Notre Dame head coach Denis Kelly (right), pictured chatting with assistant and longtime former head coach George Oswald earlier this season, has stood on both sidelines of the Archbishops' Trophy game. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca)
Feature High School Football

VC Irish vs. ND Jugglers: All the fun facts behind six-plus decades of the Archbishops’ Trophy game

VANCOUVER — It’s a game with enough reverence that you can almost hear the legendary voice of college football’s Keith Jackson providing its play-by-play.

On Friday, a 7:30 p.m. kick-off will herald the 62nd playing of the annual Archbishops’ Trophy game at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex between the host Notre Dame Jugglers and the visiting Vancouver College Fighting Irish.

It’s a huge contest with the winner claiming first place in the Western Conference AAA standings on the final weekend of the regular season.

But it’s always big, regardless of the stakes, because of the connections and the ties that have built between the two fierce rivals over the decades.

No one has chronicled the history of the Archbishops’ Trophy game with more studious expertise and than Vancouver College Fighting Irish football statistician and historian Bruce Jagger.

Over the years, Jagger has provided your author with the most exacting statistical information from every Irish football game.

And he’s always reserved a special chapter for the Archbishops’ Trophy game.

Here then, courtesy of Bruce Jagger, are all the facts that matter, whether you take in the game live or catch the streaming broadcast at bchighschoolfootball.com

*Friday’s game marks the 62nd annual game in the series. It’s been played every year since 1957, making it the longest running rivalry in all of B.C. high school sports.

*The Irish won the first 9 games in a row.

*The Jugglers owned the 1970’s, winning eight and losing just once with one tie. In fact in the decade of the 1970s, the Irish scored just 25 total points, not an even an average of a field goal per game.

*Where is the series at heading into Friday? Vancouver College leads the series 32-28 with one tie. Amazing that after 61 years, only four games separate the two programs.

*A significant number of game trophy winners have gone on the CFL/NFL careers, including but not limited to: Greg Findlay (VC) Paul Giroday (VC), Lui Passaglia (ND), Bart Hull (VC), Glen Jackson (ND), Kevin Konar (VC), Bryan Chiu (VC), Angus Reid (VC) and Christian Covington (VC – Houston Texans)

*The precise spelling of the game’s name is Archbishops’ Trophy as it was donated to the competition by the Archbishops Duke and Johnson in 1957.

Now, how about some non-football trivia:

*VC’s current principal, Johnny Bevacqua, is a Notre Dame grad of 1988.

*Long time VC teacher, Sal Giacomazza is a 1970 Notre Dame grad.

*Notre Dame principal Roger Deslaurier was a teacher and administrator at VC from 1988-2005.

Notre Dame’s head coach, Denis Kelly is an Irish grad of 1968 and a former teacher and head coach at the school.

*Notre Dame vice-principal Jon Tagulao is 1993 Vancouver College grad and a former teacher and basketball coach at the school.

*Notre Dame athletic director Tony Howie taught at VC from 1992-2005 and was the school’s head football Coach for four years.

*Notre Dame assistant coach Jamie Boreham is an Irish Class of 1996 grad.

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