| Oct 09, 2008

Oct 9/08 - Bubba Bowl Draws Crowd

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Feature Article - October 9, 2008 Third annual Bubba Bowl Draws a Huge CrowdBy Julie Druker

SHS junior Golden Eagles looking tough near half time at the Bubba Bowl in Sydenham on Saturday night

The Bubba Bowl was named for Alex “Bubba” Turcotte, a well loved and respected grade 12 Sydenham High School student who tragically and suddenly passed away in his sleep almost a decade ago. The score board on the Sydenham football field was erected in Alex’s honour years back and the school has ever since focused on raising funds in his memory to support SHS football.

According to Jim Latimer, head coach for SHS’s Golden Eagles junior team, the Bubba Bowl began three years ago when the idea occurred to Jim to light up Sydenham’s home field and have an evening game.

Sometimes called “Friday Night Lights”, the event is also known as the “Bubba Bowl” and it continues to honour Alex.

SHS English teacher Annette Blin was in the stands at the bowl and remembered Alex as an “outstanding kid all around, a great athlete, and a really great person.”

This year the school is focusing on raising funds to purchase a permanent lighting system for the field so that evening games can be a regular occurrence instead of a one-time annual event.

Funds were raised the evening of the bowl through the canteen and cash donations that were made at the gate.

The band Bauder Road started off the event and played at the lake end of the field early in the evening pre-game time.

Shortly after, SHS’s junior Golden Eagles took on their historic rivals, the Regiopolis Panthers, in an exciting game that ended with an Eagles’ victory. The score was 28 to13, leaving the SHS juniors in first place.

The SHS seniors took on Regiopolis in the second game, which drew even more local football enthusiasts and the crowd swelled to over 2000.

Pre-game, Gary Rasmussen, offensive coach for the SHS seniors, predicted a close game and a real struggle. “Traditional Sydenham/Regi football is just straight ahead running with a lot of hard hits and a little bit of passing but it’ll be mostly a running game.” He added, “The team that turns over the ball the least will probably win the game.”

The Eagles did just that and clinched the win, 42-4 putting the SHS senior Golden Eagles in the top three teams.

Rasmussen spoke of Sydenham football in general and credited Jim Latimer for bringing the sport to a new level in recent years. “The players that we’re getting now from junior are better prepared than they have ever been in the history of Sydenham football. We‘re a deeper team at the skilled positions than we have ever been.”

I spoke to junior eagles players # 48 Tyler Harvey and #38 Josh Vanniedek at half time during their game (the score was 14-6 for the Eagles).Tyler said, “Traditionally the Regi games are pretty close, usually with only a 3 point spread.”

Josh made a great interception that unfortunately was called back due to an interference call. Both team members credited quarterback Steve Knapton with his first rate plays.

The Bubba Bowl continues on as a community tradition at SHS and coach Latimer has definite plans to raise funds and acquire permanent lighting on the Sydenham field. He mentioned a suggestion by Brian Powley (the commentator for this year’s bowl) to have donors purchase the individual field lights and be recognized by a permanent name plaque affixed to the light.

No matter how the donations are raised, a permanently lit field would offer football players and enthusiasts more opportunities to play and watch games on their home turf at night.

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