Team BC tackles the Tanoa Bowl

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Photo credit: Jay Prepchuk (Team BC U18 Coach)

This winter break, Team BC will be bringing a Grade 8 team and a U18 team down to Auburn, Washington on Sunday, December 28 for the Tanoa Bowl Classic. As many readers might be wondering, what makes the Tanoa Bowl a Team BC-worthy trip?

Read below to find out more about the team and the tournament!

Showcase of the best high school football players in BC, Washington, and Hawaii

The Tanoa Bowl, now in its 4th year, has had several different state teams participate in the past, including Arizona, Alaska, California, Washington, Utah, and Hawaii.

This year, the Team BC U18 team will face off against Team Washington, while the Grade 8 team will face off against the NW Cougars in a matchup of some of the best age group players across the border!

See how Team BC stacks up against the competition

As the only Canadian Team at the Tanoa Bowl, Team BC will have the chance to not only represent the province, but Canada as well. Ultimately, our players will get the chance to see how they stack up against their American counterparts, which should make for a pair of exciting games. With a lot of pride on the line, it will definitely be an eventful game!

Team BC full of high school prospects waiting to be scouted

The Tanoa Bowl could be a great place for even more of Team BC athletes to be recognized with many scouts expected to attend the game. The U18 team has several top-notch players from across the province who are already attracting the attention of recruiters in Canada and the US.

These players include defensive linemen Connor Griffiths (Langley Minor Football) and Keiran Janes (St. Thomas More Knights); receivers Jesse Walker (Mission Roadrunners), Lucas Bill (Carson Graham Eagles) and Justin “JJ” Deslauriers (St. Thomas More Knights); offensive lineman Nick Cessford (Ballenas Whalers); linebacker Caleb Abraham (Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers); and quarterback Theo Landers (Notre Dame Jugglers).

The Tanoa Bowl is expected to be attended by individuals from Scout.com and Rivals.com, two of the biggest recruiting databases for football.

Tanoa Bowl connections to NCAA Football

In the past four years, several Tanoa Bowl participants have gone on to play football in NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, with over fifty past participants of the Tanoa Bowl having gone on to play at different colleges and universities across the United States.

Tanoa Bowl alumni have gone on to play at Yale University, Western Oregon University, Dixie State College, Central Washington University, and University Texas El Paso, to name a few. It’s highly likely that we’ll see some up-and-coming Canadian and American football stars taking part in the Tanoa Bowl this year!

Several athletes who have played in the Tanoa Bowl and have gone on to play in the NCAA include Chet Spears (Western Oregon University), Calvin Chandler (Yale University), and Chris Miedema (Idaho State University), to name a few.

To see Team BC’s rosters, click on the links below!

The U18 roster:

http://www.playfootball.bc.ca/uploads/U18TeamBC_FinalRoster_December2014.pdf

The Grade 8 roster:

http://www.playfootball.bc.ca/uploads/Grade8TeamBC_FinalRoster_December2014.pdf

Make sure you follow Team BC at the Tanoa Bowl! Bookmark the Tanoa Bowl page on Football BC’s website at http://www.playfootball.bc.ca/programs/view/15.

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Darrell Ross’ life lessons a key to the Sun Devils’ success

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Photo Credit: Philip Chan, Football BC

In over 10 years of being involved in football as a trainer, Darrell Ross has seen his fair share of ups and downs.

Darrell got his start in football by volunteering with Coquitlam Minor Football, then got involved with the Vancouver Trojans before becoming a crucial part of the South Delta Sun Devils, the latest team to be crowned the Subway Bowl Senior AAA Champions.

In that time, Darrell says he has gained a lot of great memories from being involved in the sport.

“I think one of the most memorable experiences was winning South Delta’s first Double A championship in 2008,” he recalls. “It was actually the semi-final win that was the most memorable, as we came back to tie the game and win in a shootout.

“The perseverance and tenacity that the kids showed [that day] is what I really love about football.”

In that memorable semi-final game six years ago, Rick Hansen was ahead 28-14 in the third quarter, but the Sun Devils caught up to tie the game and scored a touchdown and convert in overtime.

The Hurricanes responded with a touchdown of their own but their two-point conversion attempt failed, sending the Sun Devils to face Seaquam in the finals.

This year, in similar fashion, the Sun Devils also came from behind to win their semi-final game against No. 1 ranked Terry Fox, 16-13, en route to capturing the Subway Bowl championship this season.

“I was emotional [when we won in the final], but I was even more emotional when we won against Terry Fox,” says Darrell. “The boys had to find it in themselves to come out and find a way to play their game.”

The perseverance and tenacity that the Sun Devils showed in their first ever Double A championship in 2008, and this year in winning their first ever Triple A championship this season, is no coincidence or fluke.

