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Sardis secondary looking to name sports field after Rick Klassen

The school will be making a presentation to the Chilliwack School Board
Sardis Falcons alumni Rick Klassen led the B.C. Lions to a Grey Cup championship in 1985.

The greatest football player to ever come out of Chilliwack may soon have a field named after him.

Sardis secondary principal Dan Heisler, teacher/athletics director Brad Geary and alumnus George Chayka are making a presentation to the Chilliwack Board of Education Jan. 12, suggesting the field behind the school be renamed the Rick Klassen Field.

The field currently is unnamed, and Geary thinks it would be a great tribute to the Sardis alum who starred in the Canadian Football League with the B.C. Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“It will be great if we can add some history and motivation for our students by naming this school field after our most famous athletic alumnus,” Geary said. “It gives our students something to aim for as Rick was an honour roll student and gifted multi-sport athlete, who played football at, and graduated from, a Canadian university and then went on to set records in the CFL.”

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Klassen graduated from Sardis in the mid-1970s and went on to Simon Fraser University.

From there he joined the Lions, calling B.C. Place Stadium home from 1981-87 and 1989-90. He was the Most Valuable Canadian in the 1983 Grey Cup, one the Lions lost 18-17 to the Toronto Argonauts.

Klassen led the Lions back to the final in 1985 where they snapped a 21 year title drought with a 37-24 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Over their first two seasons, the Sardis Falcons have played their home games at Exhibition Field in downtown Chilliwack, but by the sounds of it, Geary is looking to have home games be actual home games.

“It is our hope, COVID willing, to have our first home game in September 2021, in front of the whole school on the newly named Rick Klassen Field,” Geary said. “The Falcon Football Alumni Committee (headed by Chayka, who is vice president of the B.C. Lions) and the Sardis PAC are in a fund-raising partnership to purchase and install football uprights on this field.”

Klassen died in 2016 after battling cancer.

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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

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