This is going to sound like a broken record, maybe somewhat of a commercial for the all-boys school at St. Michael's College in Toronto.
On Wednesday, the Kerry Blues will once again be back at the stadium with the roof, playing for the Metro Bowl football title for a record ninth time - more than any other high school and they've come out champs far more times too. The opposition: the Donald Wilson Gators from Whitby, who are rookies to this finale of our local season, one that many people believe should have ended around the same time as the Grey Cup and the Vanier Cup.
The Metro Bowl, a Canadian game, will be played on a configured NFL field ready for the Bills and Dolphins pro game four days later. Yes, somehow the folks at the Rogers Centre have figured out a way of keeping the width of the CFL field - which can only benefit the running game of St. Mike's.
I know these are high school student athletes. I also know, because I have seen it happen, that a team favoured to win - can lose. With respect to the excellent football program put together by Adam Papadakos at Donald Wilson, led by former Durham Region MVP fullback/place-kicker Rashad LaTouche, offensive lineman Jamie Stavropoulos, speedy wide receiver Austin Giuntoli and the list goes on, not this year fellas.
Maybe I've just jinxed the Kerry Blues or fired up the Gators.
St. Mike's is just that much better: stronger defence, more talent on offence, solid special teams and even a more vociferous crowd. St. Mike's spectators can be intimidating and nasty too.
Weather won't be a factor. Penalties and turnovers always are problems - and that's where Donald Wilson has to play a near perfect game to keep the score close.
St. Mike's has, as head coach Paul Forbes said the other day, "too many weapons". Brendan Morgan can run well and has piled up touchdowns. Chris Patrician can kick field goals and also score touchdowns. Haven't even got to the receivers or maybe the sleeper, burly tight end Paul Adamic. You've heard about the defensive front seven by now led by Derek Wiggan, Martin Colangelo and John Miniaci.
The quarterbacks may be factors, but this part of the line-up is equal. For the record, take away a pre-season tie with Don Bosco and Donald Wilson suffered one defeat to Pickering (26-3). That was later reversed when Pickering was caught with an ineligible player. True the Gators have not allowed a major in their last 10 quarters of play. St. Mike's is undefeated in 10 games. Their closest challenge was a 27-13 decision over St. Andrews in the private school final three weeks ago.
Just one more thing: St. Michael's has won the past two Metro Bowl championships. I'm checking to see if they give odds in Las Vegas on high school football.