A quartet of Abbotsford football products are now national champions.
Defensive back Tanner Friesen, wide receiver Ben Cummings, defensive lineman Levi Hua and quarterback Greg Bowcott were all part of the UBC Thunderbirds historic 26-23 win over the Montreal Carabins in Quebec City on Saturday.
UBC won the Vanier Cup, the biggest prize in CIS football, with a last-second field goal kick. The last time UBC won the Vanier Cup was 1997.
Friesen and Cummings are both first-years, and graduated from Robert Bateman Secondary. Hua is a second-year and graduated from W.J. Mouat Secondary, while Bowcott is a fifth-year player from Rick Hansen Secondary.
Friesen recorded one assisted tackle in the game.
“We make it tough on ourselves, but that’s what you expect from a young team. This group of guys was not even picked to make the playoffs in Canada West this year,” said UBC head coach Blake Nill. “What they have done is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen. This team has stood up to the best the country can offer and they have come out in front every time.”
The win completes a Cinderella story, after the club finished last in the Canada West conference with two wins and six losses in 2014. It’s also less than two years removed from a UBC sports targeting review, where the future of the football program was in doubt.