From Underdogs to Contenders: The Teams Shaking Up the 2023 Varsity Football Season

The 2023 varsity football season is well underway, and the excitement is palpable as programs make their run toward the championship in December. The usual suspects in B.C. football sit amongst the top in the rankings, but many programs find themselves climbing the ranks with strong preseason and early regular season performances.

In the AA division, three programs have caught the attention of fans and analysts alike with their stellar play on both sides of the ball. Their performances have earned them a rightful spot in the top ten.

Holy Cross has bumped John Barsby from third place with a dominant 49-0 victory over the Earl Marriott Mariners. The Holy Cross defence, led by Ben Laurin and Riley Brisebois, stunned the Mariners and their running game on the opposite side of the ball would prove to be fruitful as Justin Tan would tally two touchdowns in the game.

Windsor has climbed to sixth with their own 49-0 victory over Nanaimo District. Their strong start, beginning with a kick returned for a touchdown, paired with defensive intensity and precision passing, proved to be too much for Nanaimo District. Windsor has bumped down Langley to seventh with their victory.

Westsyde has seen the biggest rise, going from outside of the top ten to ninth, bumping Earl Marriott back to the outside. Westsyde has tallied three straight victories in September, most recently a 32-13 victory against Salmon Arm.

In the AAA division, Carson Graham has jumped to second in anticipation of their battle with Vancouver College on Saturday. Graham continues to impress with a 42-29 victory over St. Thomas More. Entering the second half, the scoreboard would read 20-16 in favour of the Knights. However, a twenty-point third quarter would spell the end for the Knights as Carson Graham, backed by a brilliant performance from Kai Nickle, would emerge victorious.

Lord Tweedsmuir is the highest climber in AAA as they claim fourth after ranking outside the top ten on September 26th. Tweedsmuir impressed with a 34-14 victory over Seaquam in their most recent matchup. Saying Jaxon Allen’s performance was incredible would be an understatement as he would tally 278 rushing yards with two touchdowns along with seven tackles and two sacks on the defensive end. Ede Adimose would also flourish on both ends of the ball with ten tackles and one sack, including two touchdowns. Seaquam would drop to ten following this defeat.

W.J. Mouat and South Delta have inched up a spot, climbing up to sixth and seventh, respectively. Both programs continue their consistent play on the field and look to pick up victories and continue their upward trend this Friday.

New Westminster follows Lord Tweedsmuir to the top ten after ranking just outside last week. The Hyacks thrived with the ball on the ground, earning an average of nine yards per carry in the game. D’Mari Reid was the standout for the Hyacks, scoring one touchdown and ninety-four yards in five carries.

Rutland has jumped to ninth following a 26-0 victory over Terry Fox. Rutland exited the first half leading 19-0, showing good offensive production and defensive execution. Rutland will look to carry their momentum into Friday, taking on Lord Tweedsmuir.

The AA and AAA divisions have seen some impressive performances from programs, old and new, and the rankings are constantly shifting. With the championship in December looming, it will be interesting to see which programs will emerge as the top contenders. Stay tuned for more updates on the 2023 varsity football season.

Tejpaul Garcha

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