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The Orange Helmet Awards are an annual marquee event on the BC Lions calendar, with proceeds supporting the development of amateur football in the province of British Columbia. It celebrates BC provincial champions at all levels of amateur football, pioneers of the sport, coaches and lifetime contributors to the game. To date the event has raised over $1,000,000 for amateur football and we salute the players, coaches and volunteers who share our passion for our great game.



2020 PIONEER AWARD WINNERS

Chel Sanghera

Known to all the players, coaches, parents and fans as “Mama Chel,” Sanghera is currently the Vice President of the Fraser Valley Football Community Association and the driving force within the organization. She is dedicated to the development of the players, coaches and officials.

Known for her dedication and drive to the game of football, Chel has coordinated the “Border Bowl” featuring teams from BC and Alberta, the Canadian Grid Camp and the Big Dream and Rising Stars Camp. Over her 15 years in youth football, Chel is recognized as the number one builder of the game within the Fraser Valley Football organizations.

Doug Staveley

The former quarterback at Lord Byng Secondary and later UBC, Doug also earned his teaching degree and it would lead him down a new path in the game of football. Doug’s coaching stops in BC High School Football included Hugh Boyd, Steveston, Lord Tweedsmuir and Earl Marriott.

It was at Steveston where Doug also became a member of the BC Officials Association and eventually gave back to the game as a high school referee. In 1980, he was named Director and President of the BC Secondary Schools Football Association.

COMMUNITY 9-MAN FOOTBALL WINNERS


Abbotsford Falcons 9-Man Atom
The Abbotsford Falcons were a dominant force in 9-man Atom play last season, finishing with a 10-0 record with a remarkable plus-204 point differential. The Falcons defence proved to be too much in the 7-6 win over Okanagan Sun to capture the Provincial title.

Coquitlam Wildcats 9-Man Pee Wee
Following a 9-0 regular season where they scored 200 points and allowed just 28 points, the Coquitlam 9-man Pee Wee squad defeated Kelowna to capture the Provincial title. Head coach Casey Sidoo did a remarkable job of bringing together a team that featured many kids who had not previously played tackle football.

Richmond Raiders 9-Man Jr. Bantam
The Jr. Bantam Richmond Raiders enjoyed an undefeated regular season before prevailing in a 43-38 shootout over the North Shore Storm to win the league championship. Then in the Provincial tournament, they overcame an 0-2-1 round robin to win three consecutive shootouts and were crowned BC Champions in Kamloops.

North Langley Bears 9-Man Bantam
These Bears lived up to their name and followed up their 8-0 regular season with a dominating performance in the playoffs. They would go on to crush the Cowichan Bulldogs 58-7 in the championship game. The Bears outscored their opponents 492-28 for the season and also took home the VCFL Spring 12-man championship.

Victoria Spartans 9-Man Midget
The Spartans enjoyed a successful run in league play, finishing with a record of 6-1-1. In the playoffs, they showed their true character by winning a thrilling double overtime Semi-Final against North Surrey and then taking down North Langley 29-16 in the championship game. The Spartans also went undefeated on the road in 2019.

COMMUNITY 12-MAN FOOTBALL WINNERS


White Rock Titans 12-Man Jr. Bantam:
A strong offensive line led by Patrick Rothwell, Carter Martin and Keanu Rentiers helped pave the way for a VMFL championship season for the 12-man Bantam Titans. After finishing 8-2 in the regular season, the Titans proved to be unbeatable in the playoffs. MVP Hunter Bromley scored three touchdowns in the championship game as White Rock took down Cloverdale 24-16 to earn the trophy.

Abbotsford Falcons 12-Man Pee Wee:
With a suffocating defence and overall championship mindset, the 12-Man Pee Wee Falcons finished a combined 11-0 in regular season and playoffs. The 20-0 win over Coquitlam in the championship game put a perfect bow on this incredible season and gave them their second straight title despite having only six returning players from 2018

JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS

Langley RAMS:
Led by quarterback Colby Peters, running back Andrew Pocrnic and a suffocating defence, the Langley Rams defeated the Westshore Rebels 35-12 to capture their second straight Cullen Cup title. Their season came to an end with an 11-6 loss to the Saskatoon Hilltops in the Canadian Bowl at McLeod Stadium. These Rams will be commended for representing their community and the entire province of British Columbia with outstanding pride and determination.

