That’s some pride.
Oceanside’s Peewee Lions chewed up the Barsby Dawgs 28-12 at Springwood Park Sunday and ran the table on their season with nine straight wins.
The young Lions marked the start of the game running through a hand-painted LET’S GO LIONS banner courtesy of Varsity Whaler Alexander Adams, and then loped down the sidelines smiling as they served up high-fives to family and friends.
The game itself was a battle as expected, and the Lions, well, let’s just say they pounced on their opportunities.
Speedy Ben Robinson scored three touchdowns — two on the ground and one in the air “and the defence, the whole team played extremely well … it was great team win,” a proud-sounding head coach Harold Barker said after.
Worth noting is that young Mr. Robinson finished the season with 20 touchdowns, the most in the league.
By all accounts, this is the first time a Parksville Peewee team has ever gone undefeated.
“Barsby does it all the time — it’s the first time we’ve done it though,” said Barker, in his third season with the team and current president of Oceanside Youth Football.
“A real good group of kids,” he said of his squad of 8-11 year-olds, explaining that prior to this season only 10 kids on the roster of 24 had played before, “so as far as learning the game, learning positioning and all that, the kids were phenomenal. It took a lot of work, a lot of practicing, but it all paid off.”
“For sure,” he said when asked if the kids were amped for their final game.
“They were excited. They understood that we’ve never had a team go that far, and they wanted it.”
Barsby went into the game 7-1 — their lone loss against the Lions earlier this season.
Asked what next, Barker said “that’s it unfortunately — for Peewees we don’t have a playoff around here.”
Contacted for some insight into the accomplishment, long-time OYF booster and vice-president Rome Novak — this was his 12th season helping guide the local program — confirmed the future of the sport in these parts looks to be on solid footing.
“It seems like a new generation coming up,” he said, pointing out the Lions were 7-1 last year “and the kids just keep improving.”
“It’s all about having fun and developing some skills in the game,” he said, paused, then chuckled and said “the kids are sure pumped about going undefeated.”
In other action, Oceanside’s Jr. Bantam Titans lost their final game of the regular season at Springwood on Sunday against the first place Barsby Dawgs but it didn’t matter much.
The Titans finish the regular season sitting third out of five teams, and will travel to Campbell River Sunday to take on the second place hometown Fighting Eagles in the first round of their playoffs.
The Dawgs play the forth place Fairview Cowboys out of Nanaimo, and the winners square off the following weekend in the Mid-Island championship for 12 and 13 year olds.