Quarters your first year back in AA ball.  Mission however is where Cinderella can't find her shoe.  The Roadrunners had their way with a Ballenas team that ran rampant over the Hornets a few short weeks ago.  They are fast, technically as sound as it gets and veteren with playoff experience layered in years.  GI's Pick: Mission by 35
Holy Cross @ John Barsby: The Crusaders are back folks and it begins with their defense!  Like a large constrictor snake it just tightens and tightens on its opponents once it makes contact.  This crew held South Delta to a modest score and has been blanking opponents of late.  The offense is no slouch either and a threat to score anywhere, any time, anyhow.  Barsby leads with its defense first and foremost and can put up points on that side of the ball.  Offensively, the Dawgs are very, very balanced with a great power game and an understated, but lethal passing game if need be.  The HC defense however, means that this game can be kept close and close games can be won.  Dawgs beware. GI's Pick: Barsby by 11


Monday, November 4, 2013

Regular Season Wrap

2013 Regular Season Is Now In The Books

Was it me or did this season seem to fly by?  Things seemed to go pretty smoothly on balance and the top five played out as expected.  I cannot think of a big upset so-to-speak, but there were several close calls and the playoffs look like there is going to be some tight ones and much parity.

Week Nine finished with a wild one in Parksville with Carson winning a shoot-out vs the Whalers by a score of 60-46.  Who would have thought that these teams would have put over a hundred points on the board between them?  High school athletes never cease to amaze!  Mission, Holy Cross, Windsor, Hugh Boyd, Pitt, Duchess and Rick Hansen finished their seasons with a bang and have hit the playoffs running.

To all the g. 12's who played their last down of high school football this weekend, way to go fellas.  You will remember long into your lives that every rep in practice and every down on gameday were gold and surely worth the time and effort.  You made yourselves and everyone around you better.  Find some time in your lives to give back to the game as a coach or referee.  It matters.



John Barsby 47 Nanaimo District 13
Mission 51 Robert Bateman 27
Windsor 51 Argyle 0
Duchess Park 33 College Heights 0
Hugh Boyd 46 Sentinel 0

Pitt Meadows 50 Langly 29
GW Graham 27 Samuel Roberts Technical 13


Carson Graham 60 Ballenas 46
Rick Hansen 38 Abbottsford 0
Vernon 17 Clarence Fulton 8
Holy Cross 20 Frank Hurt 0
Seaquam 50 Spectrum 0

Gridiron's Top Five

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

Gridiron's Round 1 Playoff Picks

Bracket A

South Delta vs College Heights: The number one ranked Sundevils have had two solid weeks to prepare for the playoffs.  They have also in their coaching staff's mind, under-performed in the mid-to late season divisional tilts.  I think these guys are going to be fresh as hec and will unmask their October blahs to reveal a November snarl. College Heights put together a good season in what was supposed to be a rebuild year for them. It will end for the Cougars in a pretty big way this week. GI's Pick: South Delta by 41

Rick Hansen vs Windsor: The  Hurricanes dominated this match-up in pre-season exhibition, but a lot of water has gone under the proverbial bridge since that sunny day.  The Dukes are perhaps the most improved team in the province along with Holy Cross.  This one will come down to whether or not Windsor can run the football.  The passing game will surely be there and will have a big impact.  How big however depends on whether or not the Hurricanes can keep max people back in coverage while still keeping the game one dimensional.  If the Dukes can run the ball, they can control the clock.  If they do that, and play some tight defense, this one is up for grabs late in the fourth.  Hansen however has had Windsor's number for over a year and has the roster depth to tangle deep into the game.  GI's Pick: Hansen by 14

Carson Graham vs Robert Bateman: Carson is coming off of an electric game vs Ballenas and the momentum of that performance will factor into their opening round tilt vs the Timberwolves.  Bateman for their part, has been playing good football of late and is pretty healthy compared to previous years.  They key to a Bateman upset is going to be lights-out team defense.  The valley squad can score points in bushells, but their defense is suspect.  Great defense and specials may keep the score close enough, long enough to pull off a major upset.  GI's Pick: Carson by 21

Vernon vs Seaquam: This game oozes parity.  Seaquam has played pretty good in conference play, is coming off of a big conference win and Vernon is well, perfect so far. Both teams run the ball well and both teams can toss it around via the air if need be.  Specials are even.  Size goes marginally to Vernon, but a tougher schedule goes to Seaquam.  The Seahawks have had to handle more adversity this year and will come through the momentum swings better.  This said there is something to be said about forming the habit of winning. The wildcard here is travel and weather.  Vernon has a shorter trip and is familiar with the game site and its particulars.  Seaquam is at a distinct disadvantage here.  If it snows, I give this one to the Panthers.  On a bright note for the Seaquam Squad, BC Ferries cannot mess up their luggage cart.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 7

