The GW Graham Grizzlies will be kicking off both Grade 8 and Junior Varsity (Grades 9-10) football this September, making it the first high school football program in Chilliwack since the Sardis Falcons folded in the early 1980s.
The Grizzlies will add Varsity (Grades 11-12) next September. The Grizzlies current 55 player JV roster is participating in an eight- day fall training camp, from 7:30 am to 1 p.m. daily at the school.
The Grizzlies kick off the JV season in Colton, OR, next Saturday with a game against the Colton Vikings.
Leading the Grizzlies offense will be quarterback Kirkland Kennedy and running back Ryan Connelly, both veterans of Chilliwack Giants minor football program.
On defence, the Grizzlies will be led by linebacker Cyrus Tommy, safety Tristan Davis and rookie cornerback Austin Creasy.
“We are excited about our team and our prospects in this first season,” said head coach Laurie Smith. “We are looking to be competitive from day one and we are very pleased with the buy-in from our players and coaching staff.”
Interestingly, the Grizzlies are already ranked third in the Eastern conference in the BC High School football pre-season rankings.
“Its hard to determine on what basis they rank us that high, but I guess we will take it as a compliment,” Smith said with a grin.
The Grizzlies defeated the Langley Saints and Abbotsford Collegiate Panthers in spring pre-season play and tied the East Lake Wolves (Seattle) in a summer exhibition.
GWG’s first home game is Thursday September 27 at 6 p.m. at Exhibition Stadium, taking on Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman Timberwolves.
See grahamfootball.ca for more.