If the playoffs are a test of strength, then the Barsby Bulldogs are ready to flex their muscle.
John Barsby Community Secondary School’s AA varsity football team (6-0) completed an undefeated regular season and now hosts its post-season opener against the Holy Cross Crusaders (2-3) on Friday (Nov. 9) at Merle Logan Field.
It’s a chance for the ’Dawgs to start finding out if the football that they’ve been learning, practising and playing all season will be good enough to get them to another Subway Bowl provincial championship.
“If you liken yourself to a bunch of different muscle fibres, when the muscle twitches together it’s powerful,” said Rob Stevenson, Barsby coach. “So we’ve got to exercise ourselves mentally and physically. It’s all connected – what we’re doing in the classroom, what we’re doing in the weight room, what we’re doing on the practice field. And hopefully … between all of that, there’s some power behind you.”
The Bulldogs are powerful, all right. En route to their perfect record they outscored opponents 262-35, boasting an arsenal of different contributors on both sides of the ball.
And when it comes to playoffs, most of the Bulldogs are battle-hardened. Barsby’s AA varsity and junior varsity teams have both reached the provincial final two straight years and have a general idea how they stack up with potential playoff opponents.
“We know we can beat these teams. It’s going to be tough, though – you’ve got to be perfect,” said Jacob Odynsky, Barsby wingback. “We’ve got to get the intensity up. It’s always more intense in playoffs.”
The Bulldogs will embrace that. Playoff football is a big deal and Barsby treats it that way. They’re playing for something, and they’ll do whatever’s in their power to achieve it.
“Every time we put our shoulder pads on somebody they’re going to feel that power. They’re going to feel the John Barsby football team from Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, is coming to knock them around,” Stevenson said.
GAME ON … Barsby and Holy Cross kick off Friday at 2:15 p.m. at Merle Logan Field. Admission is free … To read about local junior varsity football, please click here.