Prestigious award for coach

Chilliwack Minor Football Association coach Laurie Smith was awarded the Community Coach of the Year award at the Orange Helmet Awards banquet, held Friday at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The Orange Helmet Awards are an annual event hosted by the Canadian Football League’s B.C. Lions, celebrating community and high school football in B.C.

Coaches at each level of community and scholastic football are recognized for championships and awards are given to the scholastic and community coaches of the year.

Smith was the helmsman for the 2010 B.C. Community Football Association peewee provincial champion Chilliwack Giants.

“I’m obviously deeply honored to be recognized for something our entire team accomplished. But the real credit goes to the kids and an outrageously good coaching staff that includes Andy Uzick, Mike Derksen, John Breslin, David Janzen, Kris Lengert and Dave McCracken, Smith noted. “The fact that our kids exercised overt sportsmanship and came together as a true team are the things I’m most proud about.”

Smith’s Giants, the first peewee team in Chilliwack history to win a provincial championship, enjoyed a dream season that included a trip to Nebraska and opportunities to play at Empire Field during half-time of a B.C. Lions game. They also appeared prior to a Seattle Seahawks game at Qwest Field, where the players were the flag bearers in the pre-game national anthem ceremony.

This is the second time a CMFA coach has received an award, the first coming last year when Suresh Parray was recognized for the 2009 BCCFA midget provincial championship.

All proceeds raised by the Orange Helmet Awards go to minor football in the province.

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