Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week 4

AA Varsity Week Four

Week Three Round-Up

This past weekend saw the Holy Cross Crusaders make a huge statement serving notice that they will have a say in the race to and for the 2015 Subway Bowl.   The HC crew dumped the number 1 Abbottsford Panthers in guts, physical fashion.  Look out AA South!   Carson Graham is serving up some great defense blanking another team on the scoreboard and you have to like Moscrop's breakout game vs Nanaimo District.  In exhibition tilts vs AAA squads Graham, Windsor and Barsby kept it close gained much needed self-confidence in the ring with the heavyweights.  Up North, Prince George dished out another beat-down to conference competition making them the team to keep an eye on at the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser Rivers.


Valleyview 12 Howe Sound 6
Rick Hansen 12 Eric Hamber 12
Carson Graham 14 Robert Bateman 0
Holy Cross 34 Abbottsford 23
Prince George 50 College Heights 8
AAA Mt. Douglas 22 John Barsby 6
Salmon Arm 32 Clarence Fulton 12
Moscrop 20 Nanaimo District 8
AAA Argyle 20 Langley 14
Earl Marriot 26 Frank Hurt 0
South Kamloops 28 Kelley Road 8
AAA Rutland 14 Vernon 14
AAA New Westminster 21 G.W. Graham 10
AAA West Vancouver 19 Windsor 14
Concrete WA 44 Mission 18

GI's AA Varsity Top Five

1. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2. Holy Cross Crusaders
3. Abbottsford Panthers
4. Ballenas Whalers
5. Mission Roadrunners

Honourable Mention

Carson Graham Eagles, John Barsby Bulldogs, Vernon Panthers, Prince George Polars

GI's Picks

Tuesday, 29 Sept.

Nechako  Valley @ Kelley Road: The Vikings are on an up and Kelley Road is having a middling year.  The "execution" game goes to the Vikes in all three phases.  GI's Pick: Nechako Valley by 12

Friday, 2 October

John Barsby @ AAA Argyle:  Great game for both squads as this is the last exhibition tilt prior to league play.   Argyle is undefeated thus far in 2015 while the Dawgs of Barsby are 1-3.  The Pipers took last year's tilt in a close contest.  Barsby has scored all of six points in the past eight quarters of play.  The Nanaimo squad needs a breakout game offensively to compete in this one.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 6

Moscrop @ Rick Hansen:  Moscrop found its offensive gear last week vs Nanaimo District.  Hansen is in serious rebuild mode right now.  Gotta give this one to the Panthers.  GI's Pick: Moscrop by 7

AAA South Delta @ Carson Graham:  Well, here is a litmus test for the Eagles.   South-Delta is looking for a big rebound after their loss in Alberta a week or so back.  Carson Graham is quietly putting together a solid defensive season of their own and will be challenged by the explosive Sundevil offense.  GI's Pick: South Delta by 19

Correlieu @ Kelly Road: Kelley Road will score early and often en route to a welcome and much needed victory over Quesnel's finest.  GI's Pick: Roadrunners by 21

Valleyview @ Salmon Arm: Valleyview is getting better week to week and is coming off of a good road victory vs Howe Sound.  Salmon Arm however has a lot more in the tool box than the visitors. GI's Pick:  Salmon Arm by 17

Windsor @ Abbottsford:  Now here is a real test for the ever improving Windsor Dukes.  This team gets better week by week and Abbey is amongst the best at any level in BC.   This game will be close up front and the respective coaching staff's will parry back and forth with some great play call and scheme.  Abbottsford has the more explosive athletes however and this will have a big say in the outcome.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 19

Duchess Park @ Prince George:  Last year's game was close.  This year the Polars ought to put it all together and take this tilt decisively.  It will be a big game on the ground for PG.  GI's Pick: Polars by 14

Nanaimo District @ Westsyde: You gotta like this one.  Both teams are evenly represented in terms of athleticism and both squads like a physical brand of ball.  This will go back and forth on the scoreboard with turnovers being a decisive factor in determining the outcome.  GI's Pick: Nanaimo District by 4

