The annual “Battle of Waterloo” senior boys football game (or recently renamed “Spirit of Waterloo”) continues this year with another highly anticipated football game. This year the 2-0 Waterloo Collegiate Vikings hosted the gritty 3-0 Sir John A Macdonald Highlanders under the lights at Laurier Stadium with kickoff at 7:30pm on October 11th.
Like usual, the odds were against WCI in winning this football game. However, just last year the Vikings came out with a huge win over Bluevale Collegiate Institute (BCI) which was backed up with a great regular season. This year they continued to strive for that perfect regular season goal and came out on top. The final score of 12-9 represented the team’s dedication, hard work, and heart.
Coming into this game the Vikings all knew that it was going to be tough. The first two regular WCSSAA season games consisted of tight scores of 16-15 and 16-14, with WCI winning both games. Looking at past Spirit of Waterloo games, the weather seems to play a major role in affecting WCI and the opposing team, not to mention the crowd. Rain and cold is usually how things play out but this year instead of being drenched it was fairly windy and still chilly.WCI and SJAM exceeded the expected amount of ticket sales this year and created an all-time record of over 1300 ticket sales! Every single one of these night football games consist of “O Canada” being sung just before kickoff. This year it was sung by one of WCI’s talents, Tanya Rivero and SJAM’s Kenzie Spoltore.
The weather was on our side for the most part during this game and was quickly taken into consideration. Since our team was going with the wind this meant they could utilize Viking running back/ kicker Kevin Oh (#7) to sail the ball deep. Very early in the first quarter a safety was granted for the Vikings making the score 2-0. It was quite a balanced game for the majority, however after the half time speech by Coach Waters, the other coaches, and team captains, the team knew they had to put themselves into 5th gear. “Show heart boys”, said the coaching staff and captains.On defense, the Vikings had to keep an eye on SJAM’s strong running game which consisted of many carries by #22 Ty Davis in the second half. Davis played quite an excellent game for the Highlanders, which sparked the poor idea to pass instead of run. Late in the 3rd and 4th quarters, while WCI was leading, several key interceptions by Hudson Billing (#92) and Lucas Bateman (#33) sealed the victory for the Vikings. In addition to these interceptions, Edward Gallichan’s (#87) incredible game-winning touchdown catch, passed by starting quarterback Jett Spark (#2), helped the Vikes win the game.
Back to back wins in the “Spirit of Waterloo” for the Vikings shows that all the hard work and dedication paid off. Overall, the game from a player’s perspective was quite surreal and nail biting. SJAM has a great football team however WCI’s senior football team continues to get one step closer to their goal, in which they plan to go as far as they can, ultimately to win the WCSSAA senior boys football championship game.
All photos taken by: Tristan Paarsalu