RKoopMrs. MacDonald, my grade 2 teacher, was not quite sure what to make of the tempera painting of Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ quarterback  Bernie Faloney  fumbling the ball into the hands of BC Lion defensive stalwart Bill Munsey during the 1964 Grey Cup game. When she asked me about the painting and I was able to name all of the players, their positions and the significance of the situation as part of the BC Lions first Grey Cup win, she contacted my parents to express her concern about how I was using my powers of memory and observation at this early stage of my intellectual development. Apparently my knowledge of Joe Kapp, Tom Brown and Willie Fleming did not fit neatly into the three R envelope as she envisioned it. Who said it couldn’t be running backs, receivers and rouges?

Undeterred by this cautionary advice delivered to my parents, I have remained a lifelong football fan. Since coming to the Island in 2000, I have slaked my thirst for live football through attending high school football games here in Parksville. At first, when I was a Vice Principal at Kwalikum Secondary, I had to put away my maroon Kondor kit, sneak across town and surreptitiously don blue and white in order to fit in with the Whaler faithful. It wasn’t long before I was part of the throng passionately completing announcer Phil Taudin-Chabot’s signature, ‘That’s another Whalers…first down!’ chant. I still try to get out to every Whalers game I can.

The Ballenas Whalers Varsity Football team will host their first home game of the season on Saturday, September 12 at 1:00 pm. The Whalers squad, which is ranked #4 in the province at the Double A level in a pre-season coaches’ poll, will face the Spectrum Thunder from Victoria. I would invite you to come out to the Ballenas Secondary School field and enjoy an afternoon of the hard-hitting and entertaining brand of football that the Whalers have been serving-up for more than fifteen years. You will not be disappointed.

As an added bonus, the Oceanside Minor Football Pee Wee Lions (11:00 am) and Bantam Titans (3:00 pm) will bookend the Whalers game. Come out and support these future Whalers!

See you on the sidelines!

Rollie Koop