Surrey Beavers November 2016
Match Reports from Div 1 & 2 Mainland Championship Games
posted Nov 30 2016
After a long fall season of slogging it out in very wet and cold conditions the Surrey Beavers AA were excited to get the opportunity to play for some hard earned hardware on Saturday. Credit to BC Rugby who decided that this fall season for OK. Spring 1st and 2nd division would be Cup finals as it had been a very long time since hardware was available for these two divisions during this time of the season.
Those long weeks of training hard at night and playing in the cold wet weather throughout the fall season in BC was all worth it when there was something to play for at the end of the half. A common occurrence for the Beavers this fall was lots of rain on Saturdays during the games and of course as the men would exit the change rooms after getting cleaned up the rain was no more and the sun would appear. I’m sure other clubs had this familiar setting on their game days. The fall final day would be no different with it raining all throughout the morning with plenty of rain and then moving to heavier rain in the afternoon. Earlier in the week it was decided that the games were all going to be moved to Fleetwood Park Secondary as a precaution for the Beavers’ home field being closed and luckily Fleetwood’s rugby field held up fabulously all day long.
The game day had 3 games on the schedule; first off a friendly game with SBAA 3rd division hosting Bayside RFC and then the Division 2 Cup final against Kamloops Rugby Club, and finally the Division 1 Cup final against United Rugby Club. 2012 was the last season when the Beavers had both their 1st and 2nd division men’s teams playing in a BC Rugby final, so this was a very exciting day to be a Beaver!
SBAA 3rd Division Men (Exhibition): Loss 48 - 7
This game didn’t need to happen for either club, with Bayside having wrapped up their season last weekend losing in the semifinals and the Beavers busy with two cup finals that day, but common ground was found between these two clubs with both coaching staffs wanting to get extra time for their club players. The wet weather did spoil plenty of ball throughout the game, and the slippery hands in the backs made for some silly ball handling errors. Bayside definitely did push the pace of play for the majority of the game, and the Beavers were victim of not playing simple rugby on a wet day. The Sharks were definitely the hungrier of the two sides out on the field that morning and scored several tries with ease as the Beaver players were struggling to make clean tackles. Poor ball handling when the Beavers were on offense created plenty of turnovers that turned into good scoring chances for the Sharks.
A stand out in the game for the Beavers was fly half Brandon Gatto who had been playing full back for division 2 most of the fall season but the coaches’ saw this game a great opportunity to get him to step in and play at 10. He did well controlling the ball that Surrey got on offense and it was great to see that he could fill that roster spot if an injury did occur there in the future. The game had many big hits from both teams, and flashes of great play, but overall the game that day was more about giving the club’s players more time on the pitch before the fall season ended. It will be a long 8 weeks (minimum) until most these boys get to play a rugby game again so it was great to see a lot of the boys get 40 plus minutes of game time. The game was well officiated and both sides were in good spirits for playing in terrible weather. Well done to everyone that played in the game and a big thanks to Bayside RFC for coming out and giving the club a hard fought game.
Tries: Alex Martin (1)
Men of the Match: Best forward Munbir Josan, and best back was Brandon Gatto
SBAA 2nd Division Men (Ok. Spring Div 2 Cup Final): Win 19 - 6
The first championship game on Saturday was played by the Surrey Beavers 2nd division men against the Kamloops Raiders. The boys had showed up to both practices during the week and dealt with the poor weather to prepare for the game and were ready and focused for the biggest game of their fall half. The Beavers were putting their perfect record on the line against a single men’s team club from Kamloops and this match would be the final test to end the fall half. After a morning that had rain and made for a very wet warm up the game got under way. It quickly was apparent how both teams made it to the finals with the Beavers showing great skill and confidence in their faster open play and turning Kamloops' errors into quick gains, while the bigger heavier set Raiders team led by their forwards relied on grinding down the field off the set pieces.
