Reid Dana of the Abbotsford Senior Panthers Grade 10 football squad runs away from a would-be Vernon Panthers tackler during provincial AA semifinal action on Wednesday. Abby Senior won the battle of the Panthers by a 21-16 score.

Reid Dana of the Abbotsford Senior Panthers Grade 10 football squad runs away from a would-be Vernon Panthers tackler during provincial AA semifinal action on Wednesday. Abby Senior won the battle of the Panthers by a 21-16 score.

Panthers, Ravens battle their way to B.C. football finals

On a rain-soaked Wednesday afternoon at Mouat Field, two Abbotsford football teams punched their tickets to the B.C. finals.

On a rain-soaked Wednesday afternoon at Mouat Field, two Abbotsford football teams punched their tickets to the B.C. finals.

In Grade 10 AA semifinal action, the Abby Senior Panthers edged Vernon 21-16, writing another chapter in a remarkable turnaround story.

The Panthers finished 1-7 last season with a roster predominantly comprised of Grade 9 athletes. But those players stuck with it and came back strong, and now they’re off to play for the provincial title at B.C. Place Stadium next Saturday vs. the Mission Roadrunners.

“To play where the B.C. Lions play, it’s unbelievable,” marveled Abby Senior quarterback Grayson Marquardt, who rushed for all three Panthers’ touchdowns on Wednesday. “I’m kind of at a loss for words. But we’re ready for it, I think.”

Abby Senior coach Rick Funk said that earning a berth to the B.C. final was a just reward for his crew after taking their lumps last year.

“They got beat up physically, they got beat up on the scoreboard, and they never gave up hope for one minute,” Funk enthused. “All their bruises became badges, and this year it’s paid off. It’s great to see.”

In the Grade 8 AA semis, the Eugene Reimer Ravens upset their crosstown rivals, the Abby Middle Huskies, 16-6.

The Huskies had lost just once all season, while the Ravens were sporting a 6-3 record coming in. But Reimer came up with a huge defensive effort, and earned the right to face the H.D. Stafford SkyHawks of Langley in the provincial final next Thursday at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex (4 p.m. kickoff).

“Our defence played very well and limited their passing game,” Ravens coach Ryan Colbert noted. “That was the big difference. On offence, we just focused on getting three or four yards at a time and ensuring we kept things simple.”

Reimer running back Dylan Manocha had a huge game against the Huskies, racking up 178 yards and two TDs on 27 carries. Bobby Narang chipped in with 49 rush yards and a key two-point convert, while Samwel Uko accounted for the Abby Middle points on a 60-yard scoring scamper.

Just Posted

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read