Quarterback Jaimie Olson of the CWFL’s Law runs the ball against the Vancouver Panthers at Sun Bowl XXXIV last Saturday. Two-way star Olson was named one of the tournament’s top defensive players. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Sun Bowl honours flag football history

Sun Bowl XXXIV paid tribute to the history of the Cowichan Women’s Football League in multiple ways.

Literally everywhere you went at the Pacific Northwest Women’s Football Championship last weekend, the heritage of the host league was being celebrated.

The two fields at McAdam Park were named for Debbie McGougan, who inspired the creation of the CWFL in 1984, shortly before she died of cancer at the age of 15 in 1985, and Dale Carnochan, a longtime coach in the league who passed away last September. The field at Rotary Park was named for the Trotters, one of the original four teams in the league, along with Dairy Queen, the Blue Bombers and the Supras. The beer gardens were named for Bruce (Peewee) Klaassen, a longtime referee in the CWFL who died in April 2017.

Carnochan was also honoured by a team made up of players from teams he had coached over the years, such as the Wheelers and the Matrix, dubbed the Comb Boy Crew, with all players sporting “Carnochan” and the number 13 on the backs of their shirts. The team ended up winning the Grounded Division, beating The Things from Vancouver in the division final.

The Top Flight Division was won by the Vancouver Saints, who defeated the Victoria Xtreme 28-14 in their final, and Almost Top Flight was won by the CWFL champion Ravens, who took down the Vancouver Panthers 13-6 in their final.

Saints quarterback Mirjana Jurcic was named tournament MVP. Best Defensive Player awards went to Christine Damaso (Saints), Tara Jefferson (Xtreme) and Ace Dela Cruz (Panthers). Best Defensive Player awards went to Jaime Olson (Law), Yana Fedorchuk (Xtreme) and Bal Irvine (Comb Boy Crew). The Victoria Swarm were named the Most Sportsmanlike Team, and the Purple Cobras took the Spirit Award.

Players from the CWFL junior girls program also put on a demonstration in front of the crowd at the finals to show that flag football is a sport for all ages.

Sun Bowl organizer Chris Mann expressed his thanks to the City of Duncan for having McAdam and Rotary parks in top shape, Cowichan Bulldogs football and Cookie Grandma for running the concession stand, the Texas Leaguers for operating the beer garden, and to Cobble Hill and Saltspring Island Country Grocer, Beverly Corners Liquor Store and the Cowichan Valley Regional District for donations.

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