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Irish on the warpath: Vancouver College has the talent to chase Subway Bowl glory

The Vancouver College Fighting Irish are one of the perennial contenders and a premier program in BC high school football. Yet, they haven’t won it all since the 2010 season when a young Christian Covington (you’ll see him on Sundays playing for the Dallas Cowboys) help lead them to the title.

That could change this upcoming season. A talented returning senior class and upcoming players from the Junior Varsity ranks means they’re a contender to win it all. In fact, they’re the top-ranked team in AAA as of week one — a poll that is voted on by opposing coaches.

Longtime coach Todd Bernett, however, is taking the old football maxim to heart by keeping his and his team’s focus one week at a time.

Vancouver College lost last year in the semi-final to eventual champs Mount Douglas, but looked poised for a big season in 2019.

“My expectations are to compete to win our conference championship,” he said talking to BC Sports Hub. “If you can achieve that, then you are in a good position heading into the playoffs.”

“We as a team have really high expectations because we have a talented roster with good athletes on both sides of the ball that understand the importance of playing for each other and brotherhood,” said senior Daesaun Johnson. “We have a lot of good HV players that will have a big impact o both sides o the ball and that will be contributing right away.”

To get to the playoffs, they’re going to have to run a gauntlet of tough games to start the season. They face-off against Kelowna in their first game, catholic school rival Saint Thomas More, and then games against South Delta and Mount Douglas — two teams in the top five of the beforementioned preseason rankings.

“Staying healthy and practicing with efficiency and safety will be a key to a 4-0 start,” said Bernett “and it takes some luck too!”

“The key to the start of the season for us,” explained Johnson “is just to play our game and treat every game like it’s the most important. “Not just the first four, but every game this season is important and we are just gonna take one game at a time.”

Bernett said he expects Daesaun to “to do really well in the classroom and continue to open up his possibilities for university acceptance” in his final year at Vancouver College. Team captain Jason Soriano will be a “vocal leader” throughout the season, and the offensive line is expected to feature three standouts from their JV team last year.

Vancouver College will play Kelowna today at 2:00 pm. BC Sports Hub will have coverage of the 2019 high school football season all the way through the Subway Bowl.

Written by: Nick Bondi

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