Vernon @ Pitt Meadows:  Vernon probably won't lose another game until November.  The Panthers are set to launch into regular season play and will conclude their exhibition tilts with a good showing at Pitt Meadows.  Vernon is deeper at pretty much every position than their hosts and will wear down the scrappy Marauders by mid-third quarter.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 17

Saturday, 3 October

AAA Rutland @ Clarence Fulton:  The Maroons are a bit short benched but as anyone who has ever played them knows, they are not short hearted!  This will be a close contest in the early going.  Look for Rutland to have a little more in the tank come the second half.  GI's Pick: Voodoo by 11

Robert Bateman @ Holy Cross: The Crusaders are suddenly surging with a confidence not seen since their AAA heyday of yore.  There is swagger and momentum after the big upset of previously number one ranked Abbottsford.   Folks better look out for this crew!  Bateman has been playing a tough schedule that has now gotten a bit tougher than they expected when scheduling this contest. GI's Pick: Crusaders by 20

Langley @ AAA Seaquam: Very similar rosters will take the field for this game.  Langley has a deeper bench and the Seahawks have been flagging this year in terms of motivation.  Look for a minor upset come Saturday.  GI's Pick: Saints by 3

College Heights @ Nechako Valley:  Nechako Valley will look like a buzz saw offensively against the Cougars.  The hosts ought to slice and dice their way offensively to a big half-time lead.  GI's Pick: Vikings by 22

AAA Belmont @ Ballenas:  This game will be close for a quarter, maybe.  Ballenas is healthy and playing some outstanding football.  The Belmont bench will be short of sr's and likely augmented by their tougher JV's.  GI's Pick: Ballenas by 21

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week Three

AA Varsity Football Week Three

Week 2 Round-Up

What a Friday for the Valley this past weekend!  The G.W. Graham Grizzlies mauled, chewed-up and spit out the visiting John Barsby Bulldogs blanking them 33-0 and the Abbottsford Panthers continued their story book season with a dramatic come-from-behind victory against AAA powerhouse W. J. Mouat!  This sets up the October 30th clash between these two programs as perhaps the premier AA varsity tilt of the regular season and it will have a decisive effect on the playoff draw!

Two other teams made a big splash in the form of a dominant Ballenas Whaler win over Pitt Meadows and a sound Holy Cross victory over the Windsor Dukes on Duke home turf.  Hugh Boyd got a solid win vs AAA Seaquam as well and the Mission Roadrunners were solid against AAA Notre Dame in a close loss.

Up north it is becoming apparent that the Prince George Polars are the team to beat as they posted another big score.


Ballenas 44 Pitt Meadows 0
G.W. Graham 33 John Barsby 0
Carson Graham 8  AAA West Vancouver 0
AAA Handsworth 17 Robert Bateman 0
Prince George 49 Correlieu 0
Nanaimo District 44 Spectrum 12
Valleyview 14 Eric Hamber 0
Earl Marriot 24 Moscrop 0
Holy Cross 20 Windsor 7
AAA Notre Dame 28 Mission 19
AAA Kelowna  37 Vernon 20
Omak WA 56 Clarence Fulton 7
Hugh Boyd 22 AAA Seaquam 0
Abbottsford 39 AAA W.J. Mouat 36

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top Five

  1. Abbottsford Panthers
  2. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
  3. Ballenas Whalers
  4. Holy Cross Crusaders
  5. John Barsby Bulldogs

Honorable Mention

Vernon Panthers, Mission RoadrunnersHugh Boyd Trojans, Robert Bateman Timberwolves, Carson Graham Eagles

GI's Picks

Friday, 25 Sept.