Whenever the Sun Devils players need motivation, or to give themselves some perspective, all they have to do is look at Darrell and his own personal story of persevering through difficult situations.

In the summer of 2011, Darrell dealt with plenty of uncertainty after being diagnosed with cancer. Amazingly, he showed true grit in the face of adversity.

Even during his treatments, Darrell never stopped working and still found time to support the Sun Devils at their regular season games and in the Subway Bowl playoffs. Several months after his surgery, he volunteered as a trainer at Football BC’s Senior Bowl camp, an event he has been a part of for several years now.

“Until you see a specialist, you don’t know about the cancer, how much time you have left, or how severe it is,” explains Darrell.

During those trying times, he had to find it in himself to stay positive and persevere, much like the players on his beloved team.

“It’s never over. You can always persevere. You need to live each day for each day,” says Darrell. “That’s a lesson I learned [in my fight with cancer] that I try and teach the players on the field.”

With a role model like Darrell on the team, it’s no wonder that the Sun Devils rose all the way to become champions with their ‘never-back-down’ mentality.

Once again, congratulations to Darrell, South Delta players and their coaching staff for a great season!

Devils get their due at 2014 Subway Bowl

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Photo credit: Ray Shum, Tempest Photo/BC High School Football

AAA newcomers South Delta Sun Devils saved their best for last beating out three-time defending Subway Bowl champions, the Mt. Douglas Rams, in dramatic fashion on Saturday at BC Place.

In stark contrast to their regular season meeting when the Rams easily handed the Sun Devils a 44-7 loss, South Delta gained revenge in the best possible fashion by proving they could topple the supposed team to beat this season.

Led by Lucas Kirk, Jack McDonald, and Bryce Conners, the Sun Devils romped to a convincing 55-30 win over the Rams, ending Mt. Douglas’ impressive reign atop the AAA Senior Varsity Division and claiming the school’s first-ever Frank Gnup Memorial Trophy.

Kirk, the efficient quarterback, went 23-of-37 for 342 yards on the night recording six touchdown passes on his way to being named the game’s most outstanding back. Jack McDonald was one of Kirk’s many targets as he caught one of those six touchdown passes and took it to the house 37 yards.

McDonald was fittingly named the MVP of the game after making important stops on defence throughout the game and proving his essential role on the team.

Bryce Conners also stunned the Rams early in the game, returning a kickoff 81-yards to the end zone right after a Rams’ touchdown. Conners would also go on to catch two touchdown passes in the team’s win.

For Mt. Douglas, star running back Seye Farinu recorded one touchdown, while quarterback Joe Clarke passed for 211 yards on the night and three touchdowns – two of those going to Gavin Cobb.

Players of the Game (as selected by BC High School Football):

MVP: Jack McDonald, South Delta Sun Devils

Outstanding Lineman: Easton Garard, Mt. Douglas Rams

Outstanding Back: Lucas Kirk, South Delta Sun Devils

Chiko’s Champion of the Game

QB Lucas Kirk (South Delta) – Lucas Kirk has been tested at every stage of the playoffs, and their final game was no different. Kirk remained composed under extreme pressure, making great passing plays even while fending off Mt. Doug’s attempts to contain him.

Back-to-back year of the Bulldogs

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Photo credit: Daniel Fung, Football BC

The John Barsby Bulldogs showed their bark and their bite on Subway Bowl Saturday against the Mission Roadrunners on their way to capturing their second consecutive Double A championship at BC Place.

The Bulldogs effectively shut down the Roadrunners’ superstar Jesse Walker when it mattered most, but it was the work of Trentyn Anderson, Kieren Carreck, Cole Virtanen, Chris DeGoutiere and North Rainey that ultimately led the team to their 36-20 win.

Anderson and Carreck both scored touchdowns in the first quarter to put the Bulldogs ahead at 14-0, but it was Rainey and DeGoutiere that helped the Bulldogs fend off the relentless offensive efforts of the Roadrunners.

DeGoutiere caught two passes from Rainey for touchdowns, while Rainey also scored on a 28-yard run. Virtanen, who was named the game’s MVP, did not put any scores on the board but battled for hard earned yards and was especially effective on defence.

This marks the team’s third championship win in five years.

Mission’s only scores of the night came from rushing phenom Jesse Walker, who recorded three touchdowns in the loss.

Players of the Game (as selected by BC High School Football):

MVP: Cole Virtanen, John Barsby

Outstanding Lineman: Josh Gouldston, John Barsby

Outstanding Back: North Rainey, John Barsby

Chiko’s Champion of the Game

QB Jesse Walker (Mission) – Mission didn’t get the win they’d hoped for, but quarterback Jesse Walker showed how crucial he was to the team by rushing for three touchdowns to keep the team’s hopes of a win alive even after being targeted all game long by the Bulldogs.

