The Ballenas Whalers football program had a remarkable season, as both the juniors and seniors reached the playoffs in BC High School Football play.
The Junior Varsity Whalers went on to play in the AA Subway Bowl final at BC Place but fell short, losing to the eventual champions Windsor Dukes 25-14.
The Senior Varsity Whalers reached the semifinals of the AAA Subway Bowl but lost to the defending champions and the province’s number one school, the Vernon Panthers.
The Whalers coaches, parents, teachers, friends and the many volunteers recently celebrated this year’s achievements at the Ballenas Whalers Football Annual Awards Dinner, held at the Parksville Community Conference Centre.
Head coach Dan Smith, in his New Year’s message to the Whalers football family, said that it was a priveleged for him to share the on and off the field successes of the Whalers.
“Having said that, the agony of disappointment was profound for me,” said Smith. “Winning is awesome and should be celebrated. However, I have learned a lot more about myself from loss and disappointment than I ever did from winning.”
Smith also commended the moral and physical courage of the players.
“I am constantly amazed at the courage and competitiveness of our Whaler players and I especially respect those undersized players who compete against much bigger players everyday,” said Smith.
This year’s most valuable players for senior and junior varsities were quarterbacks Ben Chomolok and Ryker Pearson.
Chomolok, who was named the Double A Western Conference MVP, was also presented with the leadership award.
Other senior Whalers presented with awards were:
Inspirational – Luis Luna
Outsanding Offensive Line – Gage Geiger
Outstanding Defensive Line – Matthew Muelleder
Most Improved – Caden Dore-Radil
Sportsmanlike – Jordan Macphail
Outstanding defensive back – Joe Chaput
Outstanding Linebacker – Adrian Friesen
Special Teams – Bruce McCabe
Outstanding Back – Demar Hohnstein
Outstanding Receiver – Jacob Stockton
Scholar Athlete – Jack Giroux
Ragnar Award – Adrian Friesen
Weight Room Award – Braedon Osmond
International ‘Rudy’ Sportsman – Lennart Tjarks.
The Junior Whalers award winners were:
Inspirational – Mark Filko
Outstanding Lineman – Enzo Agostini and Jonah Anderson
Most Improved – Brayden Jupe
Leadership – Jonah Anderson
Outstanding Defensive Back – Reme Conway;
Special Teams – Anthony Poetizer
Outstanding Back/Receiver – Ayden Chambers
Scholar Athlete – Jonah Anderson
Ragnar Award – Will Dubesky.