Nanaimo District @ Moscrop:  Look for the Islanders to show up and relentlessly pound the football against the home Pantheres.  This year's group of varsity green looks to build on last week's Spectrum game with another solid win.  GI's Pick: Nanaimo by 18

AAA Mt. Douglas @ John Barsby:  Mt. Douglas and Barsby always come together and play a tough game.  Sometimes the score is close and sometimes it is not.  The Rams have been steamrolling opponents thus far in 2015.  Barsby is looking to rebound from a big loss to G.W. Graham.  Defense and special teams will have a big say come Friday Night.  GI's Pick: Mt. Douglas by 21

AAA Argyle @ Langley: The Pipers have been building momentum week to week against underwhelming competition.  New to AAA ball, this may be a good plan as the squad gains confidence and solidifies its identity headed in to league play.  Langley has athletes and will play tough for a couple quarters.  GI's Pick: Pipers by 16

AAA Rutland @ Vernon: Vernon has been playing every tough game it can find this year.  The Panthers have yet to post a win and that is set to change against the Voodoo.  Look for a big day offensively for Vernon and a possible shut-out.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 24

Frank Hurt @ Earl Marriot:  The Hornets are scrappers and are going to be in a very tight game versus the undefeated Earl Marriot Mariners.  I think that the Mariner defense will make the Hornet offense struggle for the balance of the game.  GI's Pick: Marriot by 6

Windsor @ AAA West Vancouver: Windsor always makes big strides over the first three weeks of the season.  The Dukes will give the host Highlanders all they can handle throughout the game but will ultimately fall short.  GI's Pick: West Vancouver by 8

Salmon Arm @ Clarence Fulton: Fulton has opened up their season on the road and with tough contests week one and two.  Now they are home and ought to step up their game.  GI's Pick: Fulton by 4

Westsyde @ Burnaby Central: This game will be very evenly matched.  Westsyde has a deeper roster in terms of experience and this will factor in to the outcome. GI's Pick: Westsyde by 14

Correlieu @ Duchess Park: Duchess has been struggling as has the Clan.  Normally this would be a blowout for the hosts.  Not this year.  GI's Pick: Duchess by 2

Mission @ Concrete WA:  Another great game for the Roadrunners as they grow in to their 2015 selves.  Concrete is a small, rural program. This game will be close!  GI's Pick: Mission by 6

G.W. Graham @ AAA New Westminster: This game will be well attended and a close match for a quarter.  New Westminster matches-up well athletically and can throw the football effectively which will expose the Grizzlies, particularly on play action.  GI's Pick: New Westminster by 14

Abbottsford @ Holy Cross: The Panthers will take aim a legitimate AA competition.  The air show will really unleash itself in this game.  The Crusaders are a good run team and tough up front.  Abbey will be unfazed.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 18

Valleyview @ Howe Sound: A very good tilt for both teams.  Howe Sound plays tough at home and the Vikings may have bus legs.  GI's Pick: Valleyview by 3

Carson Graham @ Robert Bateman:  In games against common opponent AAA Handsworth, these two teams have posted losses by significantly different margins.  Carson Graham has a roster edge and speed differential in their favor.  Bateman is playing on home turf.  GI's Pick: Carson Graham by 11

College Heights @ Prince George: The Polars are having their best season ever.  College Heights not so.  GI's Pick: Prince George runs all over the Cougars en route to a 30 point win.

Eric Hamber @ Rick Hansen:  This game will be close early on but Hansen has the team speed to pull away as the game unfolds.  GI's Pick: Hurricanes by 17

Hugh Boyd @ Ballenas:  A very, very good match-up between these two squads is the initial take. Hugh Boyd is solid and a contender for the South Division #1 seed.  The Whalers are a contender for the AA Championship.   Ballenas is at home and has a far more complete offensive attack than the visitors.  The Whaler kicking game will give the Trojans fits.   This could get ugly in the second half. GI's Pick: Whalers by 22

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Week 2 2015

AA Varsity Week Two

Week 1 Round-Up

Abbottsford wins big and makes a statement that reverberates around the province!  The Panthers shocked AAA stalwart Lord Tweedsmuir with a big win on Friday!  Notice has been served that these cats are the team to beat in 2015.  The byline should also read that though this team is blessed with one of the great athletes in recent memory at receiver, there is one hec of a team surrounding him and we can all look forward to some special football this year!  Out-Gal-Dang-Standing Abbey!

