Grizzlies roll into AA playoffs

With a 5-2 regular season behind them, the GW Graham junior varsity Grizzlies face Richmond's Hugh Boyd Trojans in a Thursday playoff.

The GW Graham Grizzlies host the Hugh Boyd Trojans in a playoff game Thursday afternoon, with head coach Laurie Smith hoping it is the first step on the path towards a provincial banner.

Smith’s junior varsity crew wrapped up the regular season last week, falling 35-6 on the road in Abbotsford.

They finished the regular season 5-2, good for third place in the east division standings.

The teams ahead of them, Abbotsford (7-0) and Lord Tweedsmuir, moved up to the AAA playoff bracket, and the Grizzlies were relegated to AA.

“We’re in the playoffs either way, but I’m not sure I’m a big fan of that system,” Smith said. “Last year with the Grade 8s, it was great to get bumped up to AAA and beat some big boys on our way to the provincial final.”

At the same time, if collecting provincial banners is a goal, the Grizzlies face much better odds staying in their weight class.

With 900 students in Grades 7-12, GWG is tailor-made for the AA level.

“It was tough for our Grade 8s to lose in the AAA final, and then see a team (HD Stafford) that we beat quite handily in the regular season win the AA provincial banner,” Smith acknowledged.

That’s not to say the AA bracket will be a cake-walk.

A win over the 2-3 Trojans would set GWG up in a semi-final against one of South Kamloops or Prince George.

GWG would hit the road in either scenario. If PG was the opponent, they’d be taking on a team that went 8-0 in the regular season, with 359 points for and eight against.

The lop-sided loss to Abbotsford shouldn’t carry too much weight when judging GWG’s playoff readiness.

Win or lose, they were going to be in the playoffs, and they faced Abbotsford without their top player.

QB Jordan Breuker was sidelined by a dislocated finger.

Had it been a do-or-die game, he probably would have been in there.

“He will be back playing on Thursday,” Smith confirmed. “He wanted to play against Abbotsford, and we said no.”

His presence will help a GWG offence that is depleted at running back.

Billy Hansen isn’t expected to play, nor is Tristan Davis.

Emerson Smith and Tyler Sprott will split the tailback duties, and Breuker will probably get a ton of carries on QB keepers.

“Jordan can do it all, as long as he doesn’t break something,” Smith chuckled.

The best news of all may be that the Trojans don’t have a Chase Claypool in their lineup. The Abby football phenom was the difference maker in last week’s game.

“We expect him to be good and last week he was great,” Smith said. “The kid runs a 4.5 40, and he’s just phenomenal. Whatever we did didn’t matter. On one of his four TDs, he caught the ball in triple coverage and just sauntered into the endzone.”

Kickoff for Thursday’s playoff game is 4:30 p.m. at Exhibition Stadium.


— The senior squad ended their season with a win, dumping the Samuel Robertson Titans 27-13 Friday.

Quarterback Brandon McCormick led the way.

The first year pivot completed 12 of 19  pass attempts for 227 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for another.

“I hope he keeps playing because he’s got a level of poise that’s hard to teach,” Smith said of his QB, who was a soccer player prior to this year. “He is so relaxed back there and he can throw darts.”

Wideout Jake Creasey had a great game, catching four passes for 106 yards and a major.

He added another 132 yards on four punt returns.

The Titans did a good job bottling up GWG’s top running back, Brett Westad. But Treyvon Walsh was effective out of the backfield, picking up close to 100 yards.

The Grizzlies finished their first senior season 2-5.

They will not be in the playoffs.

“I remember saying a couple weeks ago, after they were eliminated from playoff contention, that I hope they don’t mail it in,” Smith said. “Kudos that they didn’t. They were out-gunned in most of their games against bigger, stronger and tougher teams. But they showed a ton of heart.”

Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: Rubik’s Rumble a hit at Chilliwack middle school

Students fill gymnasium for first annual tournament focusing on popular puzzle toy

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

Most Read