The Ballenas Whalers junior varsity football team will need to have their harpoon extra sharp to snag the coveted BC High School Football crown.
They will be experiencing a rare opportunity of playing in one of the most notable football stadiums in the country, BC Place, on Saturday at 11 a.m.
The young Whalers will be playing for the coveted provincial crown in the finals against one of the best football programs in BC high school, the Vernon Panthers.
“It’s very exciting,” said head coach Dan Smith. “This is only the second junior team in our history to get to BC Place in the BC Championships.”
The Whalers finished the regular season with a 4-1 record in the Pacific AA division. They are undefeated in the playoffs and have done well defensively, allowing a total of 15 points to be scored against them while scoring 68 points.
The Whalers will be severely tested by the Panthers who finished their regular season with a 6-0 record in the Interior Hybrid AA . They too are strong defensively, having won their semi-finals 3-0 via field goal against Abbotsford.
“We had some film on the Panthers and they looked very good,” said Smith. “They’re very talented and very athletic. Well-coached. They’re going to be the best team we’ve played all season for sure. They beat Abbotsford which has a very potent, strong offence. Shutting down Abbotsford shows you how good their defence is.”
The Whalers will have to be at their best defensively and try to tame the Panthers’ offense, said Smith.
“Vernon is very talented and we will have to do what Abbotsford did, which was shut them down,” said Smith. “Then we will have to find a way to move the football against them.”
The Whalers will hope to run the ball and will be banking on quaterback Ben Chomolok to execute the plays with running back Steve Boley expected to deliver on the rush plays.
“We’re not only going to have to run the ball as well as we run it but we’re going to have to throw the ball a bit to have success,” said Smith.