Monday, September 5, 2016

2016 AA Varsity Week 1

GI's Week 1 Edition

Welcome back gridiron fans, coaches and players!  The 2016 season promises to be lights-out fast, furious and competitive!  It is now "Game Week" for the majority of the province and we already have a shift at the top of the rankings!

Week Zero Wrap-Up

G.W. Graham went down to Clover Park HS in Washington state just south of Tacoma and served notice that they are playing for all the marbles in BC.  The Grizzlies ran and passed impressively en-route to a 47-32 victory over the host program.  Well done!  We are all proud of you guys up here north of the 49th parallel!!

Gridiron's Top Five

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

Gridiron's Week One Picks

Friday, 9 September

Hugh Boyd @ Earl Marriot (AAA): Earl Marriot is back up at triple A ball after dominating Tier 2 for the last several seasons.  This is a great week one game for both programs.  Word has it that the Trojans have a deep and experienced offensive line this year.  You gotta love that as a coach.  All things being equal at the "skill" positions, I have to go with Boyd and their big boys up front.  GI's Pick: Trojans by 13

Seaquam @ Langley:  Very intriguing match-up here!  Both of these programs are on the rise and are early favorites to go to the Subway Bowl.  Seaquam seems to play its best football mid-to-late season and this may be a bit of a tough game for them coming out of the starting blocks.  Langley will play very balanced football offensively and I like their run game in this contest and the subsequent big plays off of play-action.  GI's Pick: Saints by 11

Mission (AAA) @ Abbottsford:  Old Eastern rivals have kept the series alive with this exhibition tilt. I have no doubt that Mission will take it's place amongst the AAA elite in the coming years, but they still have some growing to do.  The players and coaching staffs know each other well and this game will be hard fought.  Look for Abbottsford to find its running legs by the second quarter in this game. GI's Pick: Abbey by 7

Westsyde @ Southkam: The Blue Wave have been playing good football the past couple of years up in the Interior.  SouthKam has a deeper and more physical roster and this game will blow wide open mid-second quarter.  GI's Pick: Titans by 21

Robert Bateman @ Vernon: Vernon is the class of the Interior once again in 2016.  Bateman is an upper middle of the pack squad in the Eastern Conference.  Both teams play a very tough brand of football.  This game will be very physical start-to-finish.  The home team however is bigger and across the board, faster.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 14

John Barsby @ Mt. Douglas (AAA): There are no lies on the field when teams travel to play the triple A dynasty known as the Mt. Douglas Rams.  Visitors can expect to find their weaknesses exposed in a hurry.  This exhibition series is always very hard fought.  Barsby is going to have to play their A-Game to have a chance in this one.  Last week the Rams defeated Veronia HS of Oregon 40-6.  Dawgs beware.  GI's Pick: Rams by 19

PGSS @ D.P. Todd: The Trojans will have the bench numbers, but not the experience to accompany their multitudes.  The Polars are consistently playing some of the best football in the North.  They are also finding their identity as a program with power football and a defense that is a reflection of its offensive counterpart.  GI's Pick: PGSS by 22

Spectrum (Tier 2) @ Nanaimo District: Spectrum has taken big strides towards putting a competitive group on the field.  Nanaimo District has a two headed monster at the quarterback position with athletes around them up front and on the perimeter.  I think the Islanders are just too much for Spectrum to handle and the score will pile-up fast.  GI's Pick: Islanders by 20 plus.

Clarence Fulton @ Salmon Arm (AAA): The Maroons are a plucky, motivated group year in and year out.  They will bring their A game up-country to Salmon Arm.  The Golds are bigger and deeper across the board.  This will factor in, especially in the second half when the host team gets its timing down after a couple first half, week one hick-ups.  GI's Pick: Golds by 17

Saturday, 10 September

Frank Hurt @ Argyle (AAA):  Argyle is in a bit of a rebuild this year and Frank Hurt is sporting one of its better squads in recent memory.  This game will come down to turnovers and who can defend the long ball defensively.  Look for a back and forth affair with Frank Hurt posting a minor upset. GI's Pick: Hornets by 2

G.W. Graham @ Handsworth (AAA): Unless the Royals have had a significant growth spurt up front, they are in for shall we say, a crushing experience in the trenches.  This game could very quickly get one dimensional and then it will be up to the home team's quarterback to put things on his shoulders. Defensively, if the Grizzlies can play solid man coverage and avoid getting nickel and dimed, the pressure could be epic.  GI's Pick: Grizzlies by 23

Windsor @ Holy Cross:  Windsor usually starts slow and then becomes very, very good by week 4 or so.  Not this year.  The Dukes have a very experienced group who are coming off of a Championship JV season a short ten months ago.  The learning curve won't be dramatic for them and this squad will be playing at a mid-season level right out of the gates.  Holy Cross will be similar as well. Defending the Crusader run game will be key for the Dukes while the Crusaders will have to air-tight in dealing with the counters, screens, bootlegs and deep balls that are sure to come their way.  GI's Pick: Dukes by 14

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