With the intensity ramping up and the next round of the playoffs just around the corner, the Ballenas Whalers say they are ready for a big game against the Hugh Boyd Trojans on Friday.
The boys will travel to Richmond for their second-round match against the Trojans after defeating the Westsyde Blue Wave 51-6 last week. Looking for another win to move on to the next round, both the junior and senior squads have been taking advantage of the weather, field and lighting at Springwood Middle School for practices in advance of this week’s game.
“Practices have been great, some of our best of the year,” head coach Jeremy Conn said. “The players have picked up their intensity and are giving the extra effort that’s needed in the playoffs.”
If the Whalers are going to win their game on Friday, they’ll need to play their physical style of game on both sides of the ball. This has helped them rally off six wins in a row as of last week and they will look to continue that winning streak on Friday.
“The players are all upbeat, they’re ready,” Conn said. “They know they can win as long as we play Whaler football. That means no excuses, play rough and tough, physical football with the ability to make big plays in any phase of the game.”
A great, all-around effort last week against Weststyde has the team firing on all cylinders and with Coltin Laplante and the powerful running game, the Whalers will aim to continue their dominant ground game. Defensively, the likes of Jonah ‘Haymaker’ Hay, Steve Martin and Cobby Stubbins will all look to leave their mark on the Trojans offense.
“Our key concept has been ‘do your job’,” Conn said. “I can sense that the players have a much better understanding of what to do and how to do it. They’ve been coming together over the last month and it’s showing.”
The Whalers have been playing an aggressive but smart game, something they’ve gotten into the habit of doing over the last month.
Holding teams under double digits in four of their last five games has spoken volumes about the defense. The offense also continues to roll, even with two different quarterbacks, Brody Seselja and Garrin McDonnell, at the helm.
A win Friday leads them to the semi-finals against either the Mission Roadrunners or the Carson Graham Eagles.
It’s a big game for the Whalers and Conn said: “We’re going to do our job, we’re going to bring the intensity and we’re going to play Whaler football.”
— The junior Whalers won their first playoff game (28-20 over Mission) and were scheduled to take on Duchess Park (Prince George) this week but a forfeit will see the Whalers move on to the semi-finals against either Abbotsford Secondary or Robert Bateman (Abbotsford).