Ballenas Junior Whalers quarterback Ryker Pearson rushes into the Centennial Centaurs defense during their exhibition game held at Ballenas field, Sept. 4. — Michael Briones photo

Ballenas Whalers work out kinks against Centaurs in pre-season high school football action

Senior side wins, while JV squad plays hard in defeat

Ballenas Whalers are back on the gridiron.

Whalers teams opened their exhibition high school football season against Triple-A Centennial Secondary Centaurs last week. The Whalers junior varsity squad hosted the Centaurs at Ballenas Secondary on Sept. 4 and played hard but lost 29-24.

The senior Whalers travelled to Coquitlam on Sept. 6 where they were hosted by the Centaurs and ended with a 33-21 win.

Both games were important pre-season preparation for the Whalers. Being a Double-A school, they were able to gauge how they would fare against a Triple-A team that has size, depth and speed.

Head coach Dan Smith said they always line up pre-season games against tougher and bigger schools to motivate the Whalers to push themselves in training and work on improving their game for the B.C. High School Football season.

The junior Whalers’ season opener was a game of two halves.

The Centaurs took control of the first half and pressured the Whalers on both ends. But in the second half, Ballenas made a strong comeback and dominated, shutting out the Centaurs. They still came up short, but it still gave the Whalers a good feeling after the game.

Smith said they came out hard and eliminated many of the errors they committed in the first half, which made a big difference down the stretch.

“It’s a great learning experience for us,” Smith told his players. “There’s two halves to a football game. One of the things that we do here is we finish strong together. That’s what you did today. Let’s take that. This is a new audience so I am going to tell you this, ‘I learn way more losing football games than I ever did winning a football game.” So think about your performance today and honestly think about what you need to do in practice.”

The Whalers were led by quarterback Ryker Pearson, who was prominent in both offence and defence. He had two touchdowns, rushed for 80 yards and had four tackles.

Running back Ayden Chambers got hurt early in the game but bounced back strong to score a touchdown and rushed for 213 yards.

Smith commended the junior Whalers for not quitting. The Whalers played ironman football as they were undermanned.

“With kids like this, it’s easy for them to get discouraged,” said Smith. “The real trick is to try to keep them competing. We had a couple of mistakes in the first half and the kids at this age need to learn how to deal with those kind of adversities. The goal was to flush that stuff and say ‘look let’s not dwell on mistakes right now and let’s get on in the second half. Let’s go win the second.’ We accomplished that.”

The real big test for the Junior Whalers will be on Sept. 20 when they play their first conference game against the Robert Bateman Timberwolves at Ballenas, Sept. 20 at 12 p.m.

Meanwhile, the senior Whalers had to overcome the hot weather conditions and a partisan crowd of approximately 1,000 when they took on the Centaurs. The Whalers, despite having a short bench, took the early lead and were in control 21-7 at the end of the first half.

Demar Honstein scored three touchdowns going 49, 50 and 15 yards rushing respectively, while Jacob Stockton scored a touchdown on a 75-yard run. Quarterback Ben Chomolok also scored a touchdown.

Linebacker Adrian Friesen led the defence with 10 tackles with Jack Giroux adding nine.

The Whalers host Belmont Secondary Bulldogs Sept. 13 at 3:15 p.m. at the Ballenas field. They will play their first conference game on Sept. 20 when they host Robert Bateman Timberwolves at 2 p.m.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

 

Ballenas Junior Whalers Ayden Chambers sprints towards the end zone while being chased down by Centennial Centaurs during their exhibition game held at Ballenas field, Sept. 4. — Michael Briones photo

Just Posted

Baseball clubs seek assistance from Parksville council

Improvements to Springwood diamonds being planned

REDress Project in Parksville honours missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada

Canadian Federation of University Women of Parksville-Qualicum approached city for installation

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read