Wednesday, Oct 4, 2017 



The Finale

Huskers embark on their last game Oct 7
By Rod Hudson, Blake Robertson, BCFC Media & Business Development


Voice file photo.


ust a quick reminder that the Huskers final game of the season is this Saturday at 1pm against the Kamloops Broncos.


"Kamloops is in much the same situation as Chilliwack having won only one game this season so this weekend's game promises to be a close match," said Rod Hudson, media rep for the Chilliwack Huskers.


"The Huskers have shown much improvement over the season and could it be that we might have improved enough to win one? Come out on Saturday afternoon and cheer the boys on."

The game day sponsors are: Scotia Bank and Big O Tire.

While only one of the three games this weekend* has actual play-off implications, all of them offer interesting storylines. The Huskers host the Kamloops Broncos, as the players have their final opportunity to christen head coach Bob Reist with the “Gatorade shower” for his first win, while at the same time they try to avoid tying their own team record for most consecutive losses (31), which the club established over the 2009/2012 seasons.

The conference record, one the Huskers will have no interest in breaking would have to wait until 2018 as that mark sits at 35 games. Pride is on the line here for both clubs, but in that area, it might mean a bit more to the Broncos, a club that had hoped to be in the play-off race. Either way, these clubs match up well, so it should be a good one to watch.

Road bet of the week. In every case the visitors have a real shot to come away with a win. The Huskers are due for a win, so pick them to end the streak at home against the Calgary Broncos.

Now, before you read on let me be clear that I believe a football player who wants to attend university for an education should do so…if he is going to school for that genuine reason. As someone who has been involved with junior football since 1988 I’ve seen dozens upon dozens of instances where an athlete left junior to “go to school”, only to either drop out or take classes designed to allow him to stay in school and play football, not earn an actual degree. Even with a scholarship provided by the university, the player compiles debt, often substantial debt, to attend school because Canadian university sports scholarships generally do not come anywhere close to covering the actual cost of going to school.

If a junior player is considering the move to university either before, or after junior eligibility expires be honest with yourself as to why you are making the move. As a starter at U Sport, the commitments both financial and time due to increased practice schedules are massive. If you aren’t a starter, you have the same commitment level which can make the whole experience disappointing on many levels.

I understand university coaches recruiting junior players, their concern is their team, not the damage they may be doing to the junior club’s roster by recruiting players with junior eligibility remaining. I also understand junior coaches assisting their players who want to attend university for an education. I’m not sure, however, if I understand the concept of a university coach standing at mid field or on a sideline scouting players during a game.

Junior football is a business in that while our clubs are non-profit, on field success goes a long way to ensuring the club stays afloat, losing talented players can hurt our bottom line. If our clubs are serving as a farm term for U Sport as we develop players for them, shouldn’t a farm team compensation exist? I know that junior coaches will be quick to mention they benefit from universities sending players to junior as well, the difference is those players are ones the university either don’t need or are losing anyway because they are leaving school. Many of those mentioned players may also have little impact on a junior roster either.

Three questions to ponder:

1. How it would go over if junior coaches stood at mid field of a U-Sport game to recruit players that the university in question wanted to keep?
2. What percentage of junior players who later attend university actually obtain a degree?
3. Has a university coach ever had a conversation with a player that went like this;

“Son, I know you are passing your classes, and we really need you on this team. But let’s be honest, you are only in school for football and the bills you are piling on yourself through student loans aren’t in your best interest. Maybe university football isn’t what best for you.”

This column is for opinion purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the British Columbia Football Conference or its teams.

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