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That is how the New Westminster Hyacks of the British Columbia High School Football Association (BCHSFA) best describe themselves going into the 2014 ‘AAA’ season.

“They have worked extremely hard this off-season and have become mentally stronger as a result,” commented Hyacks Head Coach Farhan Lalji, who is entering his 12th year at the helm.  “The chemistry is there and I think it’s a group that will battle for one another.”

“That, combined with enough talent, should lead to a successful season”

Depth is on the Hyacks’ side this year and the team hopes to utilize it to their advantage on both the offensive and defensive lines.

“I think it will allow us to have better practice and improve during the season,” explained Lalji of the depth.  “It may also give us the ability to wear some teams down, along with overcoming injuries.”

Harper Sherman

A trio of players will be expected to lead the Hyacks charge in 2014.  CFC 100 lineman and recent University of Arizona commit Harper Sherman, CFC 100 defensive back/wide receiver Matt Seymour and linebacker Lugtu will be the ones to watch for on the Hyacks.

“Harper Sherman is the top ranked offensive lineman in Canada according to CFC – a dominant, athletic, big man,” assessed Lalji.  “Matt Seymour is a game breaker on both sides of the ball.”

“Jeff Lugtu has also been a standout at linebacker.”

Matt Seymour 1

However, the Hyacks defensive line could have two potential “X” factors in both Ebraheim Faroughi and Jorge Yarwood.

“Both have good size and explosiveness,” added Lalji.  “They also play with a mean streak.”

With Tommy Robertson moving on to the Windsor Lancers, Mackenzie Ratcliffe and Jamie Shiho will both be vying for the starting quarterback position.

“Mackenzie and Jamie both bring different skill-sets to the offense and will both be used,” said Lalji.

However, Robertson is not the only significant loss the Hyacks will address.  Outside linebacker James Nicholas has graduated and his replacement will be Marcel Wang.

“He doesn’t have James’ length, but is very fast and physical,” assessed Laljhi of Wang.

Additionally, right tackle Billy Collins is gone and Sunny Rishi will replace him at the position.  There are also some gaps in the defensive line that the Hyacks will address prior to the beginning of the season.

On the field, the Hyacks offense will play a Wing-T/Gun-T style while it will be a 3-4 defense.


In his assessment of the competition this season, Lalji offered that there are two teams that will emerge as the frontrunners in the conference, while another team could surprise many.

“Vancouver College and Mount Douglas are typically the teams to beat in our conference and I don’t think this year will be any different,” evaluated the Hyacks Head Coach.  “Vancouver College has four returning starters on the offensive line, a returning starter at quarterback and two good backs.”

“Mount Douglas is a three-time provincial champion, so they’re used to winning. I think South Delta will be a surprise team in their first year in ‘AAA’.”

No matter what the competition may be, the Hyacks are focused and determined on achieving their goal for the 2014 season.

“To win a championship,” stated Lalji.

Hyacks logo


2013 RECORD:  7-4 regular season record, lost in first round of Provincial ‘AAA’ playoffs

HEAD COACH: Farhan Lalji (12th season)



KEY RETURNEES: Harper Sherman (CFC 100  – offensive/defensive line), Matt Seymour (CFC 100 – defensive back/wide receiver), Jeff Lugtu (linebacker)

KEY LOSSES: James Nicolas (outside linebacker – graduation), Billy Collins (right tackle), Tommy Robertson (quarterback – Windsor Lancers)

NEW ADDITIONS: Marcel Wang (linebacker), Sunny Rishi (right tackle), Mackenzie Ratcliffe (quarterback), Jamie Shiho (quarterback)

“X” FACTOR: Ebraheim Faroughi (defensive line), Jorge Yarwood (defensive line) “Both have good size and explosiveness, also play with a mean streak.” – New Westminster Hyacks Head Coach Farhan Lalji

Photo credit:  Matt Seymour – Ron Hole Photography




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