New Westminster Hyacks happy with bye
Farhan Lalji buys into the bye week.
His New Westminster Hyacks turned in what the veteran high school football coach called their best performance since the pre-season in a 63-16 win over a very capable South Delta Sun Devils side on Friday. New Westminster’s 7-0-0 regular season record and first-place standing in the Western Conference means they get to skip the first round of the Subway Bowl Triple A playoffs this week and go directly to next week’s quarter-finals.
As much as Lalji would appreciate keeping the momentum going, he’d rather have the time off.
“Overall, we’re probably healthier than most teams, but the wear and tear of the season has started to impact us the last couple of weeks,” said Lalji, whose club has had the No. 1 spot in Howard Tsumura’s provincial rankings at varsityletters.ca for a month, jumping up from No 2. “Some guys have had to be managed, by playing just one way instead of both offence and defence or by being taken off of special teams.
“Everybody wants the bye — us included. You look at the two teams (Terry Fox Ravens and Notre Dame Jugglers) who were in the final last year. They both took advantage of having that first week bye. Everybody wants that advantage. We’re no different.”
The St. Thomas More Knights, who won the Eastern Conference with a 7-0-0 mark and are the No. 2 team in the rankings, also have a bye. They were missing standout running back/defensive end Tyler Eckert and nose tackle Sam Steele to injury in their regular season finale Saturday, a 21-7 win over the Mission Roadrunners, so a week off could certainly benefit the Burnaby squad’s chances of a lengthy post-season run.