FLAG FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS


Westside Warriors U-16 Flag:
Led by head coach Jeffrey Joseph and assistant Sherlan John, the U-16 Westside Warriors had a combined record of 42-0 en route to winning both the Provincial and Western Canadian Championships. A combination of skill, teamwork and complete buy-in from day one were all evident traits in their championship season.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL WINNERS


Seaquam Seahawks Grade 8, 9-Man:
The Seaquam Seahawks were led by head coach Navin Chand, a long-time fixture on the sidelines in BC High School and Community football. The Grade 8 Seahawks went 7-1 in their regular season while scoring over 300 points and allowing just over 40. Made up primarily of first-year players, they would dominate Heritage Park 42-6 in the championship game.

Windsor Dukes Jr. Varsity AA:
The Dukes were led by star quarterback Alek Giragosian and they also received clutch play from their defence in a 25-14 win over Ballenas in the Provincial Final. Giragosian was named the game’s Most Valuable Player as Windsor trailed 14-13 heading into the final quarter. The comeback was perfect icing on the cake to a season where the Dukes lost only once.

Vernon Panthers Sr. Varsity AA:
The Vernon Panthers ended their season with a combined record of 10-0 while scoring 380 points and allowing just 42 while pitching a total of five shutout victories along the way. They would then win their third straight provinicial title by taking down Langley 43-14. The Panthers sent four players to the Provincial All-Star team while Zack Smith, Caden Danbrook, Liam Reid and Brady Szeman have all committed to the University of Calgary Dinos for 2020.

St. Thomas More Knights Grade 8, 11-Man:
Seemingly an annual tradition in the 11-man Grade 8 playoffs, it all came down to St. Thomas More and Vancouver College in the provincial championship game at BC Place. This time it was the Knights who prevailed in thrilling fashion, edging out their rivals 24-22. It was the 14th Quadra Cup title for the program and it was capped off with an impressive undefeated season.

Mount Douglas Rams Jr. Varsity AAA:
D is for defence and dominance as the JV Rams finished 11-0 and handled Lord Tweedsmuir 41-21 in the provincial championships at BC Place. Quarterback Hunter Swift passed for nearly 1,000 yards and had 13 touchdown strikes, while running back Miltiadis Koulelis eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark. On defence, Tyson Champion led Junior Varsity with 60 tackles.

Vancouver College Fighting Irish Sr. Varsity AAA:
It was a fitting end to an incredible season for long-time head coach Todd Burnett and the VC Fighting Irish. After an 8-1 regular season, the Irish gave up just 15 points in four playoff victories and capped it all off by crushing Lord Tweedsmuir 45-0 in the final at BC Place. The championship win was also incredible for the school’s loyal alumni base with former players from multiple eras in attendance at BC Place.

SCHOLASTIC COACH OF THE YEAR

Nate Stevenson | NANAIMO

Since he started the Nanaimo District Secondary School program in 2001, Nate has brought a massive impact to high school football to the school.

Highlights on his coaching resume include a AA Junior Varsity championship in 2016, a Tier II championship in 2011 and helping the program move up to the AAA Pacific Division in 2017 where it currently resides. Under his guidance, hundreds of young kids have been motivated to take up the sport which led to the creation of Junior Bantam and Pee Wee feeder teams in the mid-2000s.

Nate started as an assistant coach in the Nanaimo Junior Bantam program from 1992-1994 and also spent two years in the US Army after graduating from Nanaimo Secondary in 1989.

BOB ACKLES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

Walter Becker | NORTH DELTA SECONDARY

Known simply as “Sarge” to the North Delta football community, Walter is one of the game’s more influential and recognizable faces over multiple levels in the province of British Columbia.

He is perhaps best-known for his 16-year stint as head coach at North Delta Secondary. During his tenure, the Huskies program was consistently among one of the best in the province. Walter also played a big role in developing future pros such as Mitch Berger, Davis Sanchez and Nuvraj Bassi.

Following his playing days at UBC, Walter was determined to stay in the game and began his coaching career at Tempelton High School. Along the way, he also became an official and is now a regular part of the crew for Lions games at BC Place. Walter has also worked three Grey Cups and eventually became Vice President of the BC Football Officials Association responsible for the high school refereeing program.

Walter has previously earned awards for his service to BC High School Football, the BC School System, the Delta Secondary School Athletic Association and the Surrey Firefighter Department where he continues to lend his time as a volunteer firefighter.


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