Bears' Joe Court Okanagan MVP
With an unbeaten 6-0 record, it was an unprecedented regular season for the Mt. Boucherie high school football program.
The Bears' success on the field was also reflected in the Okanagan AAA Conference awards announced this week.
Mt. Boucherie players claimed three major awards, led by slotback Joe Court who was named the conference's most valuable player.
"It wasn't expecting this," Court said of the award. "I guess all the hard work in the off-season paid off. There are a lot of really good players on our team and a lot of other guys could have won this, so it's a big honour."
The 5-foot-10 1/2, 180-pound Court, who also ran some plays at quarterback, had 15 carries for 241 yards and two rushing touchdowns—including a 92-yarder—and added seven catches for 105 yards and two majors in conference play.
A shoulder injury early in the season forced the Bears coaching staff to shift Court from quarterback to the slotback position.
With his heart, skill and strength, Bears' offensive coordinator Rick Nelson said Court would be a huge asset to any team, regardless of his place on the field.
"Every year a player steps up and becomes the go-to-guy, the player that leads the team to battle and to victory," said Nelson. "Joe has been that player this year, leading the team on and off the field.
"Not only has he led by his on field heroics at slot back, but he has done a great job mentoring our younger quarterbacks as well. Not once did I ever hear him complain about not playing Q.B., a great team player."
Bears' receiver Peter Briker was named the Okanagan's outstanding offensive player, while linebacker Curtis Urlacher was awarded top defensive player honours.
Briker caught 16 passes for 268 yards and six touchdowns, while adding 266 yards and two touchdowns on kick off and punt returns.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Urlacher had 26 tackles, four sacks and three fumble recoveries.
The Bears also placed seven players on the conference all-star team.
On offense, quarterback Josiah Joseph, running back Ronnie De Guevera, receiver Spencer Humes, and offensive lineman Ty Nelson made the list.
On defense, Bears named were linemen Cole Bertram and Chet Dennison, and defensive back Cam Spence.
The KSS Owls had eight all-star selections: running back Nathan Brown, receiver Darrion Bunce, offensive linemen Matt Steen and Connor Novak, linebackers Hudsen Anderson and Dele Oyelese, and defensive backs Eli Haynes and Aarun Mahl.
The Rutland Voodoos placed four on the team, including the conference's top offensive lineman Michele Vecchio. Other Voodoos named were lineman Jeryd Isley, linebacker Connor Quinn and defensive back Devon Doherty.
This weekend, Rutland will take on West Vancouver in first-round playoff action while KSS meets Notre Dame. Both games will be played Saturday at B.C. Place, with the winners moving on to the quarterfinal round.
The Bears, who finished first in the Okanagan AAA Conference, have an opening round bye and will host a playoff game Nov. 17 against the winner of Van College and Lord Tweedsmuir.