Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas One and All!




Sunday, December 13, 2015

Clauswitz and Ball

Clauswitz


http://www.clausewitz.com/readings/OnWar1873/BK3ch05.html 




"This spirit can only be generated from two sources, and only by these two conjointly: the first is a succession of wars and great victories; the other is, an activity of the army carried sometimes to the highest pitch. Only by these, does the soldier learn to know his powers. The more a general is in the habit of demanding from his troops, the surer he is, that his demands will be answered. The soldier is as proud of overcoming toil, as he is of surmounting danger. Therefore it is only in the soil of incessant activity and exertion that the germ will thrive, but also only in the sunshine of victory. Once it becomes a strong tree, it will stand against the fiercest storms of misfortune and defeat, and even against the indolent inactivity of peace, at least for a time. It can therefore only be created in war, and under great generals, but no doubt it may last at least for several generations, even under generals of moderate capacity, and through considerable periods of peace." Clausewitz


Distilled, this could be interpreted as follows: Victory and an unstoppable, winning attitude are generated by winning games, often the big ones, repeatedly and across multiple seasons. This combined with ceaseless, specific and realistic training creates a culture of resiliency that is embraced not only by next year's guys, but those to follow for several years. It becomes an institutional memory/zen that propels an organization into the next campaign and to strive valiantly and on balance successfully, in the big games as they arise.


-Winning and raising the bar on the training field in between seasons equals a better chance at winning.-



It would follow that there is no off-season so-to-speak, but rather an "opportunity season". Between now and the first whistle of Fall Ball, there is an opportunity to "get better" across the full spectrum of program/team/individual building.



Start with these three question: Who are we? Where do we want to go? How are we going to get there? Your answers, unique to your situation, will form the hubris of your Strategy.




More to follow:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

2016 AA Alignment

AA Varsity Alignment

The BCSSFA executive met last night and based on tiering numbers et al, the following things have occurred:

Carson Graham and Mission are moving to AAA ball.    Seaquam is moving to AA ball.  Moscrop and Rick Hanson are moving to Tier 2.


The divisional alignment will be as follows for 2016

East

1. Abbottsford Collegiate
2. G.W. Graham
3. Holy Cross
4. Langley
5. Pitt Meadows
6. Robert Bateman

West

1. John Barsby
2. Ballenas
3. Nanaimo District
4. Windsor
5. Hugh Boyd
6. Frank Hurt
7. Seaquam

Interior

1. Vernon
2. South Kamloops
3. Westsyde
4. Valleyview
5. Clarence Fulton

North

1. Prince George
2. Duchess Park
3. Kelley Road
4. College Heights
5. D.P. Todd
6. Nechako Valley
7. Correlieu

League Schedules should be out in two weeks.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Carson Graham BC Champs!

Carson Graham Eagles Are The 2015 BC Champions!

Congratulations to The Carson Graham Players, Coaches and Supporters on your Subway Bowl Victory!   

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

AA Varsity BC Championship Game!

2015 Subway Bowl

VS


GI's Pick

Abbottsford Panthers vs Carson Graham Eagles:  Fifteen short weeks ago I have to admit, I did not see this one coming.  At the start of the playoff tournament, this would not have been my pick either. There is surely a reason why the games are played however and two very deserving teams are squaring off for the 2015 BC Championship!  Lets get down to the analysis: Defensively, the biggest similarity between these two teams is that they attack, attack, attack.  One or more blitzes are constantly being dialed-up by the respective defensive coordinators.  Pressure is the game here.  The offenses however are very different.  Yes, both spread the field and both tend to throw the ball a lot.  The run games are very different however.  Carson runs the ball from sideline to sideline and though Abbey will occasionally run a bit of jet sweep, it is not the same East-West threat of the Eagle attack. The Panthers seem to prefer their draw game and a bit of counter to the wider stuff (which looked pretty sloppy early on vs Langley).  Soooo, how does this play out against the attacking defenses? Well, in terms of the run game, both defenses become more vulnerable.  Blitz vs Abbey and get walled out by one of their enormous (and talented) linemen and you will be paying for it by creating a big lane for the draw.  You are never 100% right when you blitz, it is a calculated risk and sometimes that means a big play either way.  If you are Abbey blitzing against Carson, beware the inside pressures.  Carson has a very good perimeter game that gets there quickly and you can get caught in very bad inside-out pursuit situations and their resultant big plays. Run game in my opinion, Carson.  The pass game goes to Abbey.  They have been unrivaled this year via the air and stubbornly and effectively are not deterred.  Carson's defensive heat mean's man coverage.  The poison Abbey opponents have faced this year is "do ya cover 21  with two guys (only really carried off once vs G.W. Graham) and man-up or quasi zone vs the rest of the cast".  Big problem as Langley found out was that the supporting cast is pretty darn exceptional themselves and can create big plays with great regularity.  Abbey's QB mobility may seem an Achilles heel for their offense, but in practice, it has not been.  The release is quick and the routes are so well timed that it is barely an issue.  Blitzing the Panthers means a lot of man coverage and vulnerability to draw/screen. Carson, throws pretty darn good too and is the better screen team in my opinion.  Abbey will be challenged. Do these teams base-up defensively and go manno et manno against one another?  Hec no they don't.  They are what they are and will be coming at one another all game long.  Special Teams: Carson looks like they work at it more than Abbey.  The Abbey field goal kicker has more range and the Eagles likely won't kick deep to 21.  Punts and pressures are roughly the same.  Carson's edge in terms of field position gained may be nullified by kicking short and punting out of bounds.  What's left?  "Want-to"?  Nope, both teams want this one as much as the other.  Toughness?   Nope, both are tough.  What then?  I am going to take a stab at durability.  Yep, I saw a lot of tape on ankles up front, lots of limping and some injury subs in the past couple games up front.  The "trenches" will be decisive in the second half.  How each team handles adversity and or the potential loss of one of their stud offensive/defensive two way players will be big.  Lastly, emotion.  Keeping emotions "In The Middle" as opposed to losing one's mind individually and collectively will be big in a game such as this. Seem em both up close, there is a difference here that I will keep to myself.  I want to congratulate both teams, their rosters, coaching staffs and all those who come out to support on a couple of very fine seasons.  AA  Ball will be represented well on Saturday. GI's Pick: Abbey.  By how much? Well, the players on the field will determine that outcome.  