In other games, Carson and Handsworth had another memorable Buchannan Bowl tilt on the North Shore, Prince George played very well on the road and the Barsby-Vernon rivalry added a sound chapter to its history.  The Holy Cross Crusaders are looking tough this year and Hugh Boyd and Robert Bateman are not backing down from anyone!  A good first week all-round!


John Barsby 25 Vernon 0
Handsworth 21 Carson Graham 20:
Kelly Road 36 College Heights 30
Earl Marriot 28 Nanaimo District 22
Holy Cross  36 Clarence Fulton 0
Pitt Meadows 26 Frank Hurt 6
Nechako Valley 28 Correllieu 6
South Delta 46 Hugh Boyd 13
W.J. Mouat 44 Robert Bateman 19
Abbottsford 45 Lord Tweedsmuir 27
Prince George 23 Rutland 23
Kelowna 46 Mission 6

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top 5

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

Honourable Mention

Vernon Panthers, Hugh Boyd Trojans, Carson Graham Eagles, Holy Cross Crusaders, Pitt Meadows Marauders

GI's Week 2 Picks

Friday, 18 September

John Barsby @ G.W. Graham: This should be a very good contest as Barsby hits the road to play a group of players who have known nothing but championships since their elementry school days.  The Grizzlies are spread with power up front and an attacking crew defensively.  Barsby likes to blend solid base defense with up tempo offense.  The kicking game is a draw in this one.  Size to Graham by a large margin and perhaps a bit of a speed edge to the Dawgs.  Home field is big for the Grizzlies. GI's Pick: This should be very, very close in the first half and possibly all the way through...Barsby wins close in an upset.

Ballenas @ Pitt Meadows: The Whalers are solid in all three phases of the game and bring a balanced, relentless offense to the dance.  Pit is tough and has a speedy defensive backfield to go with a home field advantage. GI's Pick: Whalers by 10

Nanaimo District @ Spectrum: The Islanders feel like they "snatched defeat from the jaws of victory" last week vs Marriot.   Spectrum is in year three of the program building experience, but took a step back by not fielding a varsity squad in 2014.  GI's Pick: Islanders by 20

Moscrop @ Earl Marriot: This will be a very close tilt.  I think Marriot is definitely riding a surge in terms of the development of the program.  Moscrop has several explosive athlete the Mariners will find it hard to match-up with.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 7

Eric Hamber @ Valleyview: This will be another good game!  Hamber is getting better and Valleyview will be better than last year's version.  GI's Pick: Valleyview by 6

Holy Cross @ Windsor: Holy Cross has a solid game under their belt.  Windsor is opening the packaging on their own season.  Game two is usually a positive leap for most teams and HC will find this to be no different.  The Dukes are led by one of the best and have some maturity and depth on the roster this year.  GI's Pick: Crusaders by 4

Mission @ AAA Notre Dame:  Notre Dame is at the beginning of a half decade long string of good varsity seasons with the possibility of a deep, deep playoff run each year.  Mission is tough, but will not be able to overcome the Jugglers just yet. GI's Pick: Notre Dame by 17

Duchess Park @ Nechako Valley: The Vikings are going to have a very competitive "up-season" in 2015 and may challenge PG for top-rail up north.  Duchess is taking a step back for now.  GI's Pick: The Vanderfoot squad by 10

Frank Hurt @ South Kamloops: This one will go down to the wire.  I predict that the most explosive running back on the field will lead his team to victory.  GI's Pick: Hornets by 3

Vernon @ AAA Kelowna: The Panthers are a tough, very competent squad.  They are also a bit chewed-up right now and will be playing a program with much, much more size and athletic depth. Them facts will have a say in the outcome.  GI's Pick: Owls by 16

AAA Seaquam @ Hugh Boyd: This one go's to the Trojans.  Conference mates a year ago, both squads know each other and Boyd has more depth come game-day. GI's Pick: Boyd by 10

Westsyde @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins this one at home, no doubt.  Westsyde is in a rebuild this year and the Golds have a mature roster. GI's Pick: Golds by 14

Clarence Fulton @ Omak WA: This is a traditional road trip for the Maroons.  Omak traditionally dominates the game.  There will be nothing new to report come next Sunday.  GI's Pick: Omak by 30 plus.

