BY IAN THORPE
The 31-20 victory by the Kansas City Chiefs over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV had plenty of excitement – mainly by way of 21 straight points by the Chiefs in the final 6:13 of the game to mark an amazing comeback. The result was the first title by K.C. in 50 years, going back to the team’s victory in Super Bowl IV in 1970. It also gave Andy Reid his first championship as a head coach after 21 years of trying.
While not quite on the same level, there is also lots of exciting football action provided each year by local elementary school teams. The Nanaimo Elementary Teachers’ Physical Education Association offers touch football league for boys and girls each fall. The league for bantam (born 2006-07) boys was co-ordinated this year by Sean Walsh.
In the division for larger schools with a population of 310-plus students, the playoff final saw the boys’ team from École Quarterway emerge as district champions thanks to a win over Hammond Bay. The winning squad was coached by Ryan Rauh, assisted by Kevin Hills and staff sponsor Karina Younk. Playing for their school were Tristan Aguilera, Christofer Ciccone, Noah Drew, Timothy Hall, Deacon Hills, Kasper Kuhn, Graeden Ratanshi, Jackson Rauh and Eli Rinald.
For the runner-up team, Kevin Levesque coached a Hammond Bay team that included players Patrick Foster, Armon Sandhu, Seb Jackson, Gabriel De La Espriella, Ashton Wolfe, Thomas Hon, Lucas Hon and Honza Ho.
Third place in playoffs went to Forest Park, where Joe Smith and Steve Daly coached players Declan MacGregor, Keenan DeWit, Jayce Turene, Xavier Inscho, Liam Sullivan, Connor Hocking, Domanic Bushaw and William Colosimo. The fourth-place pennant was claimed by Georgia Avenue.
A separate set of playoffs was held for teams from schools with a smaller population base. In those, the bantam team from Cilaire won the championship title. Tanya Whiting and Chuck Hocker were the coaches and the winning players were Holden West, Wyatt Peace, Cooper Dixon, Dimitri Vassilopoulos, Joe Madill, Cameron Baker, Heidi Cambridge, Lily Power, Maria Schwager, Jorja Furey, Jackson Peters and Roman Lavery.
Taking second place was the co-ed bantam team representing École Pauline Haarer. Players for that school were Lukas Elzinga, Hannah Duffell, Drew Duffell, Lachlan Barnard, Max Rowe, Clare Boulding, Ryley Cofield, Gavin Bourne, Erik Eck, Gabe Parsons, Gabe Flood, Anthony Wyse and Bowen Brunt. Bruce Barnard and Karim Maher were the coaches, with Nadia Elzinga the team sponsor.
Coach Todd Vass and sponsor Rod Huneault saw their Chase River squad take third place overall. Players on the team were Ty Godley, Gavin Yarocki, Ben Anderson, Torin Ford, Max Lillyman, Zayne Arsenault, Jackson Luchtmeyer, Niall O’Hara, Will Scott, Trey Simmons, Tommy Drinnan, Wyatt Toomer, Tucker Vass, Elliott Varner, Josh Mazur, Rylan Maughn and Cooper Tilbury.
Fourth place went to Departure Bay’s bantam boys.
Also this past season, a separate school league operated for bantam girls’ touch football teams. We’ll pass along the girls’ playoff results in a future column.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.