The new addition to the Robert Bateman Timberwolves helmet proved to be a part of the winning formula for the school’s football team on Friday.
Timberwolves players wore a special ‘A’ logo on their helmets to show some support for their cross-town rivals, and head coach David Mills said it was all the idea of his players.
“One of our players Terry Bagri came up to me at practice and basically asked me what I thought about wearing the ‘A’,” he said. “I thought it was an awesome idea.”
Mills got a teacher at Bateman to design and create the decals, which they will now wear for the rest of the year.
“I’m pretty proud of them for coming up with that idea,” Mills said. “We have guys on this team who are friends with guys on the Panthers, and what happened this week was something you never want to see anyone have to go through.”
On the field, Keegan Vicklund grabbed three touchdown passes from quarterback Aiden McDonald to lead Bateman to the win. Anthony Bodger and Braeden Verleur also scored majors for the Wolves.
Vicklund also led the way defensively with a pair of interceptions. Bagri also caught two picks, with Zach Kendall and Dylan Roach also recording interceptions.
“We did a good job taking the ball away and running the ball today,” Mills said. “I’d like to see us clean some of our own turnovers but you can’t really complain about a 39-0 win.”
Bateman finished the season with a record of two wins and three losses in the AA’s eastern conference, and will play the number two seed in the west next weekend to open the playoffs.
Over at Mouat Field, the Hawks lost a close game in overtime to Lord Tweedsmuir.
Mouat fell 24-21, but head coach Travis Bell said he liked his team’s efforts in the gritty loss.
“It was a pretty even game and both teams were missing key guys,” he said, pointing out that the Hawks lost star running back Nelson Lokombo to injury in the first quarter. “Other guys stepped up and it was a really fun, physical football game.”
The Hawks started out red-hot, with running back Dylan Manocha running 60 yards to score a touchdown on the game’s first drive. Tweedsmuir’s Joel Klaassen, who had a stellar game for the visitors, responded on the very next drive to tie the game.
Manocha scored again on a 30 yard touchdown run to put the Hawks up on the next drive, but Klaassen again equalled him to tie the game at 14.
The teams didn’t score again until the fourth when fullback Austin Lal rumbled in for a major. Tweedsmuir again tied the game up on the very next drive, and the teams eventually headed to overtime.
Tweedsmuir opened with a field goal on their first possession, and Mouat threw an interception on their first drive to end the game. Bell said the Hawks were stuck in their playoff position regardless if they won or loss, and he decided to gamble but came up short.
Despite the loss, he said he likes the way his team is playing heading into the playoffs.
“I feel like we’re playing our best football of the season,” he said.
Mouat finished the season with a record of three wins and four losses, and they await their playoff opponent next week.
The Hawks also honoured Abbotsford Secondary prior to the game with a moment of silence.
“We’re a small city and we have connections on that team and within that school,” he said. “It’s tough to imagine what they’re going through and we wanted to do something to show our support for them. Our thoughts are with them and we hope they get through this.”
The aforementioned Panthers suit up on Monday in North Vancouver against Handsworth Secondary.
Read Wednesday’s print edition for more on the games.