Abbottsford @ AAA W.J. Mouat: Game of the week!  No doubt about it.  I just don't see Mouat being able to match-up vs the big play ability of the Panthers.  There will be lots of points scored but in the end, a new king will be crowned in the Valley football hotbed known as Abbottsford, BC.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 10

Saturday 19 September

AAA West Vancouver @ Carson Graham: Another good pre-season tilt on the North Shore.  Carson Graham likely has the roster depth and will kick-off the second game of the season vs a Highlander squad that has not yet played in 2015.   The teams met during the spring so there ought not to be too many surprises scheme wise.  GI's Pick: Eagles by 6

Robert Bateman @ AAA Handsworth: Look for a minor upset here.  Bateman played pretty darn good against a good Mouat team last weekend.  Handsworth is fairly short benched.  GI's Pick: Bateman by 4

Langley @ Rick Hansen: It has been a tough off season for the Hurricanes and they will be playing this game at the start of a very long rebuild.  Langley has a half-dozen potential big time players and a good crew to accompany them.  GI's Pick: Langley by 12

Prince George @ Correllieu: Word out of the North is that PG is the consensus pick to run the table this year.  The Polars will likely never break stride en route to a dominant win in Quesnel.  GI's Pick: Polars by 30

Sunday, September 6, 2015

AA Varsity Week 1

Week One

Zero Week Round-Up

AAA Mt. Boucharie 36 Ballenas 20

The Whalers gained some great experience against some top flight competition on the road in zero week.  In so many ways, "mission accomplished".

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top Five

  1. Abbottsford Panthers
  2. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
  3. Vernon Panthers
  4. John Barsby Bulldogs
  5. Mission Roadrunners
Honourable Mention

Ballenas Whalers, Hugh Boyd Trojans, Carson Graham Eagles, Holy Cross Crusaders

GI's Week 1 Pics

Thursday, 10 September

Kelley Road @ College Heights: The Roadrunners have generally owned this tilt.  No reason to pick otherwise.  GI's Pick: Kelley Road by 12

Friday, 11 September

Nanaimo District @ Tier 2 Earl Marriot: This is a great season opener for both squads.  The defending Tier 2 champs are really gaining traction as their program has taken a second breath of life over the past couple seasons.  Nanaimo District is a hard working crew who is looking to find a new identity after graduating some fine varsity players.  This will likely be a back and forth affair with turnovers playing a role in the outcome.  GI's Pick: Mariot by 6

G.W. Graham @ AAA Seaquam: The Grizzlies are healthy and ready to begin a season that many expect will conclude itself in the dome.  Seaquam will be returning from their Vegas trip wide-eyed and ready for what BC competition has to dish out.  Graham heads in to the game with a distinct size advantage and equal in terms of speed.  GI's Pick: Graham by 17

Holy Cross @ Clarence Fulton: Great week one match-up for both teams!  Each squad likes to run the football and both have a history of rough and tumble defense.  Home field will play a big role in this game.  I see special teams being a separator as well as the play up front for both teams.  GI's Pick: Holy Cross by 7

Langley @ Eric Hamber: Another good home opener for both teams.  Langley has the size and speed to run away with this one by mid second quarter.  Hamber is improving, but has a ways to go still. GI's Pick: Langley by 18

Pitt Meadows @ Frank Hurt:  Again, this is a positive week 1 match-up.  You have to give the edge in team speed to Pitt, particularly their secondary and receivers.  Every thing else is much closer by comparison.  Pitt is a valley darkhorse to do big things in 2015.  Frank Hurt has found their stride as a program and is high-middle right now in terms of development.  GI's Pick: Pitt by 14 