The first half started with Surrey kicking off and Kamloops went straight to work on hitting the ball up the blind side trying to break up the short side with their forwards. The Beavers had prepared and planned on this and started the hard defense that had been a staple of their game for the entire half. After some set pieces were Kamloops’ pack showed their early game power, the side was rewarded with a midfield penalty and earned 3 points from the penalty kick. Like that the home side was down 3-0 and the Beavs realized just what it would take to win a game against a strong team. The boys went back to work and quickly took the ball to the other end of the field off the ensuing kickoff, and with fast play that left the opposition’s forwards behind outwide the Beavers scored their first try with a good convert. As the game progressed both teams had everyone running and hitting hard. Another midfield penalty gave the Raiders another conversion, but the Beavs again responded quickly with a sloppy kick by Kamloops that was returned for a try underneath the posts by outside center Aaron Martin. The convert again was good by fly half Ryno Jacobs and the Beavers were up 14-6.
There would be harder rugby played until the end of the half that had the home team breathe a sigh of relief when Kamloops missed a penalty conversion attempt. Surrey noticed how Kamloops was lacking fitness when they pushed the pace of play. The Beavers started the 2nd half well and pushed toward the try line but were stopped and couldn’t finish on several opportunities. After running into penalty trouble later in the half the Raiders were gaining ground and momentum and the Beavers put on their own defensive stand. By closing distance, attacking the opposition at pace, and communicating well on defense Surrey was able to stop the Kamloops multiple times in the home sides’ red zone. With both teams unable to score and the Beavers hanging onto the lead it was finally off a stolen Kamloops’ scrum followed by a few quick phases that the last try of the game was scored by skipper Ty Robertson. With about 5 minutes left in the game the Beavers retained possession to win the Cup final with a scoreline of 19-6.
It was an intense game that had both teams playing at their very best for the whole 80 minutes. The depth and defensive structure of the Beavers was the winning factor for them as they played their most confident complete game to win the fall half. The pack stopped maul after maul and the backs held their line throughout the entirety game. Quick pod play by the forwards had Kamloops on the back foot and the backs had great success either with hard runs or with excellent placed kicks by Ryno Jacobs. Everyone on the team rose to the occasion and delivered an excellent performance that set a standard for what it takes to win a fall title and remain undefeated.
Tries: Ty Roberston (2) and Aaron Martin (1)
Men of the Match: Best forward Ty Robertson, and best back Aaron Martin
SBAA 1st Division Men (OK. Spring Div 1 Cup Final): Win 37 - 19
The Beavers were excited to play United Rugby Club on Saturday and knew that the opposition had improved since the early season meeting back in September. It had been several years since the two clubs had met each other in a rugby final, and if memory serves it was back in 2010 the clubs met in a division two final. Saturday however had arguable two of the younger clubs in the competition playing each other with most players on both rosters just starting out in their men’s rugby career back in 2010. The two sides had seen each other so often on the field that there was going to be no real surprise how each team was going to play and it was really going to come down to what team wanted it more.
The game started with great control from the Beavers as they poached a ball and attacked at mid field. With the Beavers in possession they went across the field back and forth trying to find a gap in the d-line but to no avail. United countered with some of their big forwards going on some runs off the ruck, but the Beavers’ defense was up to the challenge early. Finally after some good defense by the Beavers a turned over ball was swung out wide and worked in for a try by center Jamie Beaton. Minutes later a picked pass by Beaton sent him streaking towards the United goal line with the second score of the day. Arguably the most explosive player on the field stamped his mark on the game early and gave the Beavers a good first lead of the game. From there the boys worked to keep the pressure on and went back to the attack with good open field play utilizing the backs and forwards all the across the field. It was great to see a variety of players getting involved in the play with the loose forwards all over the field spreading the United defense thin. The boys were up with a 10-0 lead and felt like they could keep things rolling, and then with a try scored by eighth man James Kelly the home side really felt like they could open the flood gates. After another one was scored by hooker Iain Small it was beginning to feel like everything was going the way of the Beavers.
However United fought back and got some points on the board of their own keeping the workload in tight with their forwards. The United forwards did well to pound the ball up the field in tight off the set pieces, and inch by inch they made their way to the Beavers’ goal line. With two tries scored in a short period of time, momentum was starting to swing towards United who were still chasing the lead but felt like they could maybe keep scoring pace with the Beavers. The Beavers trying to refocus and clean up their sloppy defensive play had a huge goal line stand that took them into the half were they could catch their breath. Holding onto a 20-12 lead at half the boys took a deep breath.