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

AA Varsity Football Semi-Final Edition

AA Varsity Semi-Finals

Quarter-Final Recap

Wow, talk about parity at the upper tier of AA ball!  Every game was a barn-burner and the semi's promise to be just as good, if not better! We are all looking forward to watching the semi's in person or via webcast this coming weekend!

GI's Picks

G.W. Graham vs Carson Graham:  Four weeks ago, I would have said this was a no-contest game with the Grizzlies plucking Eagle tail feathers at will.  Different story now.  Carson can match G.W. up front and I think their run-pass balance and team speed present a lot of challenges for the Grizzly defense.  On the flip-side, the Grizzly Offense presents its challenges as well. If Carson can lock-up with the Grizzly receivers and load-up the box, I think they have a real chance because this group can score points.  The kicking game goes to G.W. Graham in this one.  The clock will fly as well.  GI's Pick: Carson in a 6 point "upset".

Langley vs Abbottsford: Langley has had the best season in program history.  They have improved on their game week-to-week and have found the right combination of run-pass balance on offense with a running back, quarterback, receiver trifecta that can produce a big scoring play on any given snap. The Saint defense has been shadowed by their offensive counterparts throughout the season, but hey, here they are playing in the semi-final game.  Abbey is now playing the best football of its season as well. Langley beware, this is the Abbottsford Panthers you are facing, not the Abbottsford Claypools and there is a superb cast on hand to accompany the best athlete in BC high school football.  I think that Abbey can shut down the big play receiver from Langley and gang-up on the run-game.  Offensively, I do not feel that the Saints can do the same.  Kicking Game: Abbey.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 12

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

AA BC Quarter Final Edition

Quarter-Final Weekend!

Wow!  Are there ever some great games this weekend.  Totally exciting and very, very intriguing in their match-ups.

Opening Round Recap and Scores

The opening round of the playoffs was a reflection of the regular season with divisional number one seeds carrying the day in every game as well as the 2's where they were matched-up with a lower seed.  This speaks well to the growing parity in play across the province.  The Vernon-Mission was by all accounts and epic defensive battle that came down to a break-down on special teams. Conversely, Barsby scored in avalanche type quantities when Moscrop turned over the ball five times within their own 30 yard line.  In between, Langley, Carson, Abbey, PG and G.W. Graham methodically took care of business in their own fashion.

Langley 41 Ballenas 19
Carson Graham 35 Hugh Boyd 12
Prince George 19 Robert Bateman 0
Vernon 7 Mission 0
Abbottsford 58 Pitt Meadows 8
Holy Cross 28 Windsor 6
John Barsby 77 Moscrop 0
G.W. Graham 38 South Kamloops 21

GI's Picks

Carson Graham @ Prince George: The Eagles have been soaring on the scoreboard as the Carson Offense has really begun to hit on all cylinders.   They are going to have to continue to do so versus the Polars in order to win this game. Prince George is the real deal and is only getting stronger.  PG has to get vertical behind their pulls with their power game and with their reverse to take the next step towards a lethal Double-Wing and if this happens, look out Carson.   The match-ups: up front it looks like depth and size goes to PG.  On the perimeter, speed goes to Carson.  The passing game, Carson. Offensive execution, Carson.  Physicality..PG by a narrow margin.  Intangibles, PG.   The game being played in Kamloops...winner...BCSSFA integrity!  GI's Pick: If the weather is nasty, PG could upset in a big way.  Speed and overall execution will carry the day however for Carson.  Eagles by 8

Vernon @ Langley: Great match-up here.  Vernon's defense vs a truly fearsome Langley offense. Offensively, the Panthers have big play ability that cannot be overlooked and defensively, the Langley squad seems to get better as the game matures into the mid-late 3rd quarter.  This game is being played in the Dome and Langley's quarterback can reach-out and touch defensive coverages with his cannon arm.  Vernon has to win the turnover battle and score at least three TD's to win this game.  GI's Pick: Langley by 4 on a long 4th quarter run by their feature back.

Holy Cross @ G.W. Graham: The Grizzlies win the battle on the line of scrimmage hands-down in this contest.  I predict that they will try to play smash-mouth, grind you down offense while taking a couple big shots downfield vs the man coverage they are likely to face.  I say this because Cross is going to have to pressure a lot to even out their deficit in the trenches.  Offensively, the Crusaders are very, very balanced and are dangerous in their own right. Graham may also find that playing a base scheme defensively is problematic.  This makes one think that the screen game for either team could loom large in their offensive reckoning.  A slight edge in the kicking-game goes to Graham.  I think that this game will either be won big by the Grizzlies or by a narrow margin by the Crusaders.  GI's Pick: Graham by 21

Abbottsford @ John Barsby:  Well, these programs have more in common than the same school colours.  They are playing one another in the JV quarter-final on Thursday afternoon in Abbottsford and the Varsity tilt on Saturday afternoon in Nanaimo.  They have also played in some big games this year and last.  Beyond this however, here is a tale of two solitudes.  Offensively the Panthers are gun slingers with amazing athletes at all the "skill" positions.  The offensive line is very effective and superb at what it does.  Barsby is very vanilla, they don't do a whole lot of things that are traditional hi-lite video material, but they do execute their scheme with a degree of precision.  Defensively, both teams are opportunistic.  Abbey attacks more and Barsby positions itself to capitalize on breakdowns. The kicking game in this one goes to Abbey in terms of range.  Barsby has home field.  This game for differing reasons could get out of hand real fast one way or the other or remain close.  A very intriguing match-up indeed. GI's Pick: Barsby by 3 




Tuesday, November 10, 2015

AA Varsity Playoffs Round 1

The 2015 Playoffs Are Here!

Week 9 Wrap-Up

Langley, Vernon, G.W. Graham and Barsby join Prince George and the number one seeds coming out of their respective divisions.  The hi-lite of the last week of regular season play had to be the fierce four overtime contest between Robert Bateman and Pitt Meadows that decided the fourth and fifth seeds out of the ever competitive Eastern Division!  Well played guys.   It looks like most of the playoff teams are on a roll headed in to the post-season tourney.


Scores

Carson Graham 38 Nanaimo District 0
Holy Cross 34 Moscrop 0
Langley 14 Hugh Boyd 0
Vernon 52 Clarence Fulton 0
G.W. Graham 19 Mission 0
Valleyview 12 Westsyde 7
Robert Bateman 19 Pitt Meadows 16 (4OT)
Barsby 15 Ballenas 0 (forfeit)


Gridiron's AA Varsity Top 5

1.  G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2.  Abbottsford Panthers
3.  John Barsby Bulldogs
4.  Langley Saints
5.  Mission Roadrunners

Honourable Mention

Carson Graham Eagles, Vernon Panthers, Prince George Polars

GI's Picks

Top Half Of Draw

Ballenas @ Langley:  Ballenas was so chewed-up they could not field a squad vs Barsby last week. We will all see if they can find their form vs the South Division champs come kick-off time.  If and I say IF, the Whalers are up to speed, this will be a good game.  The Whaler offensive line is the stalwart group on the squad and they can shove people around.  Langley however, holds the edge in team speed and they can certainly run and throw with equal effectiveness.  GI's Pick: Langley by 7

Mission @ Vernon: This will be a fabulous game!  Both teams are tough as nails and play the run very effectively.  Mission has played tougher competition week in and week out this year but the host Panthers are not that far off and they sure as hec are going to benefit from home field advantage. Look for a couple big runs to get popped in this affair and turnovers to play a huge role. GI's Pick: Vernon by 1

Pitt Meadows @ Abbottsford:  Should be a blow-out right?  Well, maybe not.  These teams know each other very, very well and you just never know with 16 and 17 year olds.  This said, Abbey has a decisive depth advantage and is most certainly the bigger squad physically.  Their pitfall may be getting caught looking a week or two ahead.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 18

Moscrop @ John Barsby:  Two Double-Wing Teams lock horns in Nanaimo on Saturday afternoon. Do you think the ball might get run a couple of times in this one?  These two programs played one another two years ago. GI's Pick:

Bottom Half Of Draw

Hugh Boyd @ Carson Graham: The Trojans enter this one a bit undermanned versus the high flying Carson Graham Eagles.  Carson in my opinion is poised to make a deep run in to the playoffs as they have the whole package, size, speed and an explosive offense complimented by a turnover producing D.  Come game day, the Trojans are going to have to work very hard to slow the game down or things could fall apart for them. GI's Pick: Carson by 24

Robert Batemen @ Prince George: The Polars have had a record season and their running game is a two headed monster for opposing defenses.  Here's the rub, Bateman is faster and has played good games against G.W. Graham and Abbey this year.  The Timberwolves won't be in a place come kick-off that they have not been before.  Additionally, Bateman is faster than PG.  The Polars will do fine with the weather and if they are patient with their run game, this could be a back and forth game with turnovers and or pass defense being decisive.  GI's Pick:  Bateman by 10

Windsor @ Holy Cross: Windsor is short benched headed in to this contest, but they have shown glimpses of brilliance throughout the season.  If the Dukes can find a wave to ride so-to-speak, this game gets interesting!  The Crusader offense can throw the ball with the best of em in BC and their run game is underrated.  Look for this game to be close in to the mid third quarter.  GI's Pick: Crusaders by 14

South Kamloops @ G.W. Graham:  The Grizzlies enter the playoffs on a roll having defeated there two toughest foes of the season in consecutive games.  They are already playing playoff ball headed in to this contest.  South-Kamloops has not seen this level of competition thus far in 2015 and will likely get snowplowed up and down the field by the Grizzly offensive line.  The clock should run pretty fast after the opening kick-off.  GI's Pick: Graham by 24


Sunday, November 1, 2015

AA Varsity Week 9

AA Varsity Week Nine

This is the final week of practice leading-up to the last game of high school football for some of the senior classes in the league.  The lessons learned and friendships formed over your tenure will last in many cases, for a lifetime.  Be sure to thank a friend or a coach for the time they spent with you and make this the best week of preparation and game day effort of your career.  Have no regrets and enjoy every last second of the experience.  Some teams are headed to the playoff dance and a couple are fighting to get there at this point.  Week nine ought to be a good one!

Week Eight Wrap-Up

The Grizzly-Panther game lived up to the hype and then some out in the Valley on Friday Night.  The crazy thing about the game however, is that it did not decide the seeding in the East.  Mission has quietly but effectively cobbled together a hec of a season and has back drafted behind their divisional rivals.  Now, the Roadrunners will emerge from under the radar and challenge for first in next week's game vs the Grizzlies.  A Mission win, with a big enough point spread, would have them as a first place seed.  Unreal.  The East is now the hotbed of AA highschool football!  Barsby had a strong win vs Holy Cross as did Carson versus Windsor.  Up North Prince George will emerge as the number one seed after dismantling Duchess Park. The Vernon Panthers got their best league challenge of the year from South Kamloops en route to clinching the Interior title for 2015 on Saturday.

Scores

John Barsby 46 Holy Cross 6
G.W. Graham 23 Abbottsford 22
Hugh Boyd 27 Moscrop 0
Robert Batemen 54 Rick Hansen 0
Carson Graham 40 Windsor 6
Valleyview 24 Clarence Fulton
Ballenas 30 Nanaimo District 6
Prince George 50 Duchess Park 13 (Northern Playoff Game)
Mission 10 Pitt Meadows 6
Langley 50 Frank Hurt 0
Vernon 21 South Kamloops 7

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top Five

1. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2. Abbottsford Collegiate Panthers
3. John Barsby Bulldogs
4. Mission Roadrunners
5. Langley Saints

Honorable Mention

Carson Graham Eagles, Vernon Panthers, Prince George Polars, Holy Cross Crusaders

The Conferences

AA East: Three-way tie for first place is possible with a Mission Win this weekend vs G.W. Graham.

AA West: The Border Battle between Barsby and Ballenas will solidify the standings one way or the other.

AA South: A Hugh Boyd win vs Langley creates a three way tie@

AA Interior: Vernon is the outright league champs.  Westsyde vs Valleyview settle the 3/4 standing in the division this weekend.

AA North: Hail to the Polars!  Divisional champs for the first time in program history.

DIVISION: Eastern Conference
StandingsExpanded Standings 
DIVISION: Northern AA Conference
StandingsExpanded Standings 
DIVISION: Okanagan AA Varsity
StandingsExpanded Standings 
DIVISION: Southern AA Conference
StandingsExpanded Standings 
DIVISION: Western AA Conference
StandingsExpanded Standings 
Tiebreaker - in Downloads
LEGEND FOR STATISTICAL ABBREVIATIONS
GP = GAMES PLAYED
PF = POINTS FOR
PA = POINTS AGAINST
AVG = AVERAGE
W = WINS (2 points)
L = LOSSES (0 points)
T = TIES (1 points)
OTW = OT WINS (0 points)
D = DEFAULTS (0 points)
L10 = Last 10 Games
PTS = POINTS
PCT = WINNING PERCENTAGE

x = Clinched Playoff Spot
y = Clinched Division
z = Clinched Conference
t = Clinched 1st in League
**editors note: I do not know why Ballenas is credited with two wins in the standings as they have played Carson Graham in a loss, Windsor in a loss and Nanaimo District in a win.  The record should read 1 and 2.

GI's Picks

Friday, 6 November

Nanaimo @ Carson Graham: The Islanders will finish this season on the road @ Carson.  This game will be close and hard fought in the trenches.  The edge goes to Carson in the passing game however and the Eagles ought to soar if they get their people out in space with the ball in their hands. GI's Pick: Eagles by 16

Holy Cross @ Moscrop:  Both of these teams are playoff bound, albeit with different seeds. Holy Cross played their last game tangling with the Barsby double-wing.  Now they get Moscrop's version. The Crusaders throw the ball well and are a threat to score on the deep ball on every snap.  Moscrop will have difficulty defending this along with the underneath game. GI's Pick: Crusaders by 16

Valleyview @ Westsyde: A good game to cap the regular season for these cross-town rivals. This one should be pretty darn close on the scoreboard and on the field of play, no quarter given either way.  I think Valleyview probably has more gas in the offensive tank and will likely outlas their hosts.  GI's Pick: Vikings by 5

Vernon @ Clarence Fulton: The battle for Vernon!  This is a big traditional rivalry game for both teams and league records don't really count for much in this one as both teams will be bringing their A-Game to the field. Vernon has the depth of roster to carry the day.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 18

Langley @ Hugh Boyd: This is a good match-up in the trenches.  The Trojans in fact, have a slight edge defensively with their front seven.  The rub however, is the decisive speed and big play advantage held by the Saints.  Boyd got rained-on by Holy Cross with the deep ball a couple weeks ago and they will likely suffer the same fate come Friday. GI's Pick: Langley by 16

Robert Bateman @ Pitt Meadows: This game decides the fourth seed out of the East.  I think the winner will be the toughest number four seed in the post-season tourney.  Both teams have speed on the roster.  Bateman however, plays better defense this year and this along with special teams will be the separator in the game.  GI's Pick: Timberwolves by 11

Saturday, 7 November

G.W. Graham @ Mission: Most folks would pick the Grizzlies as a cinch to close the deal in this game.  This may not be a lock folks as Mission always defends the Grizzly offense tenaciously and the Roadrunners are playing the toughest scoring defense in the division. Graham for their part is going to have to defend a very potent running game while still playing honest versus the pass. Mission had better be able to get some breathing room for its run game by throwing effectively come Saturday.   This game will come down to a big throw or two in the second half. GI's Pick: Grizzlies by 3

Abbottsford @ Rick Hansen: This will be the last game of high school football for the grade 12's on the Hansen squad.  I believe this group will come out and compete their hardest throughout the contest.  Abbey is looking to hit the playoffs on a roll and will come out "guns a blazing".   GI's Pick: Panthers by 26

John Barsby @ Ballenas: The 2015 Border Battle takes place where it all began, in the Ballenas mud and grass.  This is one of the great rivalry games in BC High School Football.  The Whalers will be solid up-front and have regained a lot of health since a tough couple of mid-season weeks.  Look for a very balanced run-pass game offensively and some tough run-defense from the Parksville squad. Barsby will be very much the same in both regards as their hosts.  Special teams are going to be very big in this game as is turnovers.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 8

Sunday, October 25, 2015

AA Varsity Week 8

AA Varsity Week Eight




Week Seven Round-Up

Abbey comes up with a statement game, Holy Cross surges and Barsby claims top seed for the West. Up North, Prince George put together a solid divisional playoff performance and South Kamloops won big to bring momentum in to their showdown with the Vernon Panthers this coming week.

Scores

John Barsby 34 Carson Graham 7
Abbottsford 41 Robert Bateman 14
Windsor 16 Nanaimo District 0
Moscrop 18 Frank Hurt 7
South Kamloops 41 Valleyview 6
G.W. Graham 40 Pitt Meadows 7
Prince George 39 Nechako Valley 0
Westsyde 30 Clarence Fulton 14
Holy Cross 51 Hugh Boyd 19
Mission 58-Rick Hansen 0

Gridiron's AA Top Five

1. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2. Abbottsford Panthers
3. Langley Saints
4. John Barsby Bulldogs
5. Vernon Panthers

Honorable Mention

Holy Cross Crusaders, Mission Roadrunners, Hugh Boyd Trojans, Carson Graham Eagles , Windsor Dukes, Prince George Polars, South Kamloops Titans,  Duchess Park Condors

The Conferences

AA East: Things get really interesting this coming weekend as the Grizzlies pay a visit to their nemesis the Abbottsford Panthers.  If Abbey wins, they will be the outright divisional champs.  If they lose, Graham can clinch with a solid win over the surging Mission Roadrunners.

AA West: Barsby has clinched the divisional number one seed oughtright with their victory over Carson Graham this past weekend.  An Eagle win over the Windsor Dukes gives them a likely number two seed into the post-season.  A Duke win and they are the #2 seed.  The Ballenas-Nanaimo District tilt is for all purposes an early playoff game for these two squads with the winner likely clinching the 4 seed.

AA South: This is Langley's division to win.  They just need to run the table the next two weeks which is a very possible thing to do.  Holy Cross is in the driver's seat for the number two seed followed by Boyd for number three and Moscrop for number four.

AA Interior: The first and second seed divisionally will be settled on the field this weekend between Vernon and South Kamloops.  These guys will then cross over with the top seeds from the North.

AA North: PG or Duchess for top rail and then time to cross-over with the Interior.

GI's Picks

Friday, 30 October

John Barsby @ Holy Cross: Two teams playing some of their better football this season square off on HC's home turf this Friday for a late season exhibition tilt.  In many ways the rosters appear to be mirror images of one another and both play a physical style of ball.  This game will come down to turnovers and the play up front.  HC is very balanced offensively and Barsby's defense will have its work cut-out for it.  The Crusaders defeated Abbottsford earlier this year which is quite an accomplishment. They know how to play the big games. Turnovers and time of posession will be big.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 3

Rick Hansen @ Robert Bateman:  The Timberwolves have been playing the best AA has to offer the past several weeks.  The Hurricanes are trying to navigate through a tough season.  Bateman has too many athletes at too many positions for Hansen to handle. GI's Pick: Bateman by 24

Carson Graham @ Windsor: This will be a very close contest from the opening kick-off to the final whistle.  Carson wins the size and depth contest, but other than that, these teams are very evenly matched.   Windsor has more discipline and  is playing a good brand of ball at present.  If this game stays close into the late 4th quarter look for a minor upset in favor of the Dukes.  GI's Pick: Windsor by 1

Valleyview @ Clarence Fulton: Another close game for week eight.  These teams are evenly matched and Fulton is at home.  This said, I like the Valleyview run game in this one as a difference maker.  GI's Pick: Vikings by 8

Moscrop @ Hugh Boyd: Moscrop is not going to find a whole lot of love when they come knocking on the Trojan's door this Friday.  Boyd is playing very good football and their run game is impressive to say the least.  Moscrop simply cannot hang with the level of physicality and execution they are going to encounter. GI's Pick:  Trojans by 22

G.W. Graham @ Abbottsford: Game of the week by a wide, wide margin.  These two rosters have been rivals since the eighth grade and the coaching staffs are very, very familiar with one another.  The Grizzlies are going to have to own the clock to win this one.  If the game is left to a wide-open shoot out, Abbey has more tools in the kit.  I think Graham can push em around if they are patient. GI's Pick: Grizzlies by 4

Ballenas @ Nanaimo District: Both teams have had what can only be described as a train-wreck this year in terms of health.  They are however, on the mend and we can safely coing this game as the Lazarus Bowl.  The Whalers have a superior passing game and their offensive line is largely intact.  I think they will be able to put together the long drives necessary to come out of this one with a win. Nanaimo will play em tough however. GI's Pick: Whalers by 12

Mission @ Pitt Meadows: Mission is now playing playoff calibre football.  This makes them very dangerous as this program has had nothing but success the past eight years and they know how to get those W's in late October/November.  The Roadrunner ground game will be clicking on all cylinders and will flatten the Marauder defense start-to-finish. GI's Pick: Mission by 17

Prince George vs Duchess Park: (Northern Playoff Final)  This is the year of the Polar.  The two headed rushing attack and dominant offensive line play ought to carry the grey and green past the traditional top rail up North known as the Duchess Park Condors. GI's Pick: Polars by 11

Saturday, 31 October

South Kamloops @ Vernon: This is the battle for first place in the interior. It will be very close and hotly contested.  Size goes to the Titans and grit to the Panthers along with home turf. Both teams run the ball well.  Believe it or not, I think the team that shows up and throws the ball most effectively will have the winning edge.   GI's Pick: Vernon by 9

Langley @ Frank Hurt: Langley will suffocate the Hornet offense and shell their defense with the long pass over and over again.  The Saints are also bigger and far more physical. GI's Pick: Saints by 24

Sunday, October 18, 2015

AA Varsity Week 7

AA Varsity Week Seven

Week Six Round-Up

College football has its rivalry week.  This past weekend was BCSSFA's AA blowout week.  With one notable exception, none of the scores were very close.  You can seriously get a good snapshot of program momentum headed in to week eight by looking at the scores below.  This sets the table for a decisive final three weeks of play!

Scores

John Barsby 44 Windsor 20
Hugh Boyd 52 Clarence Fulton 7
Holy Cross 57 Frank Hurt 0
Carson Graham 35 Ballenas 7
G.W. Graham 42 Rick Hansen 0
Abbottsford 42 Pitt Meadows 0
Langley 54 Moscrop 0
Mission 10 Robert Bateman 9
Vernon 27 Valleyview 8
Nanaimo District 40 Timberline 0
South Kamloops 38 Westsyde 9

GI's AA Top Five

1. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2. Abbottsford Panthers
3. Carson Graham Eagles
4. Langley Saints
5. Holy Cross Crusaders

Honorable Mention: Hugh Boyd Trojans, John Barsby Bulldogs, Vernon Panthers, Mission Roadrunners, Prince George Polars, South-Kamloops Titans

The Conferences

AA East: The October 30th tilt between Graham and Abbey looms large in the East as first and second place will be decided right then and there.  Mission will likely get to a hard fought third place and Bateman the number 4 seed.  High school football players have a say however and the Roadrunners are capable of an upset along the way.

AA West: The Carson Graham-Barsby game will clarify the post season fate of both teams in a very meaningful way.  Windsor is surging and Nanaimo District/Ballenas are trying to find a way to get healthy headed in to the final couple of weeks.  This week's bye for the Whalers is massive in terms of being timely and inmportant.

AA South: What seemed a two horse race between the Trojans and Cruseaders in early September has now become a serious three way affair with the emergence of the Langley Saints as a serious contender.  This weekend's tilt between Troy and Cross can be considered the game that decides who is number three coming out of the South.

AA Interior: Vernon is the class of the Interior and on their heels is South Kamloops and Valleyview.  These two teams will sort things out this coming weekend and then it will be time to dance with the Northern squads for final playoff seeding.

AA North: Prince George is having their best year ever as the Condors cede top rail to their Polar Rivals.  After that, Duchess is the likely number two.  I think PG can legitimately compete with all but Vernon from the Interior when the seeding match-ups get going in earnest.


GI's Picks

Friday, 23 October

Robert Bateman @ Abbottsford: Robert Bateman has been playing very tough football week in and week out this season.  They have been more consistent in terms of their effort than the vastly deeper and more talented Abbey Panthers.  This said, Abbey has put together a couple solid wins of late and they appear to be ironing out internal wrinkles.  Bateman's speed is a plus for the game day match-ups, but their depth is questionable.  GI's Pick:  Panthers by 15

Carson Graham @ John Barsby: This tilt can be legitimately billed as the co-game of the week and it pits two programs who have been building a great divisional rivalry with one another the past four years.  Look for the Eagles to come in to this one very aggressive on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they are a two headed monster in terms of their run-pass balance and defensively, this group loves to pressure from every direction possible and if you could pressure vertically ie. coming at offenses from the clouds, they would do that too!  Barsby for their part, have finally gotten some quality production from their offensive group.  Defensively, the Dawgs are always tough and this side of the ball will surely have its work cut out for it come game day.  Special teams for both groups have been fairly solid to date.  Friday afternoon in Nanaimo is going to be entertaining for sure.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 3 in a minor upset.

Frank Hurt @ Moscrop: This game is likely for the fourth place seed coming out of the South. The present state of self-confidence within each roster coming off of big losses will have much to say in terms of what the coaching staff can milk out of em this week at practice.  A couple quick scores for either team could cause a big collapse by the opposing group come game day as there are likely some fragile egos.   GI's Pick: Hornets by 7

Clarence Fulton @ Westsyde: The Maroons have traveled a lot this year with near perfect consistency in terms of scoreboard results. Westsyde is playing some good scrappy ball and they are at home.  Look for the home team to wear out the Vernon group in this tilt.  GI's Pick: Westsyde by 11

Windsor @ Nanaimo District: The Dukes travel back to Nanaimo for round two of their series versus the Nanaimo schools of Barsby and Nanaimo District.  Windsor came up short on the scoreboard versus the Dawgs last week, but played very good football throughout.  Nanaimo is coming off the biggest win of their season headed in to this one.  Windsor has a deeper bench and  is executing with great precision up front.  GI's Pick: Dukes trap and toss their way to big numbers....Dukes by 19

Pitt Meadows @ G.W. Graham: Last week it was divisional powerhouse Abbey for the Marauders, this week it is another flavor of the same versus the Grizzlies.  When Pitt emerges from these two games, they will be battle tested for sure and won't be playing anyone else of that calibre the rest of the season.  Graham has with two exceptions, barely broken a sweat this year.  Their biggest enemy headed into their final couple weeks after this will be complacency.  GI's Pick: Grizzzlies by 20 plus

Valleyview @ South Kamloops: This on paper is a very evenly matched contest in the Kamloops area.  Both squads know each other well and there will be few surprises other than your garden variety bad bounce of weather induced turnover.  The Titans have been playing a better game on the field than their guests of late.  GI's Pick: Titans by ten

Saturday, 24 October

Hugh Boyd @ Holy Cross: Huge Game for both squads deservedly earning co-game of the week honors!  This is going to be both physical and telling in terms of how both teams enter the looming playoff draw.  Both teams are coming off of blowouts versus divisional foes and the first quarter is going to be interesting indeed as that momentum blows in like a Pacific Storm Front.  I think on balance, the Holy Cross crew is deeper and has more experience this year playing tougher competition.  This will be telling if things stay close for any amount of timeGI's Pick: Crusaders by 11

Rick Hansen @ Mission: The Hurricanes play an old divisional rival in the Roadrunners on Saturday.  Mission has been stringing together a series of quality game day performances and are certainly going to be one of the lower seeds who can make a deep run in the playoffs.  Kudos to the coaching staff for bringing this group along so nicely!  Rick Hansen on the other hand is gamely working their way through a long rebuilding process.  Hats off to the players and coaches of this group as well.  Come game day, this will be lopsided, its the simple math of the matter GI's Pick: Mission by 20 plus




Sunday, October 11, 2015

AA Varsity Week 6

AA Varsity Week Six

Week 5 Round-Up

Two big upsets this week!  The Windsor Dukes were explosive offensively in their shocker over Ballenas and you all now know that this year's Dark Horse has emerged in the form of the Langley Saints.  The result, divisional chaos in the South and the West!  In the East, long the undisputed realm of the Mission Roadrunners, parity has emerged.  Anyone playing the 1,2,3 or 4th seed coming out of that battlefield, will be playing a tough hombre to be reckoned with!  In the Interior I see a looming showdown between Vernon and SKS for divisional hegemony and the PGSS Polars are on a tear up North.

Scores

Abbottsford 24 Mission 21
Hugh Boyd 24 Frank Hurt 0
Prince George 53 Nechako Valley 0
South Kamloops 23 Clarence Fulton 13
Langley 20 Holy Cross 13
Vernon 34 Westsyde 7
G.W. Graham 21 Robert Bateman 14
Pitt Meadows 40 Rick Hansen 0
Windsor 33 Ballenas 20
Carson Graham 54 Earl Marriot 7
Valleyview 28 Moscrop 9
Duchess Park 46 Kelly Road 6

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top Five

1. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2. Abbottsford Panthers
3. Mission Roadrunners
4. Vernon Panthers
5. Carson Graham Eagles

Honourable Mention

Robert Bateman Timberwolves, Langley Saints, Holy Cross Crusaders, Hugh Boyd Trojans, John Barsby Bulldogs, Windsor Dukes, Ballenas Whalers

Divisional Races

AA West: Totally up for grabs!This weekend's tilts on the Island with Carson Graham at Ballenas and Windsor @ Barsby will go a long ways towards the ultimate divisional standings.

AA East: This looks like a two horse show at the top with Graham and Abbey vying for top-rail. Three and four will be a toss-up as well between Mission and Bateman.  The East can lay claim to being the toughest division in AA this year.

AA South: This is a three way race between Langley, Boyd and Holy Cross.  The Saints just served notice that they are playing for keeps and the Trojans/Crusaders had better be on their A game the rest of the regular season!  Boyd vs Langley is going to be epic!

AA Interior: Vernon may get a bit of a challenge from South-Kamloops but that is about it.  The Panthers ought to represent well again in the post-season.

AA North: Prince George and Duchess will tangle for top spot up North by the looks of things.  The Polars ought to win out.

GI's Picks

Friday, 16 October

Windsor @ John Barsby: The Dukes are on the road @ Barsby this Friday afternoon.  Windsor is coming off of their best game yet in 2015 with an impressive 33-20 win over Ballenas.  The signature of this game was big plays and lots of em!  Barsby had a bye due to forfeit this past week.  Byes are double edged swords in mid-season.  The Dawg defense has played great ball the past couple of weeks.  Offensively, Barsby has moved the ball, but struggled to score.  It is going to take more than a touchdown to defeat Windsor, but that is exactly what Barsby has been averaging the past three weeks.  Special teams will be huge in this game! GI's Pick: Barsby by 6

Mission @ Robert Bateman: Now here are two teams that are playing their best ball of the season thus far.  Both have had very challenging schedules and both have improved week-to-week.  You can bill this as Bateman's speed versus the Mission offensive line/ground game.  If the Roadrunners can mitigate turnovers and be clock-hogs, they have a more than legit shot at taking this game.  On the flip side, Bateman can score in a flash and Mission really needs to take away big plays from their foes.  GI's Pick: Mission by 3

Vernon @ Valleyview: Valleyview is playing some good football right now and their down hil running game is rounding in to form.  For Vernon's part, they are winning while putting their tenth grade contributors through the crucible of tough varsity play. I don't see this game being any kind of an air show.  Vernon has the push up front on both sides of the ball to win this one. GI's Pick: Vernon by 17

College Heights @ Duchess Park: Duchess is a better overall team on both sides of the ball and their bench is deeper. GI's Pick: Condors by 21

Pitt Meadows @ Abbottsford: Pitt is speedy and scrappy.  Abbottsford is both plus it is bigger and has a far deeper bench this year.  The math in this contest appears unassailable at face value. Teenage football players surely do have the ability to surprise all logic with an inspired performance.  Look for this game to be close early, but Abbey pulls away.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 24

Clarence Fulton @ Hugh Boyd:  Fulton has sure done its share of travelling this year.  The game at Hugh Boyd will be good for both teams in this exhibition tilt.  The Trojans are packing a deeper roster and will wear out the visitors over the course of the game. GI's Pick: Troy by 18

Prince George @ Kelly Road: "Whump-Whump"  naw, that is not the familiar sound of a car hitting a speed-bump at a good clip, that is the sound the Polar running game is going to make as it tramples cross-town foe Kelly Road.  The Roadrunners can take solace in the fact that they are not the only contributor to the PG "whump" cacaphony this year. GI's Pick: PG by 25 +

Moscrop @ Langley: A couple years ago this would have been a tight contest.  Langley however, has significantly upped their game in 2015 and will rain big plays with the vertical passing game while taking care of the defensive line of scrimmage. GI's Pick: Saints by 21+

South Kamloops @ Westsyde: Nice cross-town rivalry here that finds its roots with names like Chow, Olthius, Bridger and the like.   South-Kam still has a bit of Red Devil in em and this will be hotly contested from the opening whistle.  It appears that in 2015 SKS deeper in terms of bench and a big bigger and faster than their hosts.  GI's Pick: Titans by 14

Saturday, 17 October

Frank Hurt @ Holy Cross: This is the rebound game for the Crusaders in 2015.  The Hornets better have their chinstraps done up real tight when they come a calling on HC this Saturday.  Beyond this, HC is simply deeper and more mature in terms of roster.  GI's Pick: Crusaders by 21

Carson Graham @ Ballenas: Two teams with proud histories, two teams with winning records, two teams that badly need a divisional win.   Ballenas may be the toughest team at home in the North as their historical record seems to indicate.  These guys are pretty chewed-up right now and went from looking like supermen vs Belmont to well, pretty vulnerable against a tough Windsor squad this past Friday.  Carson is fast, aggressive on both sides of the ball and can score quickly on offense. Defensively, they pressure very well.  This could cost them as they face a very disciplined and cohesive Whaler offensive line. Turnovers and special teams...B I G ! GI's Pick:  Carson by 7