Bracket B

John Barsby vs Pitt Meadows: A rematch of last year's quarter-final game has Barsby hosting a peaking Pitt Meadows squad at Merle Logan in Nanaimo.  The Marauders may very well be the most physical team coming out of the East and they are playing their best ball of 2013.  Pitt pressures very well and they don't vary from their bread and butter which is wearing down opponents with their impressive running game and taking their shots downfield vs run wary secondaries.  Barsby in its way, plays football along similar lines.  Look for a very physical and passionate four quarters from both squads. GI's Pick: Barsby by 10

Holy Cross vs Valleyview:  Holy Cross is the playoff Darkhorse in my mind.  They have been playing the best defense the program has seen since 2006 and they have been quietly racking up decisive victories within their conference.  The Crusaders are the only team that really came close to beating South Delta this year at the AA level.  Opponents beware!  Valleyview has travelled a lot this year seeking good competition where it can find it and this will help to an extent, but not enough to push around HC. GI's Pick: Crusaders by 21 in a shutout.

Mission vs Ballenas: This one will be fun to watch!  Both teams have superb coaching staffs and will be masterfully prepared for one another.  Last year's semi-final between these programs could have gone to overtime, but Ballenas courageously went for two points and the win.  They came up short.  This year's game may be close, but it will be close in a different way.  I expect lots of points on the board.  The Whalers have problems with fast teams and they don't play their A-Game on the road, at least this year.  I think that Mission may get ahead early and then get reeled in by the relentless Whaler offensive assault which is quite balanced.  Roster depth and gas in the tank come the fourth quarter will be decisive.  Special teams will be huge! GI's Pick: Mission by 12

Duchess Park vs Frank Hurt: Duchess will roll out a team that has it all, size, speed and experience.  The Condors have actively sought out lower mainland/Island competition with the express purpose of getting up to speed with the rest of the province in terms of tempo, execution and intensity.  The formula has worked out well for them vs local competition as they just finished the most dominant season of any team in the PG High School Football history books.  Now for a playoff test vs Frank Hurt.  My take on this one is that it is going to come down to defense, defense, defense for either side.  Both teams can put up big scoreboard numbers, but the game winning question is: Can they play defense?  GI's Pick: Frank Hurt by 8

AA JV Playoffs

Moscrop @ John Barsby: Moscrop plays in a tougher division than Barsby.  Barsby is always tough at home.  Moscrop travelled to Nanaimo a couple weeks ago and dismantled an Island opponent.  Barsby has been Jekyl and Hyde all year long.  The weather will be snotty.  Whomever turns over the ball the least will have an edge in this one. GI's Pick: Barsby by 1

Robert Bateman @ Pitt Meadows: Pitt has improved steadily this season and is a reflection of their surging varsity crew.  Bateman is not as big and bad or fast as in years past.  The Marauders are beginning to live up to the nickname. GI's Pick: Pitt by 14

Carson Graham @ Seaquam: Good match-up here and there will be tailfeathers a flying.  Seaquam has a couple more "athletes" in the fold than the visitors and is bigger personel-wise.  Gotta give it to the Hawks. GI's Pick: Seaquam by 5

Mission @ Ballenas: Mission has had a great run at the JV league for three years running.  These guys have won two titles and lost one over this period.  The times it seems are a changing and next year, a different formula for success is going to have to be worked-out.  Travelling to the Island is tough.  Travelling to play the best JV team Ballenas has had in eight or nine years, well that is daunting.  The Roadrunning coaching is great, the players the story goes, all the king's men and all the king's horses....GI's Pick: Wile E Coyete-er-um Wally Whaler catches the Roadrunner and the bird finally meets its demise..Big bad Blue by 18

Duchess Park @ Vernon: Like this one a lot!  Big strong players on both sides of the ball.  Duchess however has a split focus with their staff prepping for a big varsity game on the road this week.  Vernon is much closer to home. GI's Pick: Panthers by 11

Holy Cross @ Argyle: Interesting dynamic here.  Holy Cross has a lot more interaction between their JV's and Varsity in practice and on game day.  These kids have played and banged with varsity size and speed.  Argyle is much more balkanized as a program.  There is the advantage of systemic harmony on the squad with no tweaks and modifications from Sr. to JV and back for sure.  Mentally however, the Cross kids may not turtle at physical mismatches as they may occur.  I do think Argyle is on a mission and is one of my leading candidates for a semi-final appearance. GI's Pick: Pipers by 10

Hugh Boyd @ GW Graham: Boyd is tough and well coached.  Graham is a physical juggernaut that got punched pretty hard in the nose by Abbottsford to end the season.  Both programs have varsity coaching staff's available to lend an assist at this time.  How this is managed will be critical.  If the rosters were even, I'd give it to the Trojans, but they are not even close. GI's Pick: Grizzlies by 21

? @ Prince George: