Wednesday, June 29, 2022

TBT: Tartans top UCC in ’emotional’ football championship, 2014

Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Oaks Retirement Residence:

Football seemed like an afterthought on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Wallaceburg District Secondary School during the Kent Junior Football Championship.

The Wallaceburg Tartans hosted the UCC Lancers, who just a day earlier lost classmate Sophia Vlasman to cancer at the age of 16.

A moment of silence was held before the game in memory of Vlasman, and after the Tartans captured the 47-29 victory over UCC, both teams joined together at midfield to form a symbolic “V” in honour of the Chatham teenager.

“You hate celebrating too much in a somber time for them,” said Rob MacLachlan, head coach for the Tartans.

“They were emotional, they really dedicated this season to her. Win or lose, I asked after the game, regardless of who won if we could get the centre and make a symbolic V for Vlasman… just get the kids together. It just kind of eases things and reminds them that yeah it’s sports, but we’re all in this together.”

MacLachlan said the emotions charged the Lancers at the start of the game, as UCC jumped out to a 21-7 lead.

“They started the game under some tough circumstances with their school community,” he said.

“We knew that, and we got off to a rough start. They were coming at us left and right. We just had to survive it. We got some big plays to kind of keep up. I knew our offence could score, it was just a matter of settling down and we seemed to do that in the second half.”

MacLachlan said running back Parker Gilhuly stood out on offence, as he scored 4 TD’s for Wallaceburg.

“That’s his third game of football and I guess he is pretty good at it,” MacLachlan said.

“He just took off to his Junior ‘B’ lacrosse game (with the Red Devils).”

Jermaine Caldwell and Trevor Bogaert also scored TDs for Wallaceburg.

MacLachlan added: “We had a good offensive line, and we have three or four guys that can run a ball. When you’re down by 14 or so and you don’t have an offence, it’s hard… but we made big plays. I thought the play at the end of the half, that was kind of a back breaker for them and seized the momentum. A lot of things went wrong for us in the first half, they had all the momentum and we took it from them in the second half.”

MacLachlan said the Tartans defence picked it up after a shaky start.

“Our defence overcame some early struggles,” he said. “We put pressure on the quarterback, we forced them into having to pass the ball, which is not really what they wanted to do. I thought our defensive line of Quentin Forgie and Quinn Williams, put some good pressure on the quarterback, Jermaine Caldwell, Trevor Bogaert out playing the linebackers, we put some good pressure on them and forced them out of their game.”

The win marked back-to-back championships for the Tartans.

Here are some more action shots from the game by Jocelyn McLaughlin:

wallaceburg tartans ucc junior championship 2014 6

wallaceburg tartans ucc junior championship 2014 5

wallaceburg tartans ucc junior championship 2014 4

wallaceburg tartans ucc junior championship 2014 3

wallaceburg tartans ucc junior championship 2014 2

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