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Bronco win a long time coming for Huskers

The Chilliwack Huskers hadn't won a BC Football Conference game in over three years before beating the Kamloops Broncos.
As wins go

Eleven hundred and four days.

That’s how many passed between regular season wins for the BC Football Conference Chilliwack Huskers.

From Oct. 3, 2009 and a 28-25 triumph over the now-defunct Vancouver Trojans, the Huskers and their fans suffered through two 0-10 seasons.

They were on the cusp of a third until last Saturday, when they finally found their way onto the proper side of the scoreboard.

On a soggy day at Exhibition Stadium, the Huskers found their way past the visiting Kamloops Broncos, taking a 17-10 decision.

Their final record in 2012.

A wince-worthy 1-9.

But for the first time in recent memory, the team can go into an offseason on a high note, and perhaps buy into the notion that there are better days ahead.

“You got this sense of a weight being lifted off your shoulders,” happy head coach Tyson St. James said of the seconds after the final whistle blew. “Watching the guys celebrate, that’s what you do it for. To see what they accomplished after such a long and enduring season, what’s what all of us were doing it for.”

Travis Mackie was one of those players, the only player on the Chilliwack sideline who was playing his final BCFC game.

Mackie started in the Howie Zaron era and endured a whole lotta losing. More than any other player, Mackie was the one St. James was happiest for.

“It’s been four pretty dry years for him,” St. James said. “But after all that, he was still talking about how much the team progressed this year and how much fun he had.”

The team started with 70 players at training camp.

Half those players were long gone by the time Saturday rolled around.

“We had 35 guys who stuck with it, guys who wanted to be on the field, wouldn’t give up and wanted to put it all on the line,” St. James gushed. “Sometimes you learn more from defeat than from success, and those guys kept buying in. It’s a testament to them that they wanted to learn those life lessons.”

For the record, Chilliwack native Josh Hayden and fellow running back Ty Derayos had rushing touchdowns, and Dan Erickson knocked through a 32 yard field goal.

Chilliwack’s defence picked up four interceptions, two by Kris Bush and one apiece from Erickson and Dan Coffin.

Travis Shields had a fumble recovery.

All of them left the field Saturday believing it won’t be another 1,104 days between wins.

“We’ve got the guys and the culture we can build on,” St. James said. “We’re already putting our shoulder back into it, getting ready for next year.”

Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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