Joel Atkinson (left) and Eric Wieking will be representing Chilliwack secondary and Sardis secondary

Falcons and Storm clash on ice

The old East/West hockey rivalry is being rekindled this weekend by local high school students.

A high school rivalry ignites in a new venue Sunday night as Chilliwack secondary school students face their Sardis secondary foes in a ‘friendly’ hockey match.

The game is being held at Twin Rinks with a 7 p.m. puck drop.

Jake Foley and Joel Atkinson, both CSS students, have put it together as an entrepreneurship project, hoping to tap into the competitive animosity that exists between the two schools.

“I have friends at Sardis, but as soon as they have that different colour jersey on, you want to beat them,” said Foley, who has played basketball at CSS. “We talked to parents and teachers and they say they used to have hockey games like this in the old Coliseum. The rivarly was huge.”

Foley and Atkinson only had the slightest idea what they were doing at the start. They knew they’d need some ice, but had no idea of the cost and availability.

“I had to go on the internet and go down to City Hall,” Atkinson said. “My mom lent me the money, and now I’m hoping enough people show up for me to pay her back.”

The cost of ice was $108 per hour.

They booked an hour and a half, then went looking for players.

Atkinson plays junior B hockey for the Abbotsford Pilots of the Pacific Junior Hockey League.

He recruited Pilots teammate Eric Wieking as his Sardis contact. Wieking didn’t need much arm-twisting to agree.

“I went to Chilliwack middle school, right across the street from CSS, and when I left for Sardis I heard about it a lot,” Wieking laughed. “So I’m here to prove I made the right decision coming to this side of town.”

There has been plenty of chirping in the lead up the game, moreso from the CSS side.

Not that the Sardis guys are angels.

They’re giving almost as good as they’re getting.

“I’ll just let my play do the talking and point to the scoreboard at the end of the game,” Wieking said. “We’re going to have a pretty good team.”

“We’ve got a couple junior B guys and midget AAA guys, and other than that not a lot,” Atkinson said. “But we’ll come together as a team and play the underdog role.”

While Atkinson and Wieking do their thing  yapping at each other and gathering skaters, Foley has been left to deal with promotion.

Charging $5 a head, he figures on needing at least 68 butts in seats to break even on all of their expenses.

Foley has put up posters around town and contacted local media. If early feedback is to be believed, there may be upwards of 120 people in the stands.

“It’s been an eye-opening experience approaching people you’ve never met before and asking them to give you their time or their money,” he said. “I think I have pretty good people skills, but it’s been good to see people wanting to help out.”

Bragging rights are the big prize on the line Sunday night, but Foley and Atkinson hope Monday morning’s spreadsheet will show no red, and hopefully, a bit of green.

“We haven’t made any money yet, but we’re prospecting to make more than $50,” Foley said. “And we get to keep the profits, so any money I take will go towards a new, better car.”

“Any money I make will go towards new rims for my car,” Atkinson echoed.

And don’t forget to pay back your mom.

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