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
- Abbottsford Panthers
- G.W. Graham Grizzlies
- Vernon Panthers
- John Barsby Bulldogs
- Mission Roadrunners
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