In a small office, just off the commons area at Vernon Secondary School, Panthers football coach Sean Smith and a few of his players are still basking in the afterglow.
On Saturday, at the B.C. high school football championships, Vernon dominated Robert Batemen Secondary School of Abbotsford in the varsity 2A final.
The Panthers absolutely shredded the Timberwolves, winning 48 -12 and putting everyone on notice in the Lower Mainland, that football at VSS is a force to be reckoned with.
“These guys proved they were heads and shoulder above the other teams in double-A football,” said Sean Smith, VSS athletic director.
Panthers half-back Charles Lemay was running with the devil on Saturday. Lemay ran the ball like he stole it from the bait-car program, starting with the Panthers first play from scrimmage.
By the end of the first half, Charles Lemay owned B.C. Place Stadium, tearing up the Timberwolves for five touch downs.
“It was my last game. The only thing I had to lose was the finals,” Lemay said.
Lemay the hands-down choice for the game’s most valuable player award.
“How lucky am I to be in my Grade 12 year and win a championship for the first time for VSS. I’m just grateful,” Lemay said.
The past few years, the Panthers have been knocking on the door of a senior championship.
“Feels really good, after being so close for so many years in a row now,” said Panthers pivot Tommy Hyatt.
This year, though, they didn’t bother knocking at all.
“I think we blew the door wide open this year,” said coach Smith
And with a good returning core group from this year’s championship team, closing that door next year is going to prove tough.