Nechako Valley @ Correllieu: Nechako Valley is very consistent in terms of its scheme and execution.  The "up years" for the Vikings usually have a lot to do with the athleticism of the roster.  The Clansmen seem to be a bit more ponderous over the years.  GI's Pick: Vikings by 17

Salmon Arm @ South Kamloops: I like this one for both squads.  There will be some interesting offense played by both squads and I see Salmon Arm being able to move the ball better via the ground than their opponent. GI's Pick: Golds by 7

AAA Lord Tweedsmuir @ Abbottsford: Very, very big game for both teams.  Abbey may very well have the top passing game at either tier this year and Tweedsmuir is rolling into this one with a roster full of superlatives. Tweedsmuir's run game will be decisive.  If it produces some long. clock eating drives, the Panther air-show could be significantly mitigated.  There will be some crazy special teams play on both sides to add to the projected fireworks.  GI's Pick: Tweedsmuir by 14 as they wear out the Abbey defense.

AAA South Delta @ Hugh Boyd: Kudos to the Trojans for scheduling the AAA champs to open the season.  The skill level on both rosters will be very even.  The difference is that South Delta has more skilled bodies proportionately and more size by comparison.  Mass times speed equals impact.  The Trojans are going to have some very dented armor when all is said and done. GI's Pick: South Delta by 28 plus.

Robert Bateman @ AAA WJ Mouat: This game is good for football in Abbottsford.  The traditional big dog in this fight, Mouat, has dominated past tilts.  The results will likely be the same, but Bateman gets a tonne of local exposure and certainly gains a measure of themselves against a top flight roster.  The post Coach Kelley era is launched for real here as well.  Should be a good evernt. GI's Pick: Mouat by 24

Saturday, 12 September

John Barsby @ Vernon: Barsby and Vernon have developed a budding playoff rivalry over the past three years.  The Panthers are at home now with no long November bus ride dragging behind them like a ball and chain.  Two years ago, the Panther JV squad was a strong semi-finalist and this group returns to take its place among the better Panther squads in program history.  Barsby is in the very early stages of a rebuild/reload returning one offensive starter from last year's semi-final game vs the Panthers.  I believe that many of the Panther players also find themselves as new starters as well. This game will hinge on run defense and turnovers.  It is being played on Panther home dirt and there is likely some "payback" on the minds of the home team.  GI's Pick: Upset alert...Barsby by 4

Tier 2 Spectrum @ Ballenas: Spectrum is in the very early stages of program development and Ballenas is fielding a very, very good AA squad.  This game will be a blow-out by mid 1st quarter and will have to be managed by both coaching staffs so that some positive emerge for both rosters. GI's Pick: Whalers by 50 plus.

AAA Handsworth @ Carson Graham: One of the great rivalry games in BC high school football, The Buchannan Bowl is being played on Graham home turf.  Carson Graham enjoys a much larger roster in terms of both numbers and size.  The new Carson Graham HC is up against his former coach and mentor in Coach Prepchuck.  This will be close for awhile but I see the preponderance of size and speed held by the Eagles to ultimately carry the day. GI's Pick: Eagles by 10

AAA Kelowna @ Mission: The Mission Roadrunner program does nothing without very calculated and deliberate forethought.  This is why I find that this game on the schedule is so telling in terms of where they think they are after the merger with Heritage Park.  Me thinks the Roadrunners have acquired some size, speed and added depth to their roster.  The superb Mission machine therefore has bonus raw material to shape and guide into solid football players.  A game vs Interior powerhouse Kelowna is a deliberate act and tells me the Roadrunners think they can dance with the Owls.  Good stuff!  GI's Pick: Misson by 2 in an upset.

Prince George @ AAA Rutland: Good on the Polars for scheduling this game.  It will be a team builder and certainly will raise the bar on the field.  Rutland is a big building with very good athletes. Probably a bit much for PG to handle.  GI's Pick: Rutland by 18