Anavets Bowl PREVIEW (MB): Can the #CFC50 Vincent Massey Trojans repeat?

Thursday night marks the 17th year the Anavets Bowl will take place in the Winnipeg High School Football League. The matchup between two nationally ranked teams, the St.Paul’s Crusaders and Vincent Massey Trojans, should be what everyone is expecting.

In the first matchup between the teams, Vincent Massey outscored St.Paul’s 20-0 in the first half. However, the 20 points weren’t good enough as the Crusaders scored 21 straight to defeat the Trojans.

The Crusaders aren’t looking much in the past. Defensive end Noah Lalama knows that every game is different and that he and his teammates are more looking to know what they can do this week. Coach Dainard offered his take on whether or not his team has an edge. “Maybe slightly just confidence, but nothing that’s insurmountable for Vincent Massey.”

St.Paul’s has a positive mindset before their rematch with the 2015 Anavets Bowl champions, Vincent Massey Trojans. “We (The Crusaders) are really excited to get out there, maybe change the outcome a bit,” commented Lalama.

Leading up to the championship game, St.Paul’s has played 10 games, and shut out their opponent five times. Their offence has also been stellar. Remis Tshiovo has the big play ability, and quarterback Riley Naujoks will be a threat in the passing game.

#82 Remis Tshiovo

#82 Remis Tshiovo with #5 Riley Naujoks

Defensively, the Crusaders have one of the best athletes in the province in #CFC100 Shae Weekes who wasn’t in the week 1 game. Weekes had a pick 6 in the playoff game against the Sturgeon Heights Huskies last week. Noah Lalama, Gates McGrath and Brody Williams will also look to make their mark against Massey.

One matchup that Coach Dainard and his crew would like to win is the battle at the line of scrimmage because Vincent Massey really dominated the line in last year’s game. Dainard said, “We’re going to have to play really well along the line of scrimmage to have a chance.”

The relationship between coaches Kelsey McKay and Stacy Dainard started long before these two powerhouse teams met. McKay and Dainard both played high school football against each other, and joined the Manitoba Bisons at the same time. Coach Dainard’s time with the Bisons was cut short due to 3 knee surgeries in two years.

Before a big game some athletes may have routines to calm themselves down. Noah Lalama and Riley Naujoks of St.Paul’s have a couple of routines, but they’re being kept a secret.

Abdul Gassama of the Trojans likes to eat candy before the game, some skittles or 7/11 candy to help himself calm down. The talented receiver has also been wearing a Kobe Bryan jersey underneath his jersey. “I love Kobe’s poise and killer instinct,” added Gassama.

Gassama and the rest of the Trojans are excited and honored to be playing in Thursday’s game. ”The Seniors want to top off the season with a victory”, mentioned Gassama, “We know it’s going to be a really good challenge.”

Saville scores a td in 2016.

Saville scores a td in 2016.

Vincent Massey understands that not every moment will go their way. “We’re going to have adverse moments in this game, but we got to stick together and keep plugging away,” mentioned Trojans’ head coach Kelsey McKay.

The Trojans have a saying “turn the page”. This means that they never celebrate too long, and never get down on each other too long. It doesn’t matter what happened on the play before because their teammates need them the next play. McKay explained, “Stick together, be honest, be appreciative of each other and their efforts, and we’ll be fine.”

Vincent Massey has the top quarterback in the WHSFL in Andreas Dueck. Dueck will look to get the ball to receivers Abdul Gassama and Brayden Saville. The Trojans will also want to establish their run game with running back Liam Casey.

On defense, Massey boasts two of the best linemen in the province. CFC#100 Jalen Burley and Josh Diamond will try to disrupt quarterback Riley Naujoks, and keep the Crusaders’ running backs in check.

For the Vincent Massey Trojans to win back-to-back titles they’ll have to stay focused, hold on to the ball, and keep it away from the Crusaders’ offence. “It’s not going to be a blowout one way or another,” added McKay.

The first game of the season was a grinder where one team won in the last minute. McKay concluded, “I fully expect it to be the same.”

We at CFC think that Vincent Massey will be more prepared for this game and will prevail in the end. We want to wish both programs congratulations as they have had an incredible season and have been highly enjoyable to watch and follow from start to finish. 


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