The longest championship streak in provincial high school sports history was snapped this past fall at 86 straight years.
Ever since King Edward won the first B.C. high school football title in 1934, a gridiron champ has been crowned in our province.
Thankfully, those behind the scenes at the B.C. Secondary Schools Football Association are trying to turn a glum page in the association’s glorious history following the pandemic-cancelled 2020 season, by writing something of a momentous new chapter.
“I think we’re all trying to find the silver lining,” said BCSSFA president Travis Bell, part of a committee hard at work to honour the association’s All-Decade Teams from the 1930s through 2020.
“Honouring our history is so important, especially coming off a season in which we didn’t play any games” continued Bell, vice-principal at Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman Secondary and a former senior varsity football head coach in the city.
“It’s important for us to remind ourselves of what our association stands for… that we’ve been developing student-athletes since 1934,” he added. “So while it’s been a bit of a downer this season, we’ve taken time to intentionally celebrate our history.”
To that end, the BCSSFA is encouraging the public to lend a hand in the selection process via on-line nomination. You can click here to take part.
“The intent of the survey is that we’re asking our fans to provide us names, ones we may perhaps have missed, so that all eras are covered,” said Bell. “For example, people who may have actually played in the 1960s or 70s will know more about what was happening then.
“It’s not a voting process,” clarified Bell. “It’s about putting names forward for the committee to consider as we’re making these decisions.”
A quick scan of the most recent Subway Bowl championship program, from the 2019 finals at B.C. Place lists every Outstanding Back since 1967, every Outstanding Lineman since 1967, and every championship MVP since 1973.
Needless to say, there are a lot of holes to fill, yet Bell and the rest of his committee members are encouraged by the way the project has been embraced since announced last week via social media.
“I am looking at the lists so far, and we’ve got a dozen names from the 1950s, 20 or so from the 1960s, over 30 from the 1970s,” he says. “Obviously it’s easier to come up with names from the 2010s. We’ve got over 400 names already.”
The plan is to continue to collect names, including the lost era of the 1930s and ‘40s.
“What we’re thinking of doing is to unveil the teams one decade at a time over the coming season,” continued Bell, whose group has a six-month window to gather, refine and hopefully get to the point where a lot of tough decisions will have to be made.
“We want to culminate things, hopefully, on the championship Saturday where we would like to have as many of the all-decade players selected on the field so we can celebrate them and what they have meant to our history,” Bell added.
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