The game plan for the 2nd half was to keep pushing United out wide and to not try and get involved in a match in tight. The Beavers were very effective in gaining yards out wide and had to work on developing the phase out wide where the mismatches could be found. It was no secret that United was going to keep trying to punish the Beavs’ defensive line in tight, and that’s exactly what their side did at the start of the 2nd half. Containing the Beavers in their own 22 and forcing a turnover that slowly worked into another try scored by United’s forwards. Three scores by United had the Beaver sideline silenced, but fortunately the men on the field showed resolve. Off the ensuing kickoff from fullback Robert Jones the ball was kicked deep inside United’s 22 and a slow erred pass back to United’s kicker was blocked by winger Clay Ross who then collected the ball and put it down for a quick come back try. Convert was good and it put the Beavers up 27-19. That try breathed some much needed life back into the offense of the Beavers and they kept the pressure on mostly inside United’s half. United from the 1st half did have the advantage in the scrums, but the Beavers started to make adjustments to counter United’s size in the sets. Subbing on loose head Chris Atkinson and moving Nick Bruce to hooker allowed the pack to drive United’s scrums backwards and did not allow their side to have a stable platform off the sets. It worked well and spoiled ball from United became turned over to the Beavers. A penalty kick in about 65th minute of the game then put the Beavers up 30-19 and the boys were getting eager to finish off the game.
With about 7 minutes left in the game the players were still working for hard yards when flanker Paul Kelly called for a quick pass off his inside center Jamie Beaton and received a quick pass that led him to run in a score untouched. With the conversion good the game was far out of United’s hands and the Beavers went on to win the game with a convincing score 37-19 final.
United stepped up and played a very hard game, and that was what the Beaver expected as it was a Cup final. The Beavers should be satisfied that they did never let go of the lead and that they scored a good balance of points in both the 1st and 2nd half. The game was again well officiated and both sides went out and played some great rugby in not so great weather.
Tries: Jamie Beaton (2) James Kelly (1) Iain Small (1) Clay Ross (1) and Paul Kelly (1)
Men of the Match: Best forward David Jeffreys, and best back Clay Ross
The club will rest easy for December with some hard earned hardware earned for this half; training will start up again the first week of January 2017. The competition is going to only get more challenging in the spring season with Abbotsford RFC and Meraloma being relegated from premier. The Beavers however are excited about the new challenges these clubs offer and know that other clubs in the competition are also getting stronger as the season comes along. The club is looking forward to having another successful rugby season this spring and look forward to getting back to the pitch.
Weekend Match Reports: Three Teams in Playoffs; Two Advance to Finals
posted Nov 24 2016
Saturday was the first time since 2012 that Surrey Beavers AA had 3 men’s teams playing in a playoff game all on the same day. That fact alone proved that the club is in a great spot right now with their senior men’s program, because not only are they fielding 3 full rosters for 3 teams but they are also fielding competitive sides in each division.
1st and 2nd division earned the right with perfect fall season play to host their semi-final matches at home against Bayside RFC and United Rugby Club. The 3rd div men headed off to the North Shore to face Capilano RFC in their plate semi-final. The weather was clear and a crisp making for a picturesque fall day of rugby.
SBAA 3rd Division Men: Loss 32 – 7
The Thirsty Thirds travelled to Klahanie Park to face off against Capilano’s Development XV in the Divison 3 Plate playoffs. The Beavers last played at Klahanie in late September when they won against Capilano’s 4th division side thanks in large part to a hat trick of tries from centre Kai Williams. The Beavers knew that this was going to be a different game as the young Capilano players had spent the first half of the season playing in the Division 3A competition. The first half had lots of sloppy ball and plenty of set pieces. The Beavers’ scrum was strong as usual with an experienced prop pairing of Jason Leigh at loosehead and Nicholas Halstrom at tighthead and young Kjell Hope at hooker as well as the young and old pairing of Cam Sparkes and James Pedersen at second row. Much of the opening half was spent in the Beavers’ half as Capilano pushed forward with tight ball off the rucks gaining small yards each time. The Beavers’ defence held strong before Capilano was eventually able to push through for the opening score of the game. After a second Capilano score things started to get heated. Cam Sparkes scoop tackled one of the Capilano players which was penalized. A commotion ensued and one of the Capilano players kicked Sparkes while he was on the ground. This led to both players receiving yellow cards and the penalty being reversed in favour of Surrey. Shortly afterwards a Capilano player scooped one of the Surrey players after the ball was passed which led to another yellow card and a 10-minute Surrey man advantage. Surrey was unable to take advantage of this and shortly before the end of the advantage Capilano broke through on a wide ball to score. After this score coach Byron on the sidelines implored the Beavers to start playing tighter ball off the breakdown and impose their will upon the younger Capilano players. On the restart the Beavers did just that as they played several phases of forwards ball after recovering their own kick. After these phases Derrek Halicki distributed a hard crash ball to the centres exposing the unsuspecting Capilano inside backs. The Beavers made hard gains and were rewarded before the end of the half with a try from hooker Kjell Hope.
