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.
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