The White Rock-South Surrey Titans are provincial football champions in not one, but two, divisions.
The minor football association’s peewee and midget nine-a-side squads captured B.C. titles last month at Kelowna’s Hillside Stadium, winning both championship games in convincing fashion. Both teams won Vancouver Mainland Football League titles in order to advance to the provincial tournament.
The White Rock peewee team defeated the host Kelowna Lions in the championship tilt, shutting out the home team just as they did all previous teams they faced at provincials; in the first round, they beat the Victoria Renegades and in semifinals shut out the Vanderbilt Vikings.
Meanwhile, the midget-division Titans captured a B.C. crown for the second year in a row with a 37-1 victory over the Cowichan Bulldogs.
It was the third meeting of the season between the two rivals, with each team winning once prior to the championship tilt. The early-season loss was the only blemish on the Titans’ otherwise perfect record; they finished with an 8-1 win-loss record. In 2016, they went undefeated en route to the title.
“Our defence was strong, our game plan was solid on both sides of the ball,” said longtime midget head coach John Martins. “It’s back-to-back now… The last time we played (Cowichan), I hadn’t seen them more focused, and then at provincials, it was the same thing. The guys just played well.”
Martins also praised his coaching staff’s efforts, including those of his son, Avery, who serves at the team’s defensive co-ordinator.
“Even though he’s my son, I have to give him kudos. We only lose one game, and the points (in that game) that were scored against us were on special teams. I’ve got to say… we only allowed eight points on defence all year. Any other scores against us were on special teams. He’s done a helluva job.”
Prior to hitting the field at provincials, the midget squad won its VMFL title with a 34-0 win over Cowichan on Oct. 29 at Cowichan’s McAdam Park. The peewee Titans won their VMFL banner that same weekend at Richmond’s Hugh Boyd Park, in a defensive battle with the Richmond Raiders that was won 1-0 on a kick in overtime.