If the Ballenas Whalers senior football team wants to make the playoffs this season, Friday night’s game against the NDSS Islanders is a must win.
The Whalers will take to the Merle Logan turf field in Nanaimo for some “Friday night lights” action tomorrow, looking to keep their playoff hopes alive at the expense of the Islanders.
Having been riddled with the injury bug through their season so far, the Whalers will be getting starting quarterback Garrin McDonnell back in the lineup this week, which will give them an offensive boost.
“Getting Garrin back is big for us,” co-ordinator Mike Seselja said. “These guys know it’s a must win game for us this weekend if we want to have a shot at making the playoffs.”
“If we can win this one, that’ll give us a boost in confidence and allow us to get a couple more players back from injury heading into the playoffs,” Seselja said.
“They know what’s at stake here and we just need to prepare ourselves the best we can for that game on Friday night.”
Coming off a bye week, the Whalers got some extra practice time in over the last two weeks and allowed some extra time for injured players to do what they could to heal up to return to game action.
The last time the Whalers were on the field, they took a 35-7 loss at the hands of the Carson Graham Eagles at home. With McDonnell back in the lineup, the offense will be one step closer to looking like its old self once again.
“We’ve been hit hard with injuries,” Seselja said. “Not just that there’s been a good number of injuries but they’ve all been to our senior players too.”
“The players who’ve been able to stay healthy, they’ve done well in stepping up and trying to help this team win with our guys injured. Having Garrin back in our lineup allows us to get back to being a little more comfortable in our positions and gives us a real good chance at winning the game too.”
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• On the junior side of the ball, the junior Whalers have been on a role as of late and were looking to continue that streak heading into action Wednesday afternoon against their rival Barsby Bulldogs (score not available at press time).
Undefeated so far this season, the junior Whalers have found success everytime out on the field and will look to solidify their chance at hosting a playoff game.
“We’ve been playing really good,” junior coach Jeremy Conn said. “We’re excited for this one, rematch games are always exciting and especially against Barsby.”
“They’re bigger than we are, they’re pretty good too and they’re well disciplined. My hope is that our guys aren’t over confident heading into the game but that they’re confident enough in knowing that they have what it takes to beat them.”