Barsby football squads return to finals

John Barsby Community School is going to be well represented at the B.C. High School Football championships Saturday (Dec. 3).

Barsby Bulldogs AA varsity running back Nate Berg gains yardage during a game against Holy Cross earlier this season at Merle Logan Field. The Bulldogs play in the Subway Bowl provincial championship this Saturday (Dec. 3) in Vancouver.

John Barsby Community School will be well-represented at the B.C. High School Football championships Saturday (Dec. 3).

Riding convincing wins in last weekend’s semifinal action, both Barsby’s AA varsity and junior varsity Bulldogs are going back to the Subway Bowl at B.C. Place.

The two teams reached the finals last year, with the seniors earning the school’s first championship since 2000.

The junior Bulldogs lost in the final, but are looking for redemption, facing the Mission Roadrunners this year, the same team that denied them the championship last year.

The juniors went 4-0 in regular season play, not allowing the opposition to score a single point in the process.

The team reached the championship game with a 41-6 romp of Robert Bateman Secondary Friday in Burnaby.

The seniors also face the Roadrunners for the title, coming off a 54-6 steamroll of the Vernon Panthers at the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbird Stadium Friday.

Rob Stevenson handles the head coaching duties for both Barsby squads and said it’s fulfilling to get back to the championships one year later.

“It’s a reflection of the hard work from the players, the coaches and the parents,” he said.

Both teams will take to the field undefeated, but Stevenson is not concerned his players will be overconfident.

“We have a veteran group and everybody knows we were humbled last year in the junior varsity final,” he said. “And at least half the junior squad knows the pain of that loss.”

Ryan Dekker, a centre with the senior ’Dawgs, played in that junior final last year and knows both his team, and his younger counterparts, will not have it easy.

“We know they’re both good teams, they’re not going to roll over,’ he said. “There’s a reason they got this far.”

Still, Dekker doesn’t think the Bulldogs will worry too much about the Roadrunners, but concentrate on playing their game.

Isaac Mitchell, quarterback for the seniors, said getting back to the final means a lot, but the season, no matter how successful, won’t be complete without that last win.

“We’re dialed into this. This is what we worked for all season,” he said. “We have faith in our ability. We’re not overconfident, but we’re not shooting for second.”

Kick off for the junior varsity championship is 10 a.m. Saturday and the seniors take to the field at 3 p.m.

Buses will be transporting Barsby students and fans to the game on the Lower Mainland.

Tickets are $20 and available at the school’s main office. For more information, please call 250-753-8211.

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