At halftime the Beavers players were reminded that they had spent most of the half defending and needed to tighten up on the edges of the breakdown and to match Capilano in the backs and that good things would come if they met the ballcarrier hard.
In the 2nd half it was all Capilano. The Beavers defended the ball well but were unable to win possession. Capilano was able to swing the ball out wide and cause mismatches with the Beavers outside backs. The Beavers fought hard and well but ultimately fell 32-7.
Men of the Match: Best forward goes to the try scorer Kjell Hope, and best bac Derek Halicki
Tries: Kjell Hope (1)
In all it was a good first half of the season for the 3rds. Many players were seeing their very first action in Men’s rugby and the team really came together and put forward some good rugby. Next up for the 3rds will be heading back to practice on Tuesday to support the 1st and 2nd division teams in their respective home finals on November 26th. There are a number of 3rd division players who will likely be pushing hard for a place in the higher divisions later this year if they are not already. The 3rds this year have found themselves playing at different venues than the other two divisions for most of the season and look forward to the opportunity to show their stuff to the rest of the club on a more regular basis as the season unfolds.
SBAA 2nd Division Men: Win 48-5
The 2nd division men were a confident group going into Saturday’s semi-final game against United Rugby Club. The lads came into the game with a perfect record, a great +/- and a ton of depth on the bench. The team was fully loaded with arguably their best starting roster this season, and the team looked ready to take care of business.
The Beavers got rolling quickly and within 5 minutes of kickoff the home side was up by 7. Surrey wouldn’t look back after that first score and would continue to execute throughout the whole game. The boys did run into some penalty issues early on, but United failed to take advantage of any field position they would get from their kicks for touch. Surrey was quick on coming up on defense and taking away all the space from United’s backline. After some solid hits on defence from the center combination and flanker Jack Wallace United's backs seemed hesitant to attack with any tenacity. Great kicks from standoff Ryno Jacobs kept the pressure on United’s back 3 who were constantly getting trounced by the Beavers' wingers Jamahl Knowles and Jareed Samuel. The backs did an excellent job supporting their play allowing the forwards to attack in numbers out wide. Throughout the match the forwards found themselves out wide mismatched against smaller backs and went on for big gains as the undersized players struggled to contain them. The pack was dominant in the scrums and lineouts, and did everything right to ensure they gave their backs a great platform to work off of.
The 1st half had tries being scored by a variety of players including both backs and forwards, and the scores were coming from all types of plays. At times Surrey put great phase play together, and other times they were quick to counter attack off kicks and were very effective in putting some scores in from break out runs from their big boys. After the 1st half the boys could rest easy with a large lead in hand with almost half a dozen tries scored. Brandon Gatto helped pad their lead with some solid kicks for converts.
The 2nd half would see the coaches make several changes to the lineup and bring fresh legs onto the pitch. The pace of play wouldn’t decrease and the players kept on scoring. The Beavers were absolutely dominant from start to finish in the game and it was great to see all the subs come on and keep the quality of play high.
Well done to all players that played in the game as it was one of the most complete games to date this half. The boys will still need to dig deeper as they take on Kamloops RFC their toughest opponent next weekend in the Fall Ok. Div 2 final.
Men of the Matches: Best forward was Jack Wallace, and best back was Ryno Jacobs
Tries: Nolan Spalek (1) Ty Robertson (1) Matt Bose (1) Brandon Craig (1) Aaron Martin (1) Jamahl Knowles (1) and Brandon Gatto (1)
SBAA 1st Division Men: Win 31 – 10
With the skies clouding over before kickoff it had set the mood perfectly for what was going to be a bitter battle to the final whistle between two cross town rivals. The Beavers and Bayside RFC both had their sidelines loaded and were ready to take eachother on for the chance to qualify for the OK. Div 1 Fall final next weekend. From the kickoff the tempo of the game was high and there was no some good plays from both sides. Both sides were doing very well in defending phase play from each other, but Bayside seemed a little anxious to set the tone really quickly. This resulted in several back to back penalties that allowed the Beavs to get in good field position with kicks for touch. Finally on the 6th minute the home team got on the board with a slotted penalty kick. Scrums were much more stable and not a huge advantage to the Beavers like it was a few weeks ago. And it was clear Bayside was not going to give any easy ball in the sets. The Beavs’ pack was still formidable in the scrum and was effective in keeping control of their own sets.
