A snow plow begins the job of clearing a heavy Tuesday snowfall from the surface of Terry Fox Field at SFU Stadium in the early afternoon hours of Wednesday. The host Red Leafs are set to face the visiting UBC Thunderbirds in the first Shrum Bowl in 12 years on Friday evening. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2022. All Rights Reserved)
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After a fresh coat of the white stuff, Terry Fox Field gets a Wednesday dusting as we prepare for a winter classic Shrum Bowl! Our preview includes three Thursday stories!

BURNABY — Friday night’s resurrected Shrum Bowl atop Burnaby Mountain could not be coming at a better time for Simon Fraser football.

The school’s new SFU Stadium at Terry Fox field is still shy of its second birthday, the program is in it’s first season as the newly-minted Red Leafs, and on Nov. 12 the team put together one of its most complete efforts as an NCAA school, punishing visiting West Texas A&M 46-14.

Not only was it the Red Leafs’ first home conference win since 2014, it was also its first on-campus conference win since 2013.

So now, despite its 1-8 record, Rigell sees a team carrying itself around campus with an unmistakable pride.

“Hopefully our guys understand the momentum they have created and the direction we are going,” Rigell said recently in reflection of his team’s landmark win. “I know, for the guys, it was nice not to be the laughing stock of the sports world at SFU for a week, and how good that feels, and to want to continue feel that way. They caught a lot pats on the back… and they needed that.”

That feeling has been there ever since, and as Friday’s big game approaches, the head coach admits that no one within the program is taking lightly the opportunity to potentially take things to yet another level with the right kind of effort against UBC.

“Now that the guys have tasted it, I think it’s great because we want to continue to have the success we’re having,” continued Rigell. “After all of the passion we brought to our last game, we get a mulligan… an extra game for what we’ve done. We get one more chance to showcase ourselves to all of Canada. And this game is even picking up a lot of traction in the states, too, especially at Div. 2 because most of the teams are now done for the year.”

On Thursday, we’ll present a series of three stories which look at the past, present and future of B.C.’s very own sports treasure.

In addition, if you can’t make it to Friday’s game, presented by the B.C. Lions and available via live stream through the Lone Star Conference Digital Network at the SFU athletics website, yours truly will have the play-by-play call of the game along with dual analysts Nick Sirski and Len Catling. Our 20-minute pre-game show should be set to air just after 7 p.m.

If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at howardtsumura@gmail.com.

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