It is hard to believe that it has been 24 years that the Snowcaps have played the capilano 3rd Division in the annual Remembrance Day Classic. The Coffee Mate Cup started after the Club lost Gerrard Hanlon, a top division player for the Caps. Gerrard showed up one Sunday to watch the Snowcaps play. They were a man short so Gerrard raced to his car to get his kit. On the way to the changing rooms he powdered his hair with Coffee Mate to look older. Unfortunately he was killed that summer, in a motor vehicle accident on the way to Alberta to work. Gerrard was quite a young man. He worked graveyard shift during his last year of high school to help his mother pay the bills. He wrestled the legendary hockey great, Tiger Williams to the ground following a Club Alumni Game. There are many more Gerrard stories as he was quite a unique young man! The Snowcaps decided to have a game in his honour every Remembrance Day and the game has become a great club tradition. Gerrard and other Capilano and Snowcaps that are no longer with us are honoured along with those who fought to maintain our freedom.
Today the rugby Gods smiled on us and the weather was ideal for the Classic! The players were piped onto the pitch by piper Alan Brown himself a Snowcap to start the game. The players then consumed a shot of Whiskey, stood up for a moments silence, then proceeded to play rugby. The referee was Tom Larish and he made sure that the game stayed close and was played in the spirit of the game. Tom even made a tackle to prevent a 3rd division score. The Snowcaps had enough players for two full teams plus four and for the first time it was co-ed as Andrea Burk, who represented Canada in the Women’s world cup played for the Snowcaps. Andrea is a star player and looked quite at home playing against the guys. Andrea received a well deserved ovation from the crowd when it was announced that she was the first woman to play in the Coffee mate Cup. I predict more women will suite up in the future. Perhaps one of the periods could be devoted to co-ed rugby with female and male players on both teams. The 3rd Division side was bolstered by Premier Captain Glen McKinnon and 1st Division stalwart Andrew Crandell. Both played well and in the spirit of the game. The 3rd Division Caps had a good turnout today and didn’t need a lot of help. Snowcaps usually have more ringers but today not as many as usual. Ian Smortchevski, Kevin Hatch, Kes Kasha, Chris Lumsden put excellent performances for the Vets and it was great to see Nick Trenkle playing again. Nick even scored a Snowcap try. It looked like Glen McKinnon might get away for a long try but he was brought down from behind by a speeding Andrea Burk. The score ended up at 5-4 for the Snowcaps who used some treachery to ensure that they came out on top. Ironically both of the 3A and 3B player coaches played for the Snowcaps. On an interception that looked like a sure try several players from the Snowcap bench led by Kes Kasha charged out on the field to impede the run by the young 3rd division player. The referee who is the best that money or beer can buy missed the extra help and let the play go on. Most years the young guys have huge speed advantage but today they Snowcaps were largely able to keep their younger rivals in check. Scoring for the 3rd Division, Liam, Harley, Joe Fry, and Peter Moonan. For Snowcaps Kes, Nick Trenkle, Dubaii Jake and two others I missed while I was no doubt getting more beer. Anyway the Snowcaps scored one more than the 3rd Div. My favourite highlight was watching Keenan Broad run over his dad Nick. A pair of boots were found on the field and one of the Snowcaps has suggested that they belonged to Nick as he was knocked out of them! The food prepared by Jim Leith who left, to do his culinary magic. Thanks Jim. Thanks also to Tom Kirk who collected donations to pay for food and beverages. Also thanks to our piper Alan! And Jan at the bar. It was a very enjoyable afternoon of rugby, another Capilano Classic! Well done to all involved!