Getting on the board first didn’t stop the Beavs from pushing for more points early on, but Bayside did well to push back and resist the home team's opportunities out wide. Finally after some hard running inside Bayside’s 22 the ball was swung out wide and touched down for a try. The converted kick put the boys up 10-0, but Bayside kept pushing back. Some very hard running by the Sharks’ loose forwards and inside center kept the Beavers going backwards and into their own 22. With a Beaver player down after getting elbowed in the head by his teammate caused the team to be outnumbered out wide and an easy score was given to Bayside as a big forward rolled over the line for a try. The converted try made the score 10-7 for the home team, and put a little doubt into some of the Beaver players, but the seasoned vet players would not see any of that. Behind the posts the leaders on the team told their teammates to just r-e-l-a-x and play their game. With the Beaver player now recovered from the elbow hit he took the men got refocused and went back down to the Sharks' side of the field.
In attack the Beavs were effective in getting the ball out wide but were struggling to stay inbounds as they tried to burn the Sharks' players out wide but failing to get around the defenders. Positive play from the Beavers was turning into lineout throws for the Sharks and constantly the Beavs would be pushed away from the goal line of the visitors and sent back to their half from a kick or hard running by the opposition. The flow of the game was constantly swinging back and forth, but the rest of the half would only see the Beavs get more points on the board. At half time the Beavs were up with a 13-7 lead and the boys had still left several missed opportunities out wide and a couple missed penalty kicks off the board. The missed opportunities made the marginal lead a little tighter then what the Beavers wanted. However, with the players refocused at half and reminded to just focus on the next 40 minutes and the team was in the fall final the team was ready to finish off the game.
No changes were made for the Beavs’ line up going into the 2nd half and the coaches were confident that the starting 15 could close out the win for the club. About 4 minutes into the half off a scrum the Beavers pushed the lead with some excellent high pace phase play from their own 35 meter all the way down to the Sharks’ far corner for a try scored by winger Clay Ross. It was a burst of offense that the team was able to do throughout the entire regular season but was yet to be present in the match that day. A missed convert still made it an uneasy 18 – 10 led. And a botched catch off the ensuing kickoff set Bayside up for a penalty kick because a Surrey player picked up the knocked on ball from an offside position. A silly error breathed new life into Bayside and they were eager to keep the pressure on. The following 25 minutes of play was quality rugby from both sides. Each team worked hard to grind each other’s defense down with hard runs. The Beavers who were still playing with a lead were more comfortable in playing the kicking game and going for territory over ball position. Bayside was doing a good job on the counter attack and exploiting holes in the Beavers’ defensive line that allowed the Sharks to get the ball back in the Surrey’s half quickly. Staying resilient on defense the boys did not allow Bayside to get over the goal line to do any damage. Another penalty kick opportunity slotted by Jamie Beaton then put the side up 21-10, but in no way did the Beavers’ take a sigh of relief. Pressure kept mounting on defense for the Beavers and after one to many penalties was taken by a Beaver player the referee decided to card flanker Paul Kelly with a professional foul. With about 9 minutes left to play it was going to be a very tense finish. The card left Bayside with a kick for touch deep inside the Beavers' 22 meter, and there were lots of smiles and cheers coming from the Shark’s sideline as they felt finally the tide had turned and they could put some points up. But the defensive display the Beavers put on for the next 9 minutes was masterful and the Sharks’ only got a sniff of the goal line but never put one over. After some smothering defense work in their own 22 the Beavers marched down the field with the ball in hand and set Jamie Beaton up with his easiest penalty kick of the game. Under 4 minutes left in the game with the home side up 24 – 10 the Sharks’ own flanker received a yellow card for a late shoulder charge. The Beavers would go down the field one more time after a cheeky show and go by standoff Reid Gordon and had winger Riley Johnson finish off the play with a try. Robert Jones slotted the convert giving the Beavers a convincing 31-10 final score.
