The Ballenas Whalers junior varsity team dropped their first BC Secondary Schools Football 2021 conference game, falling 36-2 against Argyle Junior Pipers in front of home fans at Ballenas field, Sept. 15.
The young Whalers, mostly first-time football players, were outplayed by the visiting Pipers, who showed up with more than 30 players that had size, speed and game experience.
Whalers coaches credited the players for not giving up.
Ballenas only had over 20 players with some already playing ironman football. They continued to put up a fight despite losing some key players to injury and trailing 36-0 in the last few minutes in the fourth quarter.
Their efforts were not in vain as the Whalers defence did earn the team a two-point safety, avoiding a whitewash.
After the game, head coach Dan Smith told the players to hold their heads high.
“You played football today,” said Smith. “I don’t care what the score was. You played today and you competed. Just remember that.”
Coach Jeremy Conn told the Whalers it’s just one game and that they can only get better as the season progresses.
“We’re going to learn from this game, get a lot tougher and make some changes,” said Conn.
The JV Whalers have a bye next week, which Conn said will be favourable as it will give injured players more time to heal and also more opportunity to hone their game.
Their next conference game will be at West Vancouver on Sept 29.
The Whalers Senior Varsity side will play their first conference on the road against the Argyle Pipers at William Griffin Park on Sept. 17 at 2:30 p.m. They play their first home game against the Langley Saints on Friday, Sept. 24 at Ballenas field at 3:30 p.m.