Ravens soar to another title

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Photo Credit: Daniel Fung, Football BC

In a game between two traditional football powerhouse schools, it was the Terry Fox Ravens who clawed their way to a provincial title against the Notre Dame Jugglers.

The Ravens’ offence was too much for the Jugglers to handle, as Jeremie Kankolongo and Zander Bailey caught fire, leading the team to a 34-14 win over Notre Dame to capture the Carey Lapa Memorial Trophy, fittingly named after the late coach from Terry Fox.

Kangolongo, who was named the MVP, put three scores on the board for the Ravens, including one on impressive 50 yard run. Bailey, meanwhile, recorded two touchdowns on the day, including the first touchdown of the game on a 57-yard run to stun the Jugglers early in the first quarter.

This is the second time in three years that the Ravens have secured the provincial AAA JV title. Last year, they were runner-ups to St. Thomas More, who they beat this year in the quarterfinals.

Notre Dame’s Brendan Woodman and Matthew Maneta would score Notre Dame’s only touchdowns of the day, with Maneta’s 44-yard run being the offensive highlight for the Jugglers.

The Jugglers were shut out of the provincial title picture this year despite being the only school with two teams competing on the final championship day. Their Grade 8 team lost earlier in the day to Lord Tweedsmuir.

Players of the Game (as selected by BC High School Football):

MVP: Jeremie Kankolongo, Terry Fox Ravens
Outstanding Lineman: Mario Marra, Notre Dame Jugglers
Outstanding Back: Zander Bailey, Terry Fox Ravens

Chiko’s Champion of the Game

FB Jeremie Kankolongo (Terry Fox Ravens) – Kankolongo was hands down the hardest working player on the field today, recording three touchdowns and battling for every yard. After being shaken on a play late in the game, he returned to the field to ensure that the Ravens kept up the lead. Great work today, Jeremie!

Grizzlies grab back-to-back championships

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Photo Credit: Philip Chan

The GW Graham Grizzlies are back to back AA Junior varsity champions after a great team effort that saw several players contribute to capturing of their second consecutive championship.

Thanks to the combined efforts of Wyatt Uzick, Von Richardson, and Emilio Pineda, the Grizzlies were able to beat out the valiant comeback efforts of the Panthers to win 23-13.

Uzick, Richardson, and Pineda all recorded one touchdown each, while Uzick had a crucial rush while pinned deep in his own end zone in the fourth quarter to earn a critical first down effectively stopping the Panthers from rallying back.

Notably, the Panthers had a great third quarter, scoring two touchdowns, including one by Samwel Uko, to keep the game close at 14-13. Thanks to the defensive efforts of Tyson Reid, who had several knockdowns including one in his own end zone late in the first half, the Panthers managed to keep the game close up until the fourth quarter when the Grizzlies pulled away for good.

Players of the Game (as selected by BC High School Football):

MVP: Von Richardson, GW Graham Grizzlies
Outstanding Lineman: Jaren Lengert, GW Graham Grizzlies
Outstanding Back: John Madigan, Abbotsford Panthers

Chiko’s Champion of the Game
 
QB Wyatt Uzick (GW Graham) – Uzick scored the first touchdown for the Grizzlies but, most importantly, orchestrated an important play on fourth down late in the fourth quarter by rushing for a first down deep in their end zone, putting an end to the Panthers’ chances for a comeback.

Lord of the Turf

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Photo credit: Daniel Fung, Football BC

The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers are back on top of the Grade 8 Mountain and for that they can thank star running back Braeden Hutchirson.

Hutchirson found the end zone three times, including twice in the second half, to lead the Panthers to a 28-0 win in the Quadra Cup championship game over the Notre Dame Jugglers.

The win gave the Panthers their fourth Grade 8 title in the last six years and their first since 2011.

With the Panthers already leading 7-0 after a Kojo Odoom score in the opening quarter, Hutchirson scored his first of three on the day just before half-time on a 51-yard touchdown run.

He’d cap his MVP day with two more majors in the fourth quarter scoring on a massive 61-yard run, and then recovering a fumble for another touchdown to put the game out of reach.

The Jugglers had a difficult time putting points on the board all day. Their most impressive drive came on a 29-yard pass by Will Clarke to Nick Belmonte although it did not lead to any points.

Players of the Game (as selected by BC High School Football):

Outstanding Lineman: Hayden Powers-Ginther
Outstanding Back: Kojo Odoom
MVP: Braeden Hutchirson

Chiko’s Champion of the Game:

Kojo Odoom (Lord Tweedsmuir) – Although Kojo didn’t score as many touchdowns as Braeden Hutchirson, he was a workhorse all throughout the game, literally carrying the team on his back to gain tough yards.