Men of the matches: Best forward was Trevor Sear, and best back was Reid Gordon
Tries: Robert Jones (1) Clay Ross (1) Riley Johnson (1)
It was great to see another intense game between the two clubs, and the future looks great for this old rivalry. With the amount of players Bayside RFC had on the sideline the Beavers are confident they will be able to field 2 sides in the Ok. Spring 2017 season and are happy to see their men's program is looking stronger.
This Saturday the 1st division men will face United Rugby Club in the Ok. Div 1 Fall final. It should be a great match between two clubs that both appear to be on the upswing and haven't faced each other since the first week of the fall season. Both the Div 1 and Div 2 finals will be hosted at Sullivan Heights Park on Saturday, November 26.
Busy Weekend With Four Matches Across the Lower Mainland - Match Reports & Mini-Rugby Update
posted Nov 8th 2016
The Beavers had a busy rugby day on Saturday and the club was at four locations across the Lower Mainland. The women headed to Abbotsford to play United Rugby Club in a makeup game, and the men had 3 games on their schedule.
The men had an exhibition game at Burnaby Lake, a 3rd division match against the Squamish Axemen at Sullivan Heights Park, and a 1st division match at South Surrey Athletic Park against Bayside RFC. Logistically it certainly wasn’t easy having the club at four different locations in one day but the club was up to the challenge.
SBAA 2nd Division Women – Loss 27-12
The Beavers laced up 19 women in Abbotsford on Saturday, for a 10 on 10 match against United Rugby Club. Stepping on the field the Beavers knew they had size in their favour and after the kickoff it was put in action. The Beavers women took down United successfully throughout the game with some significantly hard hits. However, the Beavers were challenged by playing 5 players down, which showed some unfortunate ball losses in their rucks. After the first 20 minutes the women saw their issues and gained ground by challenging United with their stamina and reassessed rucking. The pod work within the Beavers women is quickly becoming effortless, and the women showed United that the Beavers forwards are a strong combative force to compete against! With strong ball passes and with the speed from their backs the Beavers gained ground repetitively. One powerhouse in the game was Alexis Dohnal who scored an amazing run and gave the Beavers their first try. The Beavers kept hold of the ball by continued passing throughout the backs and forwards, and through numerous strong players who refused to be taken down. This control offered another amazing run by Sarah Tortora who scored the second try for the Beavs she also made the conversion from her try. The final result of the game was a 27-12 loss for the Beavers. The women are getting stronger with each game together and are looking to prove that their strong teamwork will get the job done!
Tries: Alexis Dohnal (1) and Sarah Tortora (1)
Women of the match: the best back was Laura Leigh, and best forward was Steph Jones
On a side note; the junior girls played today and dominated the Richmond/Capilano team in their first game of 15s this season. All of the girls played extremely well and impressed many of the spectators and coaches with their 22-0 win!
SBAA Men’s Exhibition Game – Loss 31-12
About 19 Beaver men’s players hungry for playing time headed to Burnaby Lake for a friendly match against Burnaby Lake’s 3rd division side. Kudos to both rugby clubs on getting this game sorted out at the 11th hour on Friday to make sure both clubs got playing time for all their players on Saturday. From all accounts the game was well officiated and well played by both teams. The Beavers took full advantage of this game by giving players that hadn’t got much playing time in the fall season a good run on Saturday. Burnaby Lake RFC who is a much respected club in BC played a hard and clean game against the Beavers. And the Beavers brought over a mixed bag of players and were never concerned about the score line, but motivated to make sure all their men’s players got game time on Saturday. Thanks again to Burnaby for helping set up this game, and hopefully we can do more games like this one in the future!
Tries: Gavin de Brouwer (1) and Tyson Romer (1)
SBAA 3rd Division Men – Loss 22-14
On Saturday the Thirsty Thirds hosted the Squamish Axemen for the very first time at Sullivan Heights. The conditions were ideal for the Beavers forwards to put their stamp on the game. Before the game the Beavers were informed that Squamish was unable to bring any front row players with them and that the game would likely have to be played with uncontested scrums. Squamish manned up and decided before kickoff that they would put together a front row and the referee for the day w