Michael Briones photo                                Ballenas Whalers quarterback Ben Chomolok (11) and running back Adrian Friesen (32) were named the AA Western Conference offensive and defensive MVPs respectively.

Michael Briones photo Ballenas Whalers quarterback Ben Chomolok (11) and running back Adrian Friesen (32) were named the AA Western Conference offensive and defensive MVPs respectively.

Ballenas Whalers players earn gridiron all-star nods

Pair of local standouts also earn MVP accolades

The Ballenas Whalers senior varsity squad entered the playoffs with a perfect record in the AA Western Conference of the BC Secondary Schools Football Association.

The Whalers have a host of players who stood out in achieving this feat.

The football association has honoured as all-stars 10 Whalers players for their inspiring and key plays — offensively and defensively — during the regular season.

Leading the way is Whalers quarterback Ben Chomolok who was named Western Conference’s offensive Most Valuable Player. Joining him in the offensive all-star list are receivers Nathan Robinson and Jacob Stockton, running back Demar Hohnstein, offensive linemen Gage Geiger and Caden Dore-Radil.

On defence, Whalers linebacker Adrian Friesen earned the Western Conference’s MVP. He has been the key to the Whalers tough defence this season.

Also earning defensive all-star honours are defensive linemen Matthew Muelleder, linebacker Bruce McCabe, and defensive back Joe Chaput.

The senior Whalers have a bye in the first round of the 2019 Subway Bowl playoffs, the prize for finishing first in the Western Conference with a 3-0 record.

Who they will host in the quarterfinals at Merle Logan Field in Nanaimo on Nov. 15 remains to be determined. It will be the winner between Robert Bateman Timberwolves and South Kamloops Titans.

In the overall rankings in the double A tier the Vernon Vipers, who are the defending BC championships, are the team to beat and are ranked first.

Ballenas Whalers are ranked second and head coach Dan Smith had told the players that they now have to shift gear from regular season to playoff mode.

Although they won against Argyle Pipers 34-3 in their last conference game, Smith said it was not their best game.

Since they don’t know who they will be playing, the Whalers have been watching videos of both the Timberwolves and the Titans.

They are preparing for both teams.

Smith told the Whalers at the end of the game against the Pipers that they have a golden opportunity to win a provincial title.

“When something is this close, this is the time to keep your focus,” said Smith.

“Absolutely focus. The win is right there. How close is it. It’s just right there. So we got to keep working at it.”

The Junior Varsity Whalers are also honing their game for their quarter-final match up against the Timberwolves on Nov. 13 at Merle Logan Field in Nanaimo at 1 p.m.