The Kelowna Mission Lions saved their best for last.
The Southern Interior Football Conference champs capped off a memorable 2014 season by capturing the B.C. 9-man peewee football title Saturday in Kamloops.
The Lions opened the weekend with a 42-0 drubbing of the Vanderhoof Vikings. Nate Beahcemin and Alex Mace each scored a pair of majors for Kelowna.
In Game 2, the Lions took care of the Victoria Outlaws 26-0. Beauchemin and Noah Gross each found the end zone twice in the win.
In the shootout to determine the provincial champion the Lions defeated the Outlaws again, 8-0. Gross scored a touchdown on a 10-yard run, then the defense took over and shut down Victoria on three successive plays to claim the title.
The defense was solid throughout on Saturday, led by Aidan Vint with with 12 tackles and four sacks. Tariq Brown was outstanding with 10 tackles, while Beauchemin had two interceptions and a fumble recovery, and Mace a fumble recovery.
Beachemin was named the tournament’s MVP for his play on both sides of the ball.
“The Lions played their best football in successive weeks, last Sunday in the SIFC Finals and this past Saturday when it counted most,” said Lions coach Kendall Gross. “It has been a great season for the players…one they will remember for a long time. The parents are the most supportive group I have been involved with. All the coaches are so proud to have had a chance to be part of this great team.”
The B.C. champion Lions are: Kelowna Mission Pee Wee Lions are Hunter Gaspari, Christopher Henderson, Nathan Beauchemin, Aidan Vint, Dylan McBratney, Wilson Holland, Morgan Scott, Alexander Mace, Gregor Graham, Tariq Brown, Xander Kennedy, Cory Couch, Noah Gross, Jaydee Huston, Jackson Saini, Joey Howorko, Evan Fitchett, Damon Alfonso, Nicholas Kempf, Spencer Drake and Zander Anderson. The head coach is Kendall Gross, assistant coaches are Rod Vint, Troy Scott, Dean Kennedy, Markus Blettinger, Mike Saini, Zack Vint and Jesse Anderson.
The Kelowna Lions settled for second best at the B.C. atom 9-man provincials in Kamloops.
The Lions fell to the Meadow Ridge Knights 6-0 in an overtime shootout. ‘After edging the Prince Marauders 7-6 in the semis they had secured a second place result in the tournament, but with a round-robin loss to the Knights, they knew they were in for a battle.
“We had confidence, and a bit of hope, that we could pull it off in the finals,” said Lions coach Trevor Ryder. “We knew we could score on the Knights, but it just wasn’t our day. After such a great season, we still cannot be any more proud than we are of what these kids were able to accomplish this year. I believe for all but one, this was the first time any of them had played a game or an opponent at that level.”
Ethan Irvine